Squatters Rights in Hawaii


Home in Wailuku that was trashed from squatters and hoarders.
A home in Wailuku that was trashed from squatters and hoarders.

Squatters’ rights, also known as adverse possession, have been a subject of legal interest and debate in various jurisdictions. In Hawaii, the laws surrounding squatters’ rights have their own unique considerations. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to understanding squatters’ rights in Hawaii, exploring the requirements for adverse possession and the implications for both property owners and squatters.

Defining Squatters’ Rights in Hawaii

Squatters’ rights, or adverse possession, refers to the legal principle that allows individuals to claim ownership of a property by openly occupying it without the owner’s consent for a specified period of time. In Hawaii, the laws governing adverse possession are outlined in the Hawaii Revised Statutes and have specific criteria that must be met for a squatter to establish ownership.

Requirements for Adverse Possession in Hawaii

To assert adverse possession rights in Hawaii, certain elements typically need to be satisfied: a) Continuous possession: The squatter must occupy the property continuously and exclusively for a specific period, which is typically 20 years in Hawaii. b) Open and notorious possession: The squatter’s occupancy should be visible and apparent to the public and the property owner, without any attempts to hide their presence. c) Hostile possession: The occupation must be without the owner’s consent, demonstrating a claim of right to the property. d) Payment of property taxes: In Hawaii, paying property taxes on the occupied property is an additional requirement to establish adverse possession.

Occasionally we all hear one of these crazy stories from Hawaii News Now and wonder if something like this could ever happen to us. Here’s another interesting debate happening in our community about the ethics of squatters by the Hawaii Tribune.

Implications for Property Owners

For property owners, the existence of squatters on their land can pose challenges and concerns. Property owners should be vigilant and regularly inspect their property to detect any unauthorized occupation. By taking prompt action against squatters, property owners can protect their rights and prevent any potential adverse possession claims.

The Rights of Squatters

Kitchen of a condo at Iao Parkside in Wailuku, Maui

While adverse possession laws offer a potential avenue for squatters to gain ownership rights, it is important to note that claiming squatters’ rights in Hawaii is a complex process. Squatters must satisfy the specific legal requirements and complete the requisite period of continuous possession (aka squatting on Hawaiian property) before they can assert ownership. Seeking legal counsel is advisable for squatters to understand their rights, obligations, and the potential risks involved.

Legal Remedies and Eviction

If property owners discover squatters on their land, they can pursue legal remedies to address the situation. Hawaii provides legal avenues for property owners to evict squatters and regain control of their property. Swift action is crucial to protect property owners’ rights and prevent any unintentional granting of adverse possession rights.

If you want to really “nerd-out” of squatters, check out this link to the Hawaii Revised Statutes that discusses new legislation relating to squatting in Maui and other Hawaiian islands.


Understanding squatters’ rights in Hawaii is essential for both property owners and squatters themselves. Adverse possession laws offer potential paths to property ownership for squatters, but the legal requirements are stringent. Property owners must remain vigilant to protect their rights, while squatters should seek legal advice to fully comprehend their rights and obligations. By being aware of the laws surrounding squatters’ rights in Hawaii, all parties can navigate these complex issues more effectively.

Need Help Dealing With Squatters on Maui, Oahu, Kauai or Big Island?

If you have squatters on your property, uncooperative tenants, a hoarder, or any other complication or challenge we can help! We’ll buy your home of condo on Maui, or anywhere in Hawaii, completely as is for all cash – even if you have squatters! We have handled every type of situation you could imagine, and we’ve gotten really good it. So if you don’t want to deal with the headaches and legal battle of trying to regain possession of your property just call Maui Home Buyers at 808-359-3121 for a quick cash offer today!

Maui Home Buyers company logo
Get More Info On Options To Sell Your Home...

Selling your Hawaii property in today's market can be confusing. Connect with us or submit your info below and we'll help guide you through your options. Even if we are not the best solution for your needs, we're still happy to help refer you to someone else who might be, or just answer some questions for you.

Download Your FREE "Pros, Cons, and Pitfalls" Guide Below

Just put in your name and email, click "Submit" and we'll email you the Free Guide right away.
  • We never rent, sell, or share your info with anyone. It's not cool and we hate spam

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *