Tips for Hawaii Landlords and Tenants

Putting People Over Profits

This is an article I recently wrote for the Maui News. Here’s the link to view the digital newspaper online copy: Maui News Article: Tips For Landlords on Providing Rentals or you can read it right here!

Our small family-owned Maui business provides another option to homeowners that want to sell but not wanting to list publicly for sale on MLS, have a house that needs a lot of repairs, house isn’t financeable, they need a buyer that can close very quickly that they can count on, or they just don’t want to pay commissions and fees for selling their house on Maui.

Our ultimate long term goal is to create more affordable and accessible rentals for our community. Obviously this is an overwhelming task, and we have a long way to go. But we do think we have begun to make an impact, even if it’s in a small way. We want to provide value to the community and we have a history of very happy customers so hopefully that means we’re doing it right!

We have a handful of rental properties in Hawaii that we rent for below the market rate rent to our community. I want to share some of what we’ve learned to offer other landlords some tips on how they can help their community in a positive way and feel good about their rentals without costing them or hurting them.

An old house in Kula, Hawaii
An old rental house in Kula, Hawaii

Why Can’t Maui Tenants Have Dogs?

One of my biggest tips is to reconsider your no pets policy. This issue has gotten out of control and there’s no reason for it. We accept pets in all of our rentals, in fact we prefer tenants with pets because we get better tenants that stay longer and are grateful, just by allowing them to have a dog! Plus it’s just the right thing to do. I personally rescued a dog from Maui Humane Society because his owners were not allowed to have him in their new rental and they had to give him up. I can’t imagine the heartache that must have caused this Maui family while they were in the midst of moving to a new home.

Maui Tenant Not Paying Rent?

I also want to share some great resources that landlords can refer their tenants to if they have trouble paying their rent.

For example, we recently had a tenant that got sick and missed work for a prolonged period which led to her falling a few months behind on her rent. I told her she should call Catholic Charities of Hawaii. She didn’t think those types of programs were for working class regular people like her, but it turns out she was incredibly happy that I made the suggestion because they covered her rent for 3 months while she got back on her feet!

In most cases, no one knows about options for help like this, so the tenant will fall behind and often end up going through an eviction that is completely unnecessary, avoidable, and that is the worst possible outcome for everyone. No one wins in that scenario.

Besides Catholic Charities of Hawaii, there’s also Family Life Center and MEO (Maui Economic opportunity). These are all wonderful organizations that make profound impacts on so many of our tenants. A lot of people think that programs like this are only for people that are really struggling with poverty, but that’s not true. They can help everyday people, for example let’s say a tenant that makes 40k/year, and broke their leg and can’t work for 2-3 months; programs like this can help them overcome the financial burdens that can result from an accident like this.

Renting To Tenants With Section 8 HUD On Maui Hawaii

I also strongly urge other property managers and landlords in Hawaii to be willing to accept Section 8 AKA HUD benefits. This is an easy way to help someone that probably has it a little harder. The best part is that the county deposits the rent right into your bank account, and they’re always on time! Right now for a 2 bedroom rental on Maui HUD will pay up to $2,152/mo! Or they’ll pay up to $1,613/mo for a studio rental apartment!! Check them out the next time you have a vacancy. It take a little more time up front to set up, but HUD tenants also tend to stay much longer, since it’s so hard to find a landlord willing to give them a chance; and the biggest expense in rentals is often the cost of tenant turnover.

If you have a rental property that you don’t want to deal with anymore give us a call and if it meets our criteria we’ll make you an all cash offer to buy your house in Hawaii as is, and we can close fast!

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