A Hawaii sublease agreement is a legal contract between a tenant currently renting property (“sublessor”) and a new tenant (“sublessee” or “subtenant”).
When renting a unit in Hawaii, a current tenant may sublet their unit with the permission of their landlord. However, to exercise that right, they must request permission in writing from their landlord.
Once permission is granted, the sublessor is responsible until the termination of the original lease. Additionally, rent owed by the subtenant is paid to the tenant who originally signed the lease, and the original tenant remains liable for any damage which the subtenant does to the property.
To save time and ensure everything is filled out correctly, we recommend using our free Hawaii sublease agreement builder or reading our steps on how to write a Hawaii sublease agreement below.
How to Write a Hawaii Sublease Agreement
- Parties to the lease and location — Include the original tenant name, the subtenant name, and the address of the property. If there is more than one tenant on the original lease agreement, all parties must be named.
- Term of the agreement — The beginning and end dates of the agreement between the two parties should be written down in this section.
- Payment of rent — Determine the amount of rent the subtenant will be responsible for paying, the due date of the rental payment, and how the rent should be paid. Include the name of the sublessor along with a mailing address (if separate from the sublet) to allow the subtenant to mail payment if necessary. Note whether there are other stipulations that may apply including payment by certified check or money order, applications of late payments, etc.
- Utilities and amenities — This section should spell out any utility payments or other amenities owed by the subtenant, such as yard clean-up, trash removal, etc.
Special Sections to Include in Hawaii Sublease Agreements
- Liability section — Details an agreement between the sublessor and subtenant regarding liability for break-ins, fires, etc.
- Guest limitations — if there are specific limitations on overnight guests, visitors (including parking limitations) they should be specified in this section.
- Security deposit — if the subtenant is making a security deposit, include the amount of that deposit and how it will be returned once the subtenant moves.
- Lead paint disclosure — Disclosure of units containing lead paint must be included where appropriate.
- Damage review — If there are defects in the property, explain them in this section.
- Smoking policy — Explain whether or not there’s a specific policy against smoking in the home. Remedies for violating the smoking policy should also be disclosed.
- Dispute agreement — Determine how disputes between the sublessor and subtenant will be resolved.
- Additional terms and conditions — Explain the landlord’s access to the unit, original lessee’s access to the unit, and any other terms and conditions which are mutually agreed upon.
- Landlord consent — The landlord’s consent to sublease the property must be attached to the agreement.
Hawaii Sublease Laws
You should check your original lease agreement to see if you’re allowed to sublet your apartment. It’s recommended that a tenant receive written permission from their landlord before subletting in Hawaii. Once you’ve filled out a Hawaii sublease agreement, you will be responsible for your subtenant and liable for any violations of the original lease.
A sublessor must honor the terms of the sublease agreement (as well as the original lease) and follow all Hawaii laws regarding the eviction process, security deposits, and all other landlord-tenant matters.
Hawaii Landlord-Tenant Laws: Chapter 521 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (Residential Landlord-Tenant Code)
In Hawaii, a sublessor must:
- Give a subtenant five days (5) written notice to pay rent or leave
- Return the security deposit within fourteen days (14) of the end of the sublease
- Provide forty-five days (45) written notice of your intent to not renew the sublease and/or original lease
Hawaii Sublease FAQs
Is it legal for me to sublet my Hawaii rental property?
If your original lease agreement contains a clause which allows you to sublease, or you have obtained written permission from your landlord, you may sublet your Hawaii rental property.
How do you take over a sublet agreement in Hawaii?
Confirm the original tenant has a written agreement with their landlord, make sure you have a copy of the original lease, and get your agreement in writing so you know your obligations. In Hawaii, subtenants make their rental payments to the original lessee and not to the landlord directly.
Can a Hawaii tenant sublease without a landlord’s permission?
If a tenant has used certified mail to send notice to the landlord that they intend to sublease (along with a copy of the proposed sublease agreement), and the landlord fails to act within 30 days, the tenant has the right to consider their lack of response as permission to move forward with the sublease.
If a landlord rejects the sublease request, the tenant cannot move forward.
Is it possible to get out of a sublease agreement in Hawaii?
If a sublessor wants to get out of the terms of a sublease agreement with their subtenant, they must file an unlawful detainer action and wait for approval. This is the same eviction process that a landlord would have to follow in order to break a standard lease.
If the subtenant wishes to get out of a sublease agreement, they’re bound by Hawaii Landlord/Tenant laws. To legally break a sublease agreement as the subtenant:
- They must have been called to active military duty.
- The unit must be uninhabitable.
- The original tenant must have violated the privacy of the subtenant.
- Other valid legal reasons governed by Hawaii laws have occurred.
Additionally, a subtenant may simply ask and come to a mutual agreement with the sublessor to end the sublease early.