Landlords and tenants must agree on the conditions and nuances that come with a property in Hawaii before any moving in can take place.

A rental application form provides a reference ahead of the eventual lease agreement and it will typically request information from prospective tenants that factor into acceptance or rejection. We gathered some incredibly useful insights for you to help you understand the different elements of a Hawaii rental application form, as well as how the landlord and tenant will play a part.

What to Include

As indicated above, the idea behind the rental application form is to get a feel for a prospective tenant to see if there is an alignment with the desires of a landlord. Therefore, it's prudent to ensure that the information being collected is both relevant and enough to determine how good a candidate may be.

A standard rental application may be used for a Hawaii property, which allows the landlord to request all the following of the prospective tenant:

  • Personal details of each intended tenant
  • Credit history
  • Consent for a background check
  • Employment history
  • Income
  • Prior addresses
  • Personal references

If a landlord is not satisfied with the inclusions on the standard form, there's nothing wrong with doing a review followed by a customization exercise. The idea is to ensure that all relevant details are captured, after all, and perhaps some of the vital information needed from an applicant isn't possible to obtain with the default document.

What Not to Include

Thanks to the Fair Housing Act, there are prohibitions on what a potential tenant may be asked for. Much of this is to avoid applicant discrimination.

Landlords are not allowed to request the following protected classes of information in a Hawaii rental application document:

  • Nationality
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • Familial status
  • Disabilities
  • Race
  • Color

There's also a state law element that protects a potential tenant in Hawaii based on the following classes of information:

  • Marital status
  • Gender identity
  • HIV status
  • Ancestry
  • Age


While the protections exist, landlords in Hawaii may ask for certain information under special circumstances. For example:

  • In a senior living community, which is age-restricted, landlords would need to ask a potential tenant about age.
  • If there's a property that doesn't rent regardless of cost commercially, certain groups may be given priority. This may lead to a request for a piece of information such as religion.

Background Checks

Thanks to The Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a landlord cannot run a credit check without the explicit consent of an applicant. This consent must be given in a written form and is typically requested at application time.

In many cases, there's a statement of consent embedded into the application and the tenant prospect need only to provide a signature on the document.

Rental Application Fee Laws

The fee structure in Hawaii for a rental application is not very complex:

  • There's no mention of the application fee in state statutes, which means there are no restrictions on the cost or even who can charge one.
  • A pet deposit fee is allowed but it must equal a maximum of one month's rent.
  • Security deposits have the same maximum as pet deposit fees.

Eviction Record Search

A part of the background check and screening of a possible tenant will be finding out about past evictions. In Hawaii, landlords will have no issue accessing eviction records as they are a part of the public domain.

There's an on-demand method of request via the state's Judicial Court Directory. Alternatively, third-party software systems may be used to collect the required information. Landlords wishing to access the eviction information of an applicant can do so from the eCourt Kokua page.

Adverse Action Notices

Perhaps there is a potential tenant that a property owner may wish to act "adversely" against. Actions that fall under this category include:

  • Higher rent requirements
  • Applicant rejection
  • Instituting a new co-signer requirement
  • Increasing the security deposit the applicant must pay for the rental property

Typically, this need arises after landlords find out about a concerning consumer report. This may be eviction from a previous property, high credit score, criminal record, etc. This is not an illegal action but it must follow the established process. Landlords are required to serve an adverse action notice in this case, which is a letter outlining the details.

Note that even in a case where the discovery about the potential tenant is not the main reason for the notice, the document must still be served. The notice must contain the relevant details to explain the matter to the tenant hopeful. The applicant has a right to a report copy and has 60 days to file a dispute.

Build Your Own

After the background check element of the rental application process is complete, the credit score aligns, etc., a landlord may decide to accept an application to become a tenant. The Hawaii rental application alone does not serve as a legally binding document for a lease. This is where the lease agreement comes in.

Thankfully, we included it here so you don't have to go searching for it!

Final Remarks

Before a tenant is made official, a proper Hawaii rental application must be drafted to ensure that all the required details are adequately collected. This may mean using a standard variation of the form or designing a custom one.

The latter can be a bit of a difficult task, primarily because it often requires expertise. Thankfully, you can offload that task to DoorLoop, which will handle everything on your behalf.

All you need to do after is give the form to your applicant who will pay the application fee and fill it out!


What Is the Maximum Security Deposit in Hawaii?

The maximum security deposit in Hawaii is equal to a month's rent.

What Common Factors May Lead a Landlord to Deny a Rental Application?

A criminal record, bad credit, or bad eviction record can all lead to rejection.

How Far Back Will an Eviction Check Go?

Typically, an eviction check spans the last 7 years.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!