Homeowners associations (HOAs) in Hawaii are governed by state law, and as the manager, board member, or executive of such an entity, having a comprehensive understanding of these statutes is non-negotiable.

Understanding the legal framework not only ensures compliance but also helps to guide your decisions and maintains fairness and transparency throughout the organization.

This article will shed some light on the laws in place that govern planned community associations. Let's get started with a simple definition of the term "homeowner associations."

Understanding Homeowners Associations in Hawaii

A Hawaii HOA, community association, or common interest community is a group of people who have been elected to manage a neighborhood or planned development.

It implements its own rules, maintains shared spaces, and fosters a sense of uniformity. Alternative dispute resolution, a conflict resolution method, is typically used by these associations to resolve issues outside of court, promoting amicable solutions among residents.

Association Documents

Community associations have the right to impose reasonable restrictions and rules, and these regulations and bylaws will be recorded in their HOA documents. An association's governing documents will generally include the following:

  • Bylaws
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R)

HOA Rights and Responsibilities

Homeowners associations have the right to access and maintain shared spaces, such as clubhouses, swimming pools, and roadways. They may also collect fees to fund the maintenance of these areas and may impose fines as necessary for the non-payment of dues and violations.

These organizations also have certain responsibilities. They must follow state laws and ensure that opportunities for reasonable accommodations are available to all. HOAs are also required to prepare financial records and ensure that these records are available to its members.

State Laws Governing Planned Community Associations

Now, let's look at some of the Hawaii HOA laws that regulate these private associations.

Hawaii Planned Community Associations

This law was implemented on the 16th of June 1997 and is intended to regulate the establishment, administration, duties, and functioning of all homeowner associations in the state. 

Hawaii Condominium Property Act

The Hawaii Condominium Property Act governs the creation, oversight, powers, functioning, shared expenditures, voting privileges, management, and purchaser protection of all condominium associations in the state of Hawaii.

Hawaii Discrimination in Real Property Transactions

This law offers state protections comparable to the federal Fair Housing Act. 

It is designed to protect residents' right to equal access to housing, regardless of their sexual orientation, disability, race, color, gender, religion, ancestry, marital status, age, familial status, or the presence of a human immunodeficiency virus infection.

Hawaii Nonprofit Corporations Act

The Hawaii Nonprofit Corporations Act regulates the functioning and corporate makeup of nonprofit corporations.

It governs HOAs that are organized as nonprofit corporations, as are the majority of Hawaii associations. To determine whether a community association is a nonprofit, you can go to the Hawaii Business Registration Division.


Homeowners associations in Hawaii are allowed to impose fines if the fees for common expenses are not paid on time. Fines may also be issued if a homeowner violates the association's rules.

Details pertaining to the amount, type, and notice requirements for such fines will be included in the community documents.

It's important to remember that a unit owners association may not impose a fine for displaying the national flag. HOAs are also not allowed to prohibit the installation of solar energy devices and clotheslines.

However, the organization may include guidelines on how these items can be placed in its governing documents.

About DoorLoop's HOA Management Software

Have you been looking for a way to effectively manage your HOA in a way that satisfies the standards set out by state law? In that case, you can turn to DoorLoop.

We have user-friendly property management software that includes powerful features to help streamline your workflow and improve your overall efficiency.

Whether you're looking for accounting tools or a way to better communicate with residents, our HOA software has it all. We also offer world-class support, so you can rest assured that you'll be able to make full use of every tool and feature.

To learn more or schedule your free demo, please contact our team today!

Final Thoughts

If you would like to know more about the laws in place in your area, please seek legal counsel. When you are ready to ensure that your homeowners association meets the standards set out by federal, state, and local laws, contact us to learn more about DoorLoop!


Why is it important to understand homeowners association laws?

Having a comprehensive understanding of homeowners association laws is important for navigating the intricacies of community living.

When you comply with the relevant legislation, you can ensure that there is harmony, while ignorance could result in disputes and legal issues. Furthermore, having knowledge of the applicable regulations can help to prevent violations, reducing the risk of the association incurring legal fees.

It also guides decisions and ensures that the HOA is beneficial for all community members.

Can an HOA withhold governing documents?

All HOA records, which include governing documents and financial records, must be made available to residents. If the HOA withholds this information, it must state the legal basis for this action.

Is HOA membership mandatory in Hawaii?

Yes. Hawaii's HOA laws make membership mandatory. This means that if an individual moves to a community that is managed by a property owners association, they will be obligated to become a member.

Can board members make changes to governing documents?

The board of directors can make amendments to the association's governing documents. However, amendments must be approved by the community, with two-thirds of members voting in favor of the modification.

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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!