Big Island emergency rental protections in place

Big Island emergency rental protections in place

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The state is warning Hawaii Island landlords they can't cancel month-to-month rental agreements to rent units at higher rates to those who are fleeing the path of oncoming lava.

The Office of Consumer Protection says officials received reports those cancelations have been happening as people in the Puna district have left their homes in search of alternate housing elsewhere on the island that's not in the lava's path.

The office says landlords are not allowed to terminate an existing rental agreement while there's an emergency proclamation in effect. The ban applies unless the tenant commits a material breach of the rental agreement or lease or if the unit is unfit for occupancy.

The emergency proclamation was issued on Sept. 5 and was extended to Dec. 1.

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