‘Outrageous’: Hawaii man files suit over alleged wrongful eviction during pandemic
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Honolulu man is alleging that he and his 2-year-old daughter were wrongfully evicted from their North Shore apartment in November 2020.
Ali London was removed from the one-bedroom vacation rental at the Turtle Bay resort during the eviction moratorium. said lawyer Andrew Daisuke Stewart.
Stewart added the moratorium also protected tenants living in vacation rentals.
“Just completely outrageous — especially given the pandemic and the lockdown that was in place — and pretty much heartless you know, a couple of days before Thanksgiving,” said Stewart.
“They’re left on the streets, basically. They don’t have a residence, they had to get everything out within a couple of hours.”
The owner — who lives on the mainland — declined comment, referring all questions to an attorney who could not be reached.
The owner’s lawyer previously said that neither London nor his daughter were the victims of wrongdoing.
The suit said London was current on his $1,300 monthly rent, which he paid between August and November 2020.
But because Gov. David Ige allowed short term rentals to resume operations in November 2020, the apartment could fetch a much higher price.
As a vacation rental, the apartment now rents for an average of $295 a night.
But the problem is, the eviction moratorium didn’t exempt vacation rentals, legal experts said.
“There’s sort of a misconception that the landlord tenant code code does not apply to vacation rentals. And there’s nothing in the landlord tenant code that gives an exception for vacation rentals,” said Dan O’Meara, managing attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii’s Housing and Consumer unit.
“So this vacation rental was not much different than the month-to-month lease.”
O’Meara said violating the eviction moratorium could trigger additional damages and attorney fees for London.
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