New law aimed at making it easier for pet-owners to find rentals

New law aimed at making it easier for pet-owners to find rentals
Published: Nov. 1, 2013 at 12:40 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new law taking effect Friday should make it easier for pet-owners to find a place to rent, supporters say.

The law, passed in the last regular legislative session, would allow a landlord to charge a security deposit for a pet.

The Hawaiian Humane Society said that currently, there aren't enough rental units that are pet-friendly in Hawaii.

The previous law only allowed landlords to charge a security deposit to clean a rental unit when a tenant moves out, or to failing to pay rent that is due. The new law states that a deposit can be required to "compensate for damages ... caused by any pet animal allowed to reside in the premises pursuant to the rental agreement."

"The cleaning deposit is for the normal wear and tear on carpet or plumbing or whatever the problem might be, but this is for special damage that can be caused by a pet," said Mary Steiner, policy advocate for the Hawaiian Humane Society. "Most people are responsible pet owners and they don't have their pets causing damage to the rentals. But if it makes the landlords feel better, we're happy that we can move this forward."

The law will allow a landlord and prospective tenant to negotiate a pet deposit up to an amount equal to one month's rent.

Steiner said the measure has the support of property owners. She also noted that according to the latest statistics, 60 percent of island households now have a pet of some kind.

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