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STAE (Steps to Avoid Eviction)

The Hawaii State Judiciary is a participant in a grassroots effort called STAE (Steps to Avoid Eviction). STAE’s mission is to find ways to ensure that landlords get paid the rent they are owed and tenants are not evicted, by encouraging tenants and landlords to use available resources in a more timely and effective manner.

STAE includes representatives from the State Department of Human Services, Homeless Programs Office; City & County of Honolulu, Department of Community Services; University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law, Students for Public Outreach and Civics Education; Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Hawaii; Legal Aid Society of Hawaii; Helping Hands Hawaii; Catholic Charities Hawaii; Mediation Center of the Pacific; and private attorneys.  The group put together an informational flyer for Oahu residents, which will be distributed with the help of the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

The grassroots effort has also expanded to Maui.  Together, with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, Maui Office, and the Maui County Bar Association, the following informational flyers for Maui County residents will be made available to aide the residents of Maui County.

Kauai has also developed an informational brochure with community partners, the Kauai Police Department, County of Kauai Housing Agency, Kauai Economic Development Inc., Legal Aid Society of Hawaii (Kauai), Mental Health Kokua, Catholic Charities of Hawaii (Kauai), Women in Need (Kauai), Family Life Center Kauai, private attorneys and the Salvation Army.  Various programs provided by the agencies are detailed with contact information, including houseless and emergency housing options depending on the needs of the participants.  The brochure can be found here.

The information provided on this page is not intended to take the place of legal counsel.  It is not intended to be a complete statement of law nor is it intended to fully describe or evaluate your options.


1) ALWAYS pay your rent. The best way to stay in your rental is to pay your rent on time.

2) Understand your rental agreement. KNOW:

  • The amount of rent 
  • When it is due
  • The penalty for not paying your rent on time
  • The address where you should send/deliver your rent payments or the person allowed to collect your rent
  • Any/all additional costs (for example: electricity and water)
  • Any/all damage or repair policies Any/all house rules (for example: policies for visitors, quiet hours

3) Keep records and receipts for all rental payments, damages, repairs, complaints, and visitors that you invite to your home.


Step 1: Quickly recognize and admit to yourself that you are facing financial difficulties.

Step 2: Talk to your landlord to set up a payment plan and/or apply to an assistance program.




Emergency financial rental assistance programs provide individuals/families with money to pay rent and/or utilities. These programs can help you stay in your rental if you lose your job and can no longer afford to pay rent. Many programs require you to show that you can/will pay your rent in future months.


Mediators are trained professional who assist in resolving landlord-tenant disputes. Mediators will talk with you and your landlord about the problem and help you reach an agreement that is fair for both sides.
If you don’t feel comfortable negotiating with your landlord or you cannot reach an agreement with your landlord, getting help from a mediator can be a fast, inexpensive approach to finding a solution.


A financial counseling agency can help you become a better money manager by getting you back on track with your budget – and your bills – or help you cope with unexpected setbacks, such as unemployment, divorce or medical emergencies. Financial counselors will explain your rights and responsibilities, and can guide you through creating a budget that works in real life. This includes a plan to help you deal with your debt, start saving for emergencies, and improve your credit for the future.


Legal counseling agencies provide legal advice to help you understand your rights as a tenant. Legal counseling can help you understand the rules in your rental agreement, what is expected of you, how to prevent problems, and/or what to do when problems occur.


Income assistance refers to those programs offering monthly benefits, or employment assistance, such as skills training, education, or help finding a job. If you’re worried that you’re not making enough money, or you want to make more money by getting another job, income assistance programs can help you achieve financial stability.


Other assistance refers to programs that help individuals/families with basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, or health care. These assistance programs can help you reduce your costs of living, so that you can afford to pay rent each month while also providing for yourself/your family.


Lawhelp: Eviction Information 

Legal Aid Society of Hawaii 

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Landlord/Tenant Information

Aloha United Way, call 2-1-1 

Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Hawaii

The Mediation Center of the Pacific

Resources available to Maui County Residents


*The Hawaii State Judiciary provides links to these third party websites as a convenience. These third party websites are not controlled or monitored by the Hawaii State Judiciary. The Hawaii State Judiciary does not guarantee or assume any liability for the accuracy, relevance, currency or completeness of the information presented on these linked sites. Nor is any information on the linked site intended to be legal advice from the Hawaii State Judiciary. You may also be subject to the terms of use and privacy policy of the third party site.