Free Landlord Tenant Mediation Program

free help in East Hawai'i - For Landlords & Tenants

The FREE East Hawai'i Landlord Tenant Mediation Program can help you negotiate:

  • payment plans for back rent,
  • plans for rent going forward,
  • new lease terms to prevent eviction,
  • move out options,
  • repairs and damages,
  • security deposits, and/or
  • other agreements that support the needs of both landlords and tenants.

Mediation is safe, private, and you make your own decisions.

Mediators are impartial and help you negotiate.

It is FREE to participate.

Although Act 57 ended on August 6, 2022, we continue to offer free Zoom mediations for landlords and tenants.

This East Hawai'i program runs August 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024. Mediations are no cost and have a quick turnaround time (usually 2-3 weeks), so that issues can be discussed when they are the most helpful for the parties. Referrals can be from any source, including self, attorney, or court.

(Landlords are no longer required to send a 15-day eviction notice for non-payment of rent since Act 57 ended.  Other notices are still in effect as outlined in the Residential Landlord-Tenant Code of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.)

Landlords

If you need services, please contact us at (808) 935-7844 ext. 8 or landlordtenant@hawaiimediation.org

  • We need to know in advance who will participate in mediation.
  • Landlords, property managers, and/or landlord attorneys may be included.

TENANTS

If you need services, please contact us at (808) 935-7844 ext. 8 or landlordtenant@hawaiimediation.org

  • We need to know in advance who will participate in mediation.
  • Tenants, case managers, and/or tenant attorneys may be included.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is mediation?

Mediation is an informal, confidential process in which an impartial third party — the mediator — helps people:

1) Talk through their differences,
2) Explore and negotiate options, and
3) Craft agreements that are fair, realistic, and durable.

Mediation is voluntary and requires flexibility. The mediator ensures a safe and respectful process for everyone involved.

Where will mediations be held?
  • Mediations will be held remotely via Zoom (except for limited in-person cases).  You can Zoom from your laptop, tablet, or smart phone.
  • If you are not able to Zoom from your location, you may come to our office to use our equipment (by prior arrangement only).
  • Once your mediation is scheduled, we will email you a confirmation of the date, time, and Zoom link.
How does scheduling work?
  • All mediations are by appointment only.
  • We are open Monday to Friday, except holidays.  Some evening and Saturday mediation times may also be available.
  • Once your mediation is scheduled, we will email you a confirmation of the date, time, and Zoom link.
How long will the mediation session last?
  • Plan for up to 3 hours for your mediation session.
How is mediation confidential?
  • Before mediation, you will sign a Mediation & Confidentiality Agreement (sent to you via email for digital signature). 
  • The confidentiality agreement states that the mediation discussions are confidential and cannot be shared in future legal proceedings. 
  • Only those who have signed the confidentiality agreement are allowed to be in the room with you while you mediate.
  • The mediator and the Ku‘ikahi staff respect your privacy.
  • The personal information you share on your intake form is completely confidential and will not be released to any outside agencies or other parties. Demographic data is used for statistical purposes only.
  • Whatever you say, either in joint session or private session, will not be repeated outside the mediation. You may request that the mediator keep certain things confidential that you share in private sessions.
  • Confidentiality also means that you will not subpoena the mediator or the Ku‘ikahi staff to participate in future legal proceedings or to testify in court.
Can I bring someone with me to mediation?
  • We need to know in advance who will participate in mediation.
  • Only those who were pre-approved by the mediation center may participate.
  • If you have special needs or will be bringing an attorney, case worker, or interpreter, please let our office know as soon as possible.
Do I need an attorney?
  • Most of our clients successfully participate in mediation without an attorney.
  • If you have an attorney, you may include them in the mediation but it is not required.
  • You can contact your attorney by phone at any time during the mediation.
  • You can also show a draft of any agreement to your attorney before signing.
  • If you don’t have an attorney, but need some free legal help, visit our Resources/Links page
What happens if the other person doesn't want to participate?
  • Mediation is a voluntary process, so all parties need to be willing to mediate.
  • We do our best to reach out to everyone to explain the mediation process and invite them to participate. If they decline, that is their choice.
What happens if I am off island? What if the other person is off island?
  • We offer mediation sessions remotely by videoconference (Zoom) or teleconference (phone).
  • Mediations are scheduled for Hawaii Standard Time (HST).  Please adjust for time zone differences if you are out of state.
How do I prepare for mediation?
  • Be on time (click the Zoom link at least 5-10 minutes early).
  • Keep an open mind and be willing to seek a solution.
  • Behave respectfully towards all.
  • Participate honestly and with good faith.
  • Tell your story for others to hear.
  • Listen to others’ stories, without interrupting.
  • Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.
  • Consider realistic resolutions that work for everyone.
  • Be open to a negotiated agreement, with compromise.
  • Commit to the process with patience and cooperation.
Is there a cost?
  • The FREE Landlord Tenant Mediation Program is offered at no cost to both owners and renters.
What happens after mediation?
  • After mediation, we will email you a copy of your written agreement, if there is one.
  • If your case is in court, we may only share information about whether a mediation occurred or not; whether an agreement was reached or not; and who attended the mediation.
  • If all participants agree, we may with written permission share a copy of the mediation agreement to the referring court.
What happens if I am going to court?
  • Make sure to attend all court dates, even if you have a mediation scheduled.
  • Bring a copy of your written mediation agreement, if there is one.
  • Let the judge know if you have a mediation scheduled.
  • If the judge refers you to mediation, contact us right away so we can get your mediation scheduled before your next court date.
Can I ask for mediation for my Landlord Tenant court case?
  • Yes, you can ask the judge for mediation when your case is called.  The judge will consider your request to mediate.
What are the benefits of mediation?
  • You can control the outcome of your situation (versus giving a judge control by litigating in court).
  • You can discuss the issues privately in a confidential, informal setting (versus having your dispute heard in a public courtroom where everything that is said is recorded).
  • You can spend a few hours in free mediation (versus spending lots of time and money litigating in court).
  • You can come up with creative solutions (versus being limited strictly by legal decisions).
  • It’s your choice!

TESTIMONIALS

“I was quite nervous about mediation and I have never experienced an eviction mediation before. [The mediator] was completely professional, polite, and understanding to my situation. I have all the respect and so thankful for how she handled everything. I can't thank her enough for her help and thank you for allowing me the chance for this mediation.”

Mediation Client

“It’s definitely an art trying to work things out, rather than opposing parties getting worked up and upset.  A good mix of feelings, emotions, logic, and financial acumen all mixed into a palatable dish that’s acceptable by both sides of the table.“

Mediation Client

“The Mediator kept a cool head, and focused on clarifying misunderstandings, helping to see from the opposing parties’ view point… a bit of compromising and horse trading from each side, give and take of contrarian view points, and finally kindly and empathetically resolving each of the issues, and at last massaging out the final and minor issues.”

Mediation Client