In Hawaii, security deposits are considered to be the legal property of the tenant. Generally, they are held by a landlord or property management company as a form of collateral to help make sure the tenant does not violate the terms of the lease agreement. The owner can only make deductions from the deposit after the tenant has vacated the rental property.
In general, the security deposit can only be applied towards unpaid or late rent, property damage, past due balances, and any other damages the owner may incur if the tenant breached a term of the rental agreement. The tenant’s security deposit may not be used towards items that are considered normal wear and tear, which is any wear that a leased property would accumulate over the length of the lease resulting from normal use of the rental property.