Looking for clear and concise information on Alaska landlord tenant law? Get all your answers from this plain English guide to the Alaska Landlord Tenant Act.
AK Landlord Tenant Law:
The landlord can ask prospective tenants for application fees to cover the costs of background and credit checks. Alaska landlord tenant law prohibits landlords from overcharging so the fee amount should be reasonable - We recommend charging $25 to $30 per applicant. If the landlord did not run any tenant screening checks, the fees should be refunded.
If a prospective tenant is accepted and moves in, this application fee cannot be used as part of the security deposit.
If a prospective tenant is accepted but chooses NOT to move in, the landlord has to return what's left of the application fee (if any). In this case, the tenant is responsible for the landlord's cost of finding a replacement tenant (which includes lost rent during this period).
Before running background or credit checks on tenant applicants, landlords must first obtain the applicant's written permission. [Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)]
For landlords to run background and credit checks, the tenant application form needs to ask for the applicant's:
The federal Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from rejecting prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, nationality, sex, *familial status or physical/mental disability. *Familial status means landlords cannot reject someone for having one or more children under 18. Familial status also includes pregnant women and people planning to have (or adapt) children under 18.
In addition, Alaska landlord tenant law disallows landlords from rejecting someone as a renter because of his or her marital status (or change in marital status). [AS § 18.80.200]
In the Municipality of Anchorage, it is also illegal for landlords to reject someone as a renter because of his or her age. [A.M.C. § 05.20.020]
A tenancy agreement (also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement) can be written or verbal.
The landlord and tenant can choose between a month to month tenancy or fixed term lease. For a month to month tenancy, the landlord or tenant can change its terms and conditions at the end of every month. For a fixed term lease, the landlord and tenant CANNOT change the lease terms and conditions during its duration... unless there is written consent from both parties.
Alaska landlord tenant law requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:
According to Alaska landlord tenant law, your lease agreement CANNOT:
If the monthly rent of the unit is $2,000 or less, the landlord can ask for up to two month's rent as security deposit. If the monthly rent is more than $2,000, there is no limit for the security deposit amount (as long as the tenant is agreeable). [AS § 34.03.070.(a)]
Alaska landlord tenant law requires the landlord to hold the security deposit in a trust account of a bank, savings loan association or licensed escrow agent. The landlord can combine security deposits from multiple tenants into a single account, but each tenant's security deposit has be individually accounted for. This trust account cannot contain other types of funds. [AS § 34.03.070.(c)]
The tenant gets to keep any interest earned by the trust account (unless he or she agrees to forgo it in the lease agreement).
If the tenant keeps a pet (that is not a *service animal), the landlord can ask for an additional pet deposit. The maximum amount for this pet deposit is one month's rent and it can only be deducted for pet-related damages. [AS § 34.03.070.(h)] *A service animal is an animal (usually a dog) that is trained to assist disabled people.
Alaska landlord tenant law requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.
Valid reasons for security deposit deductions (under Alaska landlord tenant law) include:
The landlord is NOT allowed to take money from the security deposit due to damage from *normal wear and tear. [AS § 34.03.070.(b)] *Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration of the property (and its contents) from normal everyday use.
Once the lease terminates and the tenant returns the property, the landlord must send the tenant a list of security deposit deductions and refund any remaining deposit within 14 days. This list has to individually account for all damages and rent owed in writing. [AS § 34.03.070.(b)]
This deadline is extended to 30 days if there are damages due to the tenant's fault or the tenant abandons the property (or doesn't give proper notice to quit).
If the landlord fails to follow Alaska landlord tenant law for deducting and returning security deposit, the tenant can recover up to two times the amount of security deposit. [AS § 34.03.070.(d)]
Once the property ownership is transferred, the new owner will be responsible for refunding any security deposit or prepaid rent to the tenant (at the end of the tenancy). [AS § 34.03.070.(f)] Therefore the new owner should make sure that the previous owner transfers all security deposits and prepaid rents along with the property.
The previous owner is no longer responsible for the tenancy once ALL three conditions are met:
Anchorage, Alaska AK
Alaska landlord tenant law requires the tenant to pay rent without demand or reminders. As long as the landlord and tenant are agreeable, they can choose the time, place and method of rent payment.
By default, rent is payable once the tenancy begins and shall be paid on the same day of every month. Rent is to be collected at the rental property. [AS § 34.03.020.(c)]
There are no specific Alaska landlord tenant statutes on imposing charges for late rent payments. If the landlord wants to impose late rent charges, it must be specified in the lease agreement.
The government handbook recommends a 'low to reasonable' flat rate or per-day charge for late rent payments. 3 to 5% of the monthly rent is considered reasonable in most states, and the landlord cannot ask for more than 10.5% in Alaska.
According to the Alaska Landlord Tenant Act, the landlord can choose to raise the rent by any amount.
For a month to month tenancy, the landlord has to notify the tenant of a rent increase at least 30 days in advance. The tenant can then choose to pay the higher rent or move out. If the tenant chooses to leave, he or she should give the landlord a 30 day notice to terminate tenancy in writing.
For a fixed term tenancy, the landlord isn't allowed to raise the rent until the tenancy expires.
The Alaska Landlord Tenant Act requires the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition [AS § 34.03.100]:
Alaska landlord tenant law also requires the tenant to keep the property in a clean and safe condition [AS § 34.03.120]:
If the landlord fails in his or her responsibilities, the tenant has two choices [AS § 34.03.160]:
1. The tenant can move out (if it affects the tenant's health and safety)
The tenant must give the landlord a written notice stating the problem and giving the landlord 10 days to fix it, or else the tenant will move out in 20 days. If the problem is fixed within 10 days (of the landlord receiving this notice), the tenancy will continue.
2. The tenant can sue the landlord for damages
If the landlord violates the lease agreement or Alaska landlord tenant law, the tenant can sue the landlord in court for damages or to obtain a court order (that requires the landlord to do, or stop doing something). If total damages are less than $10,000, the tenant may sue the landlord in small claims court.
If the landlord fails to provide an essential service (such as heat, water, electricity, plumbing or sanitation), the tenant has three choices:
1. The tenant can make repairs and deduct the cost from rent
The tenant has to inform the landlord in writing that he or she intends to fix the problem and deduct the expenses from next month's rent. The tenant should keep the receipts for all related costs. [AS § 34.03.180.(a)(1)]
2. The tenant can sue the landlord for damages
If the problems are severe and diminish the property's rental value, the tenant can sue the landlord to recover damages. [AS § 34.03.180.(a)(2)] [AS § 34.03.190]
3. The tenant can move to substitute housing for the time being
The tenant can give the landlord written notice that he or she is moving into substitute housing. The tenant doesn't have to pay rent until the problem is fixed. If the substitute housing costs more, the tenant can ask the landlord to pay for the difference (as long as the costs are reasonable). [AS § 34.03.180.(a)(3)]
According to Alaska landlord tenant law, the landlord is only allowed to enter the property for the following reasons [AS § 34.03.140.(a)]:
In the above situations, the landlord must inform the tenant at least 24 hours in advance before entering the property. The landlord can only enter the property with the tenant's consent and during reasonable hours. [AS § 34.03.140.(c)]
According to Alaska landlord tenant law, the landlord may enter the property without permission in the following situations:
The tenant cannot deny access if the landlord has a valid reason to enter the property. Otherwise the landlord can EITHER
In addition, the landlord may also sue the tenant for one month's rent. If actual damages exceeds one month's rent, the landlord may sue for the full amount. [AS § 34.03.300.(a)]
The landlord must have a valid reason and obtain the tenant's permission (whenever required by Alaska landlord tenant law) to enter the property. If the landlord fails to do so or harasses the tenant, the tenant can EITHER
In addition, the tenant may also sue the landlord for one month's rent PLUS court costs and attorney fees. If actual damages exceeds one month's rent, the tenant may sue for the full amount. [AS § 34.03.300.(b)]
Alaska landlord tenant law disallows subletting unless the landlord agrees to it in writing. [AS § 34.03.060.(a)]
If the lease agreement allows subletting, every prospective subtenant may present the landlord a written offer containing the following details of the SUBTENANT:
*The landlord cannot ask a prospective subtenant for his or her age in the Municipality of Anchorage [AMC § 05.20.020]
The landlord can reject a subletting offer by giving the tenant a written rejection within 14 days. The rejection has to contain one or more of the following valid reasons:
If the landlord doesn't give a written rejection within 14 days, it is assumed that the landlord has consented to the sublease. If the reason for rejection isn't valid, the tenant can EITHER proceed with subletting OR terminate the lease agreement (by giving the landlord a written notice 30 days in advance). [AS § 34.03.060.(e)]
Juneau, Alaska AK
Alaska landlord tenant law requires you to give the other party a written notice to quit before terminating a tenancy.
For a week to week tenancy, you must give this notice at least 14 days before the termination date. [AS § 34.03.290.(a)]
For a month to month tenancy, you have to give this notice at least 30 days in advance. [AS § 34.03.290.(b)]
If you are the tenant, the following are the minimum number of days for giving your landlord a notice to quit:
Landlord raised rent (for month to month tenancy)
Landlord failed to maintain property
Landlord entered property illegally
Landlord rejected subletting without valid reason
Property damage due to fire, disaster or unavoidable accident
If the property is badly damaged by fire, disasters or (unavoidable) accidents, the tenant can immediately move out and stop paying rent. The tenant must inform the landlord that he or she intends to terminate the tenancy, and the tenancy will be terminated once the tenant moves out. [AS § 34.03.200.(a)(1)]
After the tenant moves out, the landlord must return the security deposit (after any deductions) to the tenant. The tenant won't have to pay rent starting from the date of the fire or natural disaster, so the landlord must also return any prepaid rent to the tenant.
If only part of the property is damaged, the tenant should move out of the damaged area. The rent amount will be lowered based on how much of the property is still livable. [AS § 34.03.200.(a)(2)]
If you are the tenant, your notice must contain the following:
If you're the landlord, your notice must ALSO contain the following [AS § 09.45.105]:
According to Alaska landlord tenant law, the following are valid reasons for evicting tenants and the minimum number of days for giving them a notice to quit:
Tenant did not pay rent
Tenant or related person deliberately caused property damage
Tenant violated tenancy agreement or didn't perform duties
Tenant or related person was involved in illegal activities on property
Tenant did not pay utility bills
If the tenant did not pay rent on time, the landlord can send the tenant a seven day written notice to terminate the tenancy. This notice must state the amount of rent owed and inform the tenant that he or she can choose to pay or move out. [AS § 09.45.105]
If the rent is paid within seven days, the tenant may stay. If the tenant tries to pay rent after seven days, the landlord may refuse the rent and continue with eviction. [AS § 34.03.220.(b)]
If the tenant (or tenant's occupant or tenant's guest) deliberately caused more than $400 of damage to the property, the landlord can send the tenant 24 hour written notice to terminate the tenancy. [AS § 34.03.220.(a)(1)]
Even if the tenant offers to repair the damage, the landlord may still go ahead with the eviction. In any case, the tenant will still be responsible for the repair costs.
If the tenant violates the tenancy agreement in a *significant manner, the landlord can send the tenant a ten day written notice to terminate the tenancy. Similarly if the tenant fails to perform his or her duties (as required by Alaska landlord tenant law) in a *significant manner, the landlord can also send the tenant a ten day written notice to terminate the tenancy. *Significant manner refers to situations that affects human health and safety.
This written notice has to state what is the tenant's violation or failure in duty. If the tenant corrects the problem within 10 days, the tenant may stay. [AS § 34.03.220.(a)(2)]
However if the tenant violates the tenancy agreement (or fails in his or her duty) in a similar manner within six months, the landlord can evict the tenant by sending him or her a written five day notice. In this case, the tenant must move out.
If the tenant (or tenant's occupant or tenant's guest) engaged in illegal activity on the property, the landlord can evict the tenant by sending the tenant a written five day notice. Examples of illegal activities include prostitution, gambling, illegal drug production or sale. [AS § 34.03.220.(a)(1)] [AS § 09.45.090.(a)(2)(G)]
If a public utility cuts off electricity, water or gas to the property because the tenant did not pay utility bills, the landlord can send the tenant a five day written notice to terminate the tenancy. [AS § 34.03.220.(e)]
Also known as "Notice of Termination of Tenancy" or "Notice to Quit", Alaska landlord tenant law requires all eviction notices to contain the following [AS § 09.45.105]:
If Alaska landlord tenant law allows the tenant to avoid eviction by correcting the problem(s), the eviction notice must also contain:
The landlord can serve an eviction notice to the tenant in three ways:
According to Alaska landlord tenant law, the landlord CANNOT force the tenant to move out by shutting off utilities (electricity, water, gas, sanitation), changing the locks, taking the tenant's belongings or taking possession of the property by force without a court hearing. [AS § 34.03.040.(a)(1)]
If the landlord forces the tenant to move out with (the unlawful methods above) or shuts off utilities, the tenant can EITHER
In addition, the tenant may also sue the landlord for 1.5 times the amount of actual damages. [AS § 34.03.210]
According to the Alaska Landlord Tenant Act, the tenant has abandoned the property when ALL three conditions are met:
Once the property is abandoned, the landlord may enter it, clean it, and re-rent it.
As long as the landlord makes a proper effort to re-rent the property at a fair rate, the abandoning tenant will be responsible for paying rent until the tenancy ends. If a new tenant is moving in before the tenancy ends, then the abandoning tenant can stop paying rent once the new tenant moves in. [AS § 34.03.230.(c)]
If the tenant abandoned the property and left his or her personal belongings behind, the landlord must inform the tenant where the belongings are stored AND give the tenant at least 15 days to remove them. [AS § 34.03.260]
The landlord must also state what he or she intends to do with the belongings if it is not removed. The landlord can choose to destroy, dispose or sell the belongings (in a public sale).
While the landlord has to make a reasonable effort to store the abandoned belongings, the landlord isn't responsible for any damage or losses... unless it's due to the landlord's abuse or neglect. If the abandoned belongings are moved to a commercial storage company, the tenant will be responsible for the moving and storage costs.
If the landlord chooses to sell the abandoned belongings, he or she has to hold a public sale. The landlord should post a written public sale notice in *three places at least 10 days before the sale. *The three places has to be within five miles of the public sale location, and one of them must be at the nearest post office. [AS § 34.03.260(e)] [AS § 09.35.140]
The landlord may use revenue from the public sale to pay for the following:
Any leftover revenue should be paid to the tenant. If the tenant cannot be contacted, the landlord may be required to pay the leftover revenue to the Department of Revenue under the unclaimed property law. [AS § 34.45]
If the landlord deliberately violates or neglects Alaska landlord tenant laws on abandonment, the tenant may sue the landlord for up to two times the amount of actual damages [AS § 34.03.260.(d)]
There are specific rules in Alaska landlord tenant law for mobile home owners renting parking space from mobile home park operators.
The rental agreement between the mobile home owner and mobile home park operator CANNOT
Before entering into a rental agreement, the park operator must inform the mobile home owner of all required capital improvements (to be made by the mobile home owner) in writing. Examples of such improvements are skirting, utility hook-ups and tie downs. [AS § 34.03.080.(d)]
The park operator can ONLY evict a mobile home owner for the following reasons: [AS § 34.03.225.(a)]
In the case of mobile homes, the time period for giving notice to quit is the same as all other types of residential properties - See Eviction and Termination of Tenancy above. The only exception is eviction due to change in land use - Notice must be given at least 270 days in advance and may extend to one year (depending on municipal laws and the new purpose of the land).
Alaska Landlord Tenant Law: Alaska Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
Alaska Landlord Tenant Handbook: The Alaska Landlord and Tenant Act: What It Means to You