How does Kentucky landlord tenant law protect you? Learn what are your rights and responsibilities under the Kentucky Landlord Tenant Act.
KY Landlord Tenant Law:
If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.
Landlords do not need the tenant or applicant's consent to run background and credit checks. Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)
The Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from discriminating against prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, sex, *familial status, national origin or physical/mental handicap. 42 U.S.C. § 3604
*Familial status - pregnant women and families with person(s) under 18.
In Covington, Lexington and Louisville, it is also illegal for landlords to reject someone as a renter because of his or her sexual orientation.
Landlords must follow the above Fair Housing laws UNLESS the dwelling has two or less rental units and is occupied by the landlord or landlord's family member. KRS 344.365(1)
(also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement)
Whether you're a landlord or tenant, it's important to have a written lease agreement with terms and conditions that favors you and follows your state laws.
To save time and avoid mistakes, you can customize your own lease agreement at LawDepot. This site will ask you a set of questions related to your tenancy and create a state-specific agreement based on your answers.
In the absence of a rental agreement, the tenancy shall be month to
month by default. If the tenant pays rent every week, then the tenancy
shall be week to week. KRS 383.565(3)
Kentucky landlord tenant law requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:
Kentucky landlord tenant law also recommends including a clause that requires the tenant to inform the landlord whenever he or she will be away from the property for seven or more days. KRS 383.620
According to Kentucky landlord tenant law KRS 383.570(1), your lease agreement CANNOT:
Kentucky landlord tenant law does not limit the maximum amount of
security deposit that the landlord can ask (as long as the tenant is
Kentucky landlord tenant law requires the landlord to hold the security deposit in a trust account of a bank or lending institution (regulated by the Commonwealth of Kentucky or United States government). The tenant shall be informed of the account location and account number. KRS 383.580(1)
Before paying the deposit, the tenant has to be given an initial list of the existing damage(s) to the property. This list has to be signed by both the landlord and tenant. Before signing the list, the tenant can inspect the property to make sure that it is accurate. KRS 383.580(2)
There are no Kentucky landlord tenant statutes on security deposit interest, pet deposits or non-refundable fees. KRS 383.580
Kentucky landlord tenant law requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.
Once the lease terminates, the landlord shall inspect the property and send the tenant a final list of property damages (and security deposit deductions). The tenant can inspect the property to make sure that the list is accurate. If the tenant wants to dispute this list of damages, he or she can bring an action in District Court. KRS 383.580(3)
If the tenant leaves without paying last's month rent and doesn't demand the return of his deposit, then the landlord can keep the deposit to pay any debts owed by the tenant. KRS 383.580(6)
If the tenant leaves after paying rent, the landlord has to inform
the tenant (at his or her last known address) how much of the deposit will be refunded. If the tenant doesn't respond within 60 days, the landlord may keep the full deposit amount. KRS 383.580(7)
If the landlord fails to hold the deposit in a proper method OR fails to give the tenant an initial and final list of damages, the landlord shall not be allowed to keep any security deposit. KRS 383.580(4)
Louisville, Kentucky KY
The tenant has to pay the 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 and shall be pro-rated daily. KRS 383.565(2)
There are no Kentucky landlord tenant statutes on imposing charges for late rent payments.
There are no specific Kentucky landlord tenant statutes on raising rent.
The Kentucky Landlord Tenant Act KRS 383.595 requires the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition:
Kentucky landlord tenant law KRS 383.605 also requires the tenant to keep the property in a clean and safe condition:
If the landlord fails in his or her responsibilities, the tenant can make repairs and deduct the cost from rent if BOTH conditions are met:
tenant has to inform the landlord that he or she intends
to fix the problem at the landlord's expense. If the landlord fails to
make repairs within 14 days (or as soon as possible in an emergency)... the tenant can pay for the repairs, send the landlord an item-by-item list of work done and deduct the
costs from the rent. KRS 383.635(1)
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 obtain essential service(s) and deduct the cost from rent
The tenant has to inform the landlord in writing that he or she intends to obtain essential service(s) and deduct the expenses from next month's rent. The tenant should keep the receipts for all related costs.
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.
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. In addition, the tenant may recover (reasonable) attorney fees from the landlord. KRS 383.640
According to Kentucky landlord tenant law KRS 383.615(1), the landlord is only allowed to enter the property for the following reasons:
In the above situations, the landlord must inform the tenant at least 48 hours in advance before entering the property. The landlord can only enter the property with the tenant's consent and during reasonable hours. KRS 383.615(3)
According to Kentucky 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 can also sue the tenant to recover actual damages plus attorney fees. KRS 383.700(1)
The landlord must have a valid reason and obtain the tenant's permission (whenever required by Kentucky 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 can also sue the landlord to recover actual damages plus attorney fees. KRS 383.700(2)
There are no specific Kentucky landlord tenant laws on subletting.
Lexington, Kentucky KY
Kentucky 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 7 days before the termination date. KRS 383.695(1)
For a month to month tenancy, you have to give this notice at least 30 days in advance. KRS 383.695(2)
If you are the tenant, the following are the minimum number of days for giving your landlord a notice to quit:
Tenant or dependent is a victim of domestic abuse
Property damage due to fire, disaster or unavoidable accident
If the tenant or tenant's dependent is a victim of family violence or
sexual assault, the tenant can terminate the tenancy (without penalty)
by giving the landlord a written 14 day notice to quit. KRS 383.300, KRS 383.302
This notice must include a statement (under oath or affirmation) that the tenant or tenant's dependent is a victim of family violence PLUS a police, court or government record describing an act of family violence against the tenant or tenant's dependent.
If the property is badly damaged by fire or natural disaster (such as earthquake or flood), 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 within 14 days, and the tenancy will be terminated once the tenant moves out. KRS 383.650
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.
According to Kentucky 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 violated tenancy agreement or didn't perform duties
Tenant didn't provide labor in exchange for lodging
Whether you are a landlord evicting someone or a tenant facing eviction, it's important that you handle matters correctly according to your state laws.
If you have any questions or doubts on eviction, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.
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. KRS 383.660(2)
If the rent is paid within seven days, the tenant may continue staying on the property.
If the tenant violates the tenancy agreement in a *significant manner, the landlord can send the tenant a 15 day written notice to terminate the tenancy. *Significant manner refers to situations that affects human health and safety. KRS 383.660(1)
Similarly if the tenant fails to perform his or her duties (as required by Kentucky landlord tenant law) in a significant manner, the landlord can also send the tenant a 15 day written notice to terminate the tenancy.
This written notice has to state what is the tenant's violation or failure in duty. If the tenant corrects the problem within 15 days, the tenant may stay.
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 15 day notice. In this case, the tenant must move out.
If the tenant continues staying on the property after the tenancy expired or is terminated, the landlord can file a lawsuit to regain possession of the property.
If the tenant deliberately overstayed with bad intention, the landlord can recover three month's rent OR three times actual damages (whichever is higher) PLUS attorney fees. KRS 383.695(4)
If the tenant is under contract to labor for the landlord in exchange for lodging AND fails to do so, the tenant must move out immediately (without demand or notice from the landlord). KRS 383.130
According to Kentucky 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. KRS 383.690, KRS 383.655
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 three month's rent plus attorney's fees.
There are no specific Kentucky landlord tenant laws on abandonment of property by the tenant.
Kentucky Landlord Tenant Law: Kentucky Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.