Alaska Rent Control Laws in 2024

Alaska does not currently have any statewide rent control laws that limit how much a landlord can raise rents. The state legislature has not passed any laws that would implement rent control across Alaska.

However, cities and boroughs in Alaska are allowed to enact their own local ordinances to control rent increases if they choose. Alaska law grants local municipalities the authority to regulate landlord-tenant relations and implement rent control measures at the local level. 

At this time, no cities or boroughs in Alaska have their own rent control laws in effect. Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, and other local municipalities do not limit how much landlords can raise rent from year to year or between tenants. No caps or limits are in place.

So in summary, Alaska has no statewide rent control laws restricting rent increases. But local cities and boroughs can pass their own ordinances if they decide rent control is needed in their communities. As of now, no Alaska cities or boroughs use any form of rent control.

Rent Increase Notice Requirements

Landlords in Alaska must provide tenants with 30 days' written notice before increasing rent. Alaska statute AS 34.03.020 states that "The landlord may increase the rent required under a periodic tenancy by giving the tenant written notice of the increase at least 30 days before the rental due date specified in the notice." 

Unlike some states, Alaska does not impose any limits on how much a landlord can raise the rent. The amount of the rent increase is at the sole discretion of the landlord. The only requirement is providing 30 days notice in writing before the effective date of the increase.

Therefore, Alaska landlords have significant flexibility when it comes to raising rents on tenants. They are free to raise rents by any amount as long as proper notice is given. Tenants should keep this in mind and budget accordingly if renting in Alaska.

Rent Increases During Lease Term

In Alaska, a landlord generally cannot raise the rent during the term of an existing lease agreement, unless the ability to raise the rent is specifically stated in the lease. For example, the lease may specify that the landlord can raise the rent by a certain percentage each year.

If the lease does not contain any provisions allowing the landlord to raise the rent before the end of the term, the rent amount is locked in for the duration of the lease. The landlord must wait until the lease expires before raising the rent for the next term. Tenants should review their lease carefully to see if the landlord has reserved the right to raise the rent during the lease term.

If a landlord attempts to raise the rent during the term of the lease, without proper provisions in the lease allowing them to do so, the tenant should respond in writing that they do not agree to the increase according to the terms of the existing lease. The rent amount would remain unchanged for the rest of the lease term.

Frequency of Rent Increases

Alaska does not place any limit on how frequently a landlord can raise the rent. Landlords have the right to increase rent as often as they choose, as long as proper notice is given. This means theoretically, a landlord could raise the rent every month if they wanted to. 

While some landlords will raise rent only once a year at lease renewal time, others may choose to raise it more frequently, especially in tight housing markets. Some landlords will raise the rent a small amount every few months rather than one large increase all at once.

It is important for tenants to understand that their rent could go up frequently in Alaska. Budgeting for potential frequent rent increases is wise. Tenants should carefully review their lease agreements and stay in close communication with their landlord to understand when to expect rent increases.

While frequent rent increases are allowed, landlords should be cautious not to price gouge or raise rents to unfair levels. Dramatic rent hikes could result in good tenants moving out. Landlords need to balance maximizing profits with keeping quality, long-term tenants.

Landlord Responsibilities

In Alaska, landlords have a duty to maintain rental properties in a habitable condition and make necessary repairs. Key responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining Habitability Landlords must ensure rental units are fit for human occupancy and comply with applicable housing and building codes. Units must have proper weather protection, plumbing, heat, and electricity.  
  • Providing Essential Utilities Landlords are required to supply essential utilities and services like running water, heat, power, and waste disposal. Utilities cannot be shut off unless for a reasonable amount of time to make repairs or alterations.
  • Making Necessary Repairs Landlords must make repairs to keep the property in a livable condition. This includes repairs to essential services like heat, plumbing, or appliances. Alaska law requires landlords to respond promptly to repair requests.  
  • Common Areas Landlords must keep common areas in a clean and safe condition. This includes hallways, stairways, lobbies, laundry rooms, etc.
  • Home Inspections If requested by a tenant, landlords must conduct an initial inspection of the unit and provide a written report of the condition within 10 days. This helps document any pre-existing damages.

Landlords who fail to fulfill these responsibilities may be liable for any resulting damages. Tenants should notify landlords promptly and in writing regarding any repair issues.

Tenant Responsibilities

In Alaska, tenants have certain responsibilities they must uphold according to state landlord-tenant laws:

  • Pay rent on time Tenants are required to pay rent in full and on or before the date it is due according to the lease agreement. If rent is late, the landlord may charge late fees or begin eviction proceedings.  
  • Avoid damaging the property Tenants must avoid damaging the rental unit in any way. This means refraining from making alterations without the landlord's permission, avoiding deliberate damage, and reporting maintenance issues promptly to prevent normal wear and tear from becoming severe.
  • Properly dispose of trash and waste Tenants are responsible for appropriately discarding all household trash and waste. Trash should be stored in bins and regularly disposed of in external receptacles.
  • Allow landlord access for repairs and maintenance Tenants must allow their landlord reasonable access to the unit in order to make repairs or conduct maintenance. Proper notice must be given by the landlord before entering. Failure to allow access is grounds for eviction.

By fulfilling these responsibilities, tenants maintain the rental property and their rights under Alaska landlord-tenant laws. Avoiding violations allows an on-time move out and full security deposit refund.

Application Fees in Alaska

In Alaska, landlords are allowed to charge application fees to prospective tenants who apply to rent a unit. However, there are some important laws that landlords need to follow when it comes to application fees:

  • Application fees must be a reasonable amount. Alaska law does not specify an exact amount that is considered reasonable. Generally, application fees range from $25 to $75 per applicant to cover the landlord's costs of running background and credit checks. Excessively high application fees could be challenged as unfair.
  • Application fees should only be used for their stated purpose. Application fees are meant to cover the landlord's expenses to process the rental application, such as screening services, credit checks and other reference checks. Application fees cannot be treated as extra income. 
  • Unused application fees must be returned to the applicant. If a landlord does not ultimately rent to an applicant, or if the applicant withdraws their application, any unused portion of the application fee must be refunded. The landlord may deduct actual expenses incurred, like credit check costs, but the rest must be returned.
  • Landlords must provide receipts upon request. If an applicant requests a receipt for their application fee, the landlord is required to provide one.

Following these application fee laws will ensure landlords remain compliant and avoid disputes with renters. It's important for both parties to understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to application fees in Alaska.

Security Deposits

In Alaska, the maximum amount a landlord can charge for a security deposit is two months' rent. Security deposits cannot exceed this limit, even if a tenant agrees to a higher amount. 

Landlords are required to return security deposits, minus any lawful deductions, within 14 days after the tenant has vacated the property. This applies whether the tenant moved out voluntarily or was evicted. Along with the remaining deposit amount, landlords must provide tenants with an itemized list of any damages or costs deducted from the deposit.

If a landlord fails to return the deposit and itemized deduction list within 14 days, the tenant can sue to recover up to twice the amount of the deposit. It is illegal in Alaska for a landlord to make deductions from the deposit for normal wear and tear. Security deposits can only be used to repair or replace damages that exceed normal wear and tear.

Some examples of normal wear and tear that cannot be deducted from deposits include:

  • Minor carpet stains or small nail holes from hanging pictures
  • Faded paint or minor scuffs on walls
  • Dust accumulation or stains on windows and blinds

Tenants should thoroughly document the condition of the unit when moving in and out with dated photos and video. This evidence can help prove that certain deductions from the deposit were unlawful. Both landlords and tenants should be aware of Alaska security deposit laws to avoid disputes and legal issues.

Eviction Process in Alaska

In Alaska, a landlord must follow specific steps to legally evict a tenant:

  • Written Notice Requirements The landlord must provide the tenant with a written notice stating the reason for eviction. This notice gives the tenant either 7 or 15 days to remedy the issue, depending on the violation.
  • Opportunity to Remedy If the tenant fixes the issue within the notice period, the eviction process stops. But if the violation continues, the landlord can proceed. 
  • Court Ordered Eviction The landlord must file an eviction lawsuit and receive a court order before removing the tenant. The sheriff will then serve the court order and schedule the eviction.
  • Tenants facing eviction have the right to attend the court hearing and share their side. 
  • If a landlord performs a "self-eviction" by changing locks or removing belongings, the tenant can sue for damages.

The eviction process aims to give tenants a chance to fix issues before losing housing. Understanding the proper steps can help landlords and renters avoid illegal actions.

Key Takeaways

  • Governs landlord-tenant relations in Alaska, covering leases, rent, security deposits, property maintenance, evictions, and more, with certain exemptions for transient housing.
  • Security deposit limits are set, and there's significant flexibility for landlords to raise rents as long as a 30-day written notice is provided, without any state-imposed limit on the increase amount or frequency.
  • Landlords must maintain properties in a habitable condition, provide essential utilities, make necessary repairs, and keep common areas safe and clean. They are also required to conduct an initial inspection if requested.
  • Tenants must pay rent on time, avoid property damage, properly dispose of trash, and allow landlord access for repairs and maintenance to uphold their end of the rental agreement.
  • Alaska does not have statewide rent control laws but allows local municipalities the authority to enact rent control ordinances. As of now, no cities or boroughs have implemented such measures.
  • Landlords can charge application fees within reasonable limits and must return security deposits minus lawful deductions within 14 days of tenancy termination, with penalties for non-compliance.
  • The process is structured to give tenants an opportunity to remedy issues within a specified notice period before proceeding to court-ordered eviction, emphasizing legal steps and tenant rights during the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much can a landlord raise rent in Alaska?

In Alaska, there is no state-imposed limit on the amount a landlord can raise the rent. Landlords have the flexibility to increase rent by any amount, as long as they provide tenants with a 30-day written notice before the rent increase takes effect.

Does Alaska have rent control?

No, Alaska does not have statewide rent control laws that limit how much landlords can increase rents. However, local municipalities have the authority to enact their own rent control ordinances if they choose. As of now, no cities or boroughs in Alaska have implemented rent control measures.

Can a landlord break a lease in Alaska?

A landlord can only terminate a lease under certain conditions outlined in the Alaska Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act. These conditions typically include non-payment of rent, violation of lease terms by the tenant, or other significant breaches. Proper notice must be given to the tenant, and specific procedures must be followed.

What are the responsibilities of landlords in Alaska?

Landlords in Alaska are required to maintain rental properties in a habitable condition, provide essential utilities (such as running water, heat, and electricity), make necessary repairs to keep the property livable, maintain common areas safely and cleanly, and conduct an initial inspection if requested by the tenant.

What obligations do tenants have under Alaska law?

Tenants in Alaska must pay rent on time, avoid causing damage to the property, dispose of trash properly, and allow the landlord reasonable access to the unit for repairs and maintenance. Tenants are also expected to adhere to all terms of the lease agreement.

Featured Tools
Finding and Selecting the Best Tenant
For a $2,000 monthly rental: 1. You lose $1,000 if you have your rental on the market for 15 additional days. 2. You lose $1,000+ for evictions. Learn how to quickly find and select a qualified tenant while following the law.
More Tools