Alaska Tenant-Landlord Law
In addition to federal fair housing laws, Alaska prohibits discrimination on the basis off...
- Marital status or changes in marital status (AS 18.80.200)
- A landlord not make an inquiry regarding a tenant’s status in these areas(AS.20.240)
Additionally, Alaska’s civil rights include the opportunity to obtain employment, credit and financing, public accomodations, housing accomodations, and other property without discrimination because of...
- Physical or mental disability
- Marital status or changes in marital status
- Security deposits prove a tenant’s financial stability and provide collateral for the landlord if property damage compensation were to be required.
- In Alaska, it is illegal for a security deposit to be more than two months of rent (Civ. Code §§ 34-03-070a).
- Upon termination of the tenancy, property or money held by the landlord as a security deposit may be applied to the payment of accrued rent and damages. The landlord must mail an itemized written notice to the tenant’s last known address with the accrued rent and damages. If a landlord fails to comply with the above laws, tenants could claim up to twice the amount withheld.
- Landlords must promptly deposit security deposits in a trust account in a bank, savings and loan association, or licensed escrow agent & provide the tenant with terms & conditions under which the money may be withheld.
- Security deposits cannot be used for another tenant (Civ. Code §§ 34.03.070).
- An additional security deposit can be requested for any pet(s) that are not service animals. This deposit:
- may not exceed one month’s rent
- must be accounted for separately from advance rent and security deposit
- can only be used for damages related to the pet(s) (Civ. Code §§ 34-03-070h).
Rent and Late Fees
- Rent is due monthly on the day that the tenant moved in, unless another arrangement has been agreed upon.
- If, for any reason, the landlord fails to supply essential services, the tenant can provide written notice and take actions that may end up costing the landlord more than the monthly rent amount (§§ 34.03).
Notices and Entry
- Required Notice Before Entry:
- Landlords should give at least 24 hours notice and receive the tenant's consent.
- The landlord may enter the dwelling unit without the consent of the tenant in the case of an emergency (§§ 34.03.140).
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency):
- The tenant may not unreasonably deny the landlord access to the unit in order to inspect the unit, make necessary or agreed repairs, remove personal property belonging to the landlord that is not covered by the rental agreement, or show the unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors (§§ 34.03.140).
- Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence:
- Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant should occupy the unit only as a dwelling unit (non-business) (§§ 34.03.150)..
- The tenant is required to notify the landlord of any extended absence of seven days or more and during a tenant’s extended absence, the landlord may enter the unit at reasonably necessary times. If there is evidence that the tenant has abandoned the unit, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement (§§ 34.03.230).
- Lockouts/Utility Shut-offs Allowed:
- A landlord may not take possession of the unit by action- including purposefully reducing essential services to the tenant- except in the case of abandonment, surrender, or circumstances out of the landlord’s control (§§ 34.03.280).
- Tenant's remedies for landlord's unlawful exclusion or diminution of service:
- If the landlord removes or excludes the tenant from the unit or purposefully reduces essential services, the tenant may recover the unit or terminate the rental agreement. Either way, the tenant may recover up to one and one-half times the actual damages.
- If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord must return all prepaid rent and security deposits to the tenant (§§ 34.03.210).
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy by landlord or tenant(s):
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy by landlord with 24 Hours Notice:
- A landlord may deliver written notice to terminate the rental agreement for substantial damages or illegal activities conducted on the premises. The notice should contain details of the breach and a notice period between 24 hours and 5 days (§§ 34.03.220).
- Notice of Termination for Nonpayment:
- The landlord should provide the tenant with a written notice notifying them of their nonpayment with their intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid within a designated period of time.
- If the tenant still fails to pay rent in full within 7 days of receiving the notice, the tenancy terminates unless the landlord agrees to allow the tenant to stay.
- At this time, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and immediately recover possession of the unit.
- A landlord who has given written notice to the tenant may accept a partial payment of the overdue rent and extend the date for the eviction accordingly (§§ 34.03.220(b)).
- Lead Disclosure Rule: If the rental unit was constructed prior to 1978, the landlord must disclose the presence of known lead-based prior to signing the lease.
Landlord Duties (§§ 34.03.100).
- Make all repairs & do whatever is necessary to keep the unit in a habitable condition.
- Maintain all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, kitchen, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, in safe working order.
- Provide and maintain waste removal services and bins.
- Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water and heat at all times, insofar as energy conditions permit.
- If requested by the tenant, provide and maintain locks & furnish keys to protect the tenant and their property.
- Provide smoke detection devices and carbon monoxide detection devices as required under AS 18.70.095.
- Retaliation: The landlord must not terminate or refuse to renew a lease to a tenant who has filed an official complaint to a Government Authority, or has been involved in a tenant’s organization.
- Keep the premises as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit.
- Dispose all waste in a clean and safe manner.
- Keep all plumbing fixtures as clean as their condition permits.
- Use all facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner.
- Tenants shall not purposefully or negligently damage or remove a part of the premises.
- Shall not unreasonably disturb a neighbor's peaceful enjoyment.
- Maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detection devices ( AS 18.70.095).
- May not, except in an emergency when the landlord cannot be contacted after reasonable effort to do so, change the locks without first securing the written agreement of the landlord.
- The tenant must provide the landlord with a written notice within 5 days and a set of keys to all doors for which locks have been changed.
- May not engage in conduct that results in a fee under a municipal ordinance (AS 29.35.125).
- May not allow the number of individuals occupying the premises to exceed the number allowed by applicable law (§§ 34.03.120).
- When it is failure to pay rent, the tenant has 7 days to pay you otherwise the eviction notice can be filed with the courts.
- When there is another lease violation (e.g. subletting), the notice you provide will depend on the offence. This article will provide more insight on Alaska's eviction laws.
Early Termination of Lease
When there is not a lease violation, but the landlord or tenant wants to break the lease, the following regulations apply:
Early termination by landlord
If the landlord wishes to terminate the lease early, they have to give a 30 day notice.
Early termination by tenant
If the tenant wishes to terminate the lease early, they have to give a 30 day notice.
For more information on Alaska Landlord Tenant laws (Alaska Statutes Secs. 09.45.090, 09.45.120, 34.03.220, 34.03.290) please visit their website here.
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions will continue to impact millions of rental properties across the country. For the most up to date information on this legislation, as well as to see if your city or county has additional directives in place, please contact your local representative.