Kentucky Rent Control Laws in 2024

Introduction to Kentucky’s Rent Control Laws

Kentucky is one of many states that does not have rent control laws at the state level. This means there are no limits on how much a landlord can raise the rent each year. Landlords have the right to increase rents to market rates when a lease term expires. 

However, Kentucky does have laws that require landlords to give proper notice before raising rents. Typically, a 30-60 day notice is required prior to increasing rent on a month-to-month lease. For fixed term leases, notice would need to be given 30-60 days before the end of the current lease term.

While there are no rent control laws dictating rent increase percentages or caps, landlords in Kentucky still must follow laws related to termination notices, security deposits, evictions, and ensuring a habitable living environment. Tenant rights are protected even without rent control.

Kentucky Landlord-Tenant Laws

Kentucky landlords have a number of responsibilities under state law when it comes to renting residential property. Some key landlord duties include:

Providing habitable premises

Landlords in Kentucky are required to provide tenants with a rental unit and common areas that are fit, habitable, and comply with housing codes. This means ensuring basic utilities like heat, electricity, and plumbing are maintained.

Making repairs

Landlords must make any repairs needed to keep the rental property habitable. This includes fixing issues that make a unit unsafe or unsanitary like mold, broken appliances, pest infestations, and more.  

Maintaining common areas

For properties with common areas like lobbies, halls, shared yards, etc., the landlord must keep these spaces clean and in good condition.

Limiting entry

Unless it's an emergency, landlords must provide reasonable advance notice (typically 24 hours) before entering a rental unit. They can only enter at reasonable times for agreed upon reasons like routine inspections, maintenance, showing the unit to prospective tenants, etc. 

Providing essential services

Landlords are required to provide any utilities or services agreed upon in the lease, such as water, sewer, trash removal, snow removal, etc. Disrupting these services is illegal.

Returning security deposits

Landlords must return security deposits, minus any legitimate deductions, within 30 days after the tenant moves out. An itemized list of deductions must be provided.

Following anti-discrimination laws

When screening tenants, landlords cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, national origin, or other protected classes.

Kentucky landlords who neglect their duties can face penalties, legal action from tenants, and loss of rental income. Understanding rights and responsibilities helps landlords stay compliant with KY laws.

Kentucky Tenant Rights

Kentucky law provides certain rights and protections for tenants renting residential property. Key tenant rights include:

Payment of Rent

Tenants must pay rent on time as required by the lease. Landlords cannot exceed late fees of $50 or 10% of the monthly rent, whichever is greater. There must be a grace period of at least 5 days before assessing late fees. 

Habitable Premises

Landlords must ensure rental properties meet basic habitability standards related to safety, sanitation, and repair. Tenants can withhold rent if major issues are not addressed.

Quiet Enjoyment

Tenants have a right to use and enjoy the rental property uninterrupted, as long as they meet lease obligations. 


Landlords must provide reasonable notice, generally 24 hours, before entering rental units. Entry is only allowed during normal business hours except in cases of emergency. 


Landlords cannot refuse to rent to applicants or treat tenants differently based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, national origin, or other protected classes.

Service of Process

Tenants must be properly served with any notices to quit, complaints, summons, or other processes related to eviction or lease termination.

Security Deposits

Landlords must return deposits within 30 days of move out, providing itemized deductions for damages beyond ordinary wear and tear.

Understanding these and other tenant rights in Kentucky landlord-tenant law is key to maintaining positive rental experiences for both parties.

Rent Increase Notice Requirements in Kentucky

Kentucky law does not specify an exact required notice period for rent increases. However, landlords are required to provide "reasonable notice" before raising rent on month-to-month rental agreements. 

The standard practice is for Kentucky landlords to provide 30-60 days advance written notice for any rent increase. This allows the tenant sufficient time to assess their options and budget for the higher rental amount.

For fixed-term leases, rent increases can only be applied at lease renewal and with proper notice per the lease terms. Typically fixed-term leases will specify the timing and notice requirements for any rent increases upon renewal.

Tenants should carefully review their lease agreement to understand the notice procedures for increases outlined in the contract. Kentucky law generally defers to the lease terms as long as they are reasonable and do not conflict with tenant rights.

If a landlord attempts to raise the rent without proper notice as specified in the lease, the tenant may have grounds to challenge the increase. Tenants should consult landlord-tenant law resources to understand their rights in these situations.

Proper notice for rent increases is an important protection for tenants that gives them time to adjust financially, negotiate with the landlord, or find alternate housing if needed. While Kentucky has no rent control laws, reasonable notice requirements aim to create a fair balance for tenants.

Limits on Rent Increases 

Unlike some states and cities across the country, Kentucky does not have rent control laws that limit how much a landlord can raise the rent each year. This means there is no cap on rent increases for private market-rate housing in Kentucky. Landlords have the right to raise rents as much as they want at the end of a lease term or with proper notice during a lease.  

The lack of rent control in Kentucky gives landlords a lot of flexibility in setting and adjusting rent prices in response to market conditions. As long as they follow the terms outlined in the lease agreement, landlords can raise rents 5%, 10%, 20% or more from one year to the next if they believe that is what the market will bear. They are not bound by any percentage caps that exist in other states and cities.

While landlords are free to raise rents without limit, there are some provisions in Kentucky law that protect tenants from unreasonable rent increases or help them address disputes if the landlord tries to arbitrarily raise rent an excessive amount from one month to the next during a continuous lease term. These are covered in the section on recourse for tenants.

Ultimately, the rental housing market determines how much landlords can realistically increase rents each year. Landlords weigh factors like vacancy rates, property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs and market prices for nearby units when deciding on renewing lease rates. Most aim to find a balance between maximizing profits and keeping good tenants over the long run. But Kentucky law does not place any hard limits or caps on their rent pricing flexibility from year to year.

Rent Increase Recourse for Tenants

If a landlord raises the rent unfairly or by an excessive amount in Kentucky, tenants do have some options for recourse:

Negotiate a smaller increase

Open communication is key. Tenants can discuss their concerns with the landlord, provide evidence of market rates, highlight positive rental history, and request a compromise on the increase amount. Many landlords will work with responsible tenants, so maintaining a cordial relationship can help.

Refuse the increase

While the landlord can retaliate with an eviction notice, tenants are not obligated to accept unreasonable increases under Kentucky law. The landlord would need to take the issue to court, and a judge may find in the tenant's favor. 

File a complaint

Renters can file a complaint with Kentucky's Attorney General about significant rent overcharges. While not enforceable, it documents their case if end up in court.

Organize a rent strike

Banding together with other tenants to withhold rent payments until the landlord agrees to a smaller increase. Strength in numbers can bring better results, but tenants risk eviction if the strike fails. Proper legal guidance is a must before attempting a strike.

Seek local rent control

Tenants can lobby their city or county government to implement rent stabilization ordinances capping increase amounts locally. Efforts are more fruitful when many tenants unite behind the cause. Change takes time, but it can prevent future unfair increases.

While Kentucky tenants lack robust protections around rent hikes, communicating concerns to landlords, refusing excessive increases, and organizing with neighbors can provide options for fighting back against dramatic spikes in rent. Seeking legal advice is always recommended before moving forward with bolder actions like rent strikes or rent withholding.

Kentucky Statute 383.595 

Kentucky Statute 383.595 is a law that relates to rent control in the state. Specifically, it prohibits local governments in Kentucky from implementing rent control measures or ordinances that would regulate or limit the amount a landlord can charge for rent. 

The statute states that "no city, county, urban-county, consolidated local government, or charter county government shall enact, maintain, or enforce any ordinance, resolution, or regulation which regulates the amount of rent to be charged for leasing private residential or commercial property."

In other words, this law prevents cities, towns, counties or other local municipalities in Kentucky from passing any laws that would cap or limit rent prices in the private rental market. Landlords have the right to set rental rates for their properties without interference from local rent control laws under this statewide statute.

The purpose of Kentucky Statute 383.595 is to promote a free market system for rental housing across the state. By banning local rent control ordinances, the law allows market factors like supply and demand to determine appropriate pricing for rental units.

So while some states and cities have enacted forms of rent stabilization policies and rent boards, Kentucky prohibits these types of rent control measures at the local level through this statute. However, landlords must still follow laws related to rental contracts, health and safety codes, antidiscrimination laws, and other landlord-tenant regulations.

Kentucky Statute 383.595 ultimately gives landlords broad discretion in setting and raising rent each year. Tenants have limited protections under the statute and must look to market conditions and competition to keep rental rates reasonable. Understanding this law provides important context for both tenants and landlords when negotiating rent or signing a lease agreement in Kentucky.

Other Kentucky Landlord Responsibilities 

Beyond setting and collecting rent, Kentucky landlords have a number of other responsibilities outlined in state law. These include properly maintaining the rental property, making necessary repairs in a timely manner, and providing a habitable living environment for tenants.

Under Kentucky law, landlords have a duty to comply with all building, housing and health codes that affect the rental property. Landlords must make any repairs necessary to keep the rental in compliance with relevant codes. This includes maintaining things like the electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating and ventilation systems in good working order.

Landlords are also responsible for making any repairs needed to keep the rental property in a fit, habitable and tenantable condition. This means the unit must be safe, sanitary and suitable for occupation. If something breaks down or stops functioning properly, the landlord needs to fix it promptly. Examples could include problems like no hot water, broken appliances, pest infestations, or a leaky roof.

If a landlord fails to make necessary repairs in a reasonable timeframe after being notified by the tenant, this may constitute a breach of the warranty of habitability. In such cases, tenants may have certain remedies available to them under Kentucky law, such as withholding rent or terminating the lease. 

Landlords are also responsible for maintaining common areas of the property in a clean, safe condition if it is a multi-unit building. This includes things like shared hallways, stairwells, laundry rooms, outdoor spaces and parking lots. Prompt snow and ice removal may also be the landlord's responsibility depending on the rental agreement.

By properly maintaining properties and attending to repairs promptly, landlords can avoid disputes with tenants and ensure full compliance with Kentucky law. Many cities and counties also have their own property maintenance codes landlords must adhere to.

Kentucky Eviction Laws

Kentucky law outlines specific requirements for the eviction process to ensure tenants receive proper notice. 

Landlords must provide tenants with a written notice of eviction before starting the court process. The length of notice required depends on the reason for eviction:

  • Nonpayment of Rent: Landlords must provide a minimum 7-day notice for eviction due to failure to pay rent. This gives the tenant 7 days to pay the rent or vacate the unit before the landlord can file for eviction.
  • Lease Violation: For evictions due to a lease violation other than nonpayment of rent, landlords must provide a 30-day notice to cure or quit. This gives the tenant 30 days to correct the lease violation or move out before the landlord can proceed with eviction. 
  • No Cause: If the landlord is evicting without cause and not due to a lease violation, a minimum 30-day notice is required in Kentucky. The landlord can decline to renew the lease at the end of a term for no specific reason.  

The eviction notice must clearly state the reason for eviction and give the deadline for the tenant to vacate or correct the issue. If the tenant fails to comply within the notice period, the landlord can then file an eviction lawsuit with the local court. 

The court will schedule a hearing where both parties can present evidence. If the court rules in the landlord's favor, the tenant will be ordered to vacate within a set period of time. A sheriff can assist in removing the tenant if they fail to leave.

Important to note that landlords cannot forcibly remove or lock out tenants without going through the court eviction process. Tenants facing eviction also have the right to contest wrongful evictions. Understanding the proper notice periods and procedures can help landlords and tenants navigate the eviction process smoothly.

Resources for KY Tenants & Landlords

Kentucky has several organizations that provide help and information for both tenants and landlords regarding their rights and responsibilities under Kentucky law.

  • [Legal Aid Society]( - Provides free legal services to low-income Kentuckians, including assistance with housing and eviction issues.
  • [Kentucky Equal Justice Center]( - Offers support to legal aid providers and advocates for policies that improve housing stability for Kentuckians.
  • [Appalred Legal Aid]( - Serves eastern and south-central Kentucky with free civil legal assistance, including on landlord-tenant issues.

Tenant Advocacy Groups

  • [Kentucky Tenant Association]( - Statewide group focused on educating and advocating for tenants' rights.
  • [Louisville Tenants Union]( - Grassroots organization dedicated to tenant organizing and empowerment in Louisville.
  • [Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky]( - Provides training and advocacy around safe, affordable housing access across Kentucky.

Landlord Associations

  • [Kentucky Apartment Association]( - Trade association providing services and training for professional apartment owners and managers. 
  • [Greater Louisville Apartment Association]( - Local chapter focused on landlord education, networking and advocacy.
  • [Northern Kentucky Apartment Association]( - Regional association for the interests of NKY rental housing providers.

Government Resources

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