Alaska Landlord-Tenant State Law
|Termination for Nonpayment Notice|
|Termination for Lease Violation Notice||10-Day Notice for violations materially affecting health and safety, 3 Days Notice for failing to pay utilities, and 2 Days to vacate|
|Small Claim Court Limit||Alaska Small Claim Court Limit is $10,000|
|Handling Abandoned Property||Disposition of abandoned property Alaska Code Sec. 34.03.260|
|Penalty for Self-Help Eviction||A penalty not to exceed one and a half times the actual damages. Sec. 34.03.210.|
|Tenant Withholding Rent for Repairs||Sec. 34.03.190. Landlord’s noncompliance as defense to action for possession or rent.|
|Required Disclosures||Disclosure of Ownership and Management Contact Information; Rental Agreement must require that the tenant notify the landlord of an anticipated extended absence from the premises in excess of seven days|
|Non-Refundable Fees||No statute|
|Security Deposit Rules||Security Deposit Amount limited to 2 months rent unless rent exceeds $2,000 (pet deposit not included in this amount); Escrow account is required; Return of Security Deposit: 14 Days if the tenant gave proper notice or 30 Days with Itemized Deductions and Refund if deductions were made and/or if the tenant didn’t give a proper notice|
|Month-to-Month Notice||30 Days Notice to End or Change Month-to-Month Tenancy|
|Payment of Rent||No statute|
Noncompliance With Rental Agreement & Failure to Pay Rent
(a) For property to which the provisions of AS 34.03 (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act) apply, unlawful holding by force includes each of the following:
(1) when the tenant or person in possession of a premises fails or refuses to pay the rent due on the lease or agreement under which the tenant or person holds, or deliver up the possession of the premises for 10 days after demand made in writing for the possession;
(2) when, after a notice to quit as provided in AS 09.45.060 – 09.45.160, a person continues in the possession of the premises at the expiration of the time limited in the lease or agreement under which that person holds, or contrary to a condition or covenant in the lease or agreement, or without a written lease or agreement;
(3) when, after a notice to terminate the tenancy as provided in this title with reference to termination of estate at will or by sufferance, a person continues in possession of the premises after expiration of the time for determining the tenancy.
Failure to Pay Utilities
If a public utility providing electricity, natural gas, or water to the premises occupied by the tenant discontinues the service to the premises due to the failure of the tenant to pay for the utility service, the landlord may deliver a written notice to quit to the tenant advising that, notwithstanding (a) of this section, the tenancy will terminate five days after the landlord’s service of the notice. If, within three days from the service of the notice, the tenant reinstates the discontinued service and repays the landlord for any amounts paid by the landlord to reinstate service, and if damage did not occur to the rental unit as a result of the discontinuance of service, the rental agreement will not terminate. However, in the absence of due care by the tenant, if substantially the same act or omission that constituted a prior noncompliance under this subsection for which notice was given recurs within six months, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement upon at least three days’ written notice specifying the breach and the date of termination of the rental agreement.
Disposition of abandoned property Sec. 34.03.260
- Except as otherwise agreed, if, upon termination of a tenancy including but not limited to a termination after expiration of a lease or by surrender or abandonment of the premises, a tenant has left personal property upon the premises, and the landlord reasonably believes that the tenant has abandoned this personal property, the landlord may
- give notice to the tenant demanding that the property be removed within the dates set out in the notice but not less than 15 days after delivery or mailing of the notice, and that if the property is not removed within the time specified, the property may be sold; if the property is not removed within the time specified in the notice, the landlord may sell the property at a public sale; the landlord may dispose of perishable commodities in any manner the landlord considers fit;
- if the tenant has left personal property that is reasonably determined by the landlord to be valueless or of such little value that the cost of storing and conducting a public sale would probably exceed the amount that would be realized from the sale, the landlord may notify the tenant that the property be removed within the date specified in the notice but not less than 15 days after delivery or mailing of the notice, and that if the property is not removed within the time specified, the landlord intends to destroy or otherwise dispose of the property; if the property is not removed within the time specified in the notice, the landlord may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property; in the notice, the landlord shall indicate an election to sell certain items of the tenant’s personal property at public sale and to destroy or otherwise dispose of the remainder.
- After notice as provided in (a) of this section, the landlord shall store all personal property of the tenant in a place of safekeeping and shall exercise reasonable care of the property, but is not responsible to the tenant for loss not caused by the landlord’s deliberate or negligent act. The landlord may elect to store the property on the premises previously demised, in which event the storage cost may not exceed the fair rental value of the premises. If the tenant’s property is removed to a commercial storage company, the storage cost shall include the actual charge for the storage and removal from the premises to the place of storage.
- After landlord’s notice under (a) of this section, or otherwise, if the tenant makes timely response in writing of an intention to remove the personal property from the premises and does not do so within the time specified in the landlord’s notice or within 15 days of the delivery or mailing of the tenant’s written response whichever is later, it shall be conclusively presumed that the tenant has abandoned the property. If the tenant removes the property after notice, the landlord is entitled to the cost of storage for the period the property has remained in the landlord’s safekeeping.
- The landlord is not liable in damages in an action by a tenant claiming loss by reason of the landlord’s storage, destruction, or disposition of property under this section. A landlord who deliberately or negligently violates the provisions of this section is liable for actual damages and penal damages of an amount not to exceed actual damages.
- A public sale authorized under this section shall be conducted under AS 09.35.140. The landlord may dispose of any property upon which no bid is made at the public sale.
Tenant Withholding Rent for Repairs
Sec. 34.03.190. Landlord’s noncompliance as defense to action for possession or rent.
- In an action for possession based upon nonpayment of the rent or in an action for rent when the tenant is in possession, the tenant may counterclaim for any amount recoverable under the rental agreement or this chapter. If a counterclaim is made, the court shall determine whether the defense is supported by the evidence and, if so, may order that
- the periodic rent is to be reduced to reflect the diminution in value of the dwelling unit during the period of noncompliance;
- the action be continued for a reasonable time to enable the landlord to cure the violation;
- the tenant pay into court all or part of the rent accrued and thereafter accruing; if the violations have not been cured within six months, the court shall enter judgment for the defendant and either refund to the defendant all money deposited or use the money for the purpose of making the dwelling fit for human habitation; if the violations have been cured, the court shall determine the amount due to each party; the party to whom a net amount is owed shall be paid first from the money paid into the court, and the balance by the other party; if no rent remains due after application of this section, judgment shall be entered for the tenant in the action for possession;
- the tenant vacate the dwelling during the making of necessary repairs, when the repairs cannot be made without vacation of the premises, the tenant to be reinstated upon completion of the repairs.
- In an action for rent where the tenant is not in possession, the tenant may counterclaim as provided in (a) of this section but the tenant is not required to pay rent into court.
Security Deposit Rules
Sec. 34.03.070. Security deposits and prepaid rent.
- Except as provided in (h) of this section, a landlord may not demand or receive prepaid rent or a security deposit, however denominated, in an amount or value in excess of two months’ periodic rent. This section does not apply to rental units where the rent exceeds $2,000 a month.
- Upon termination of the tenancy, property or money held by the landlord as prepaid rent or as a security deposit may be applied to the payment of accrued rent and the amount of damages that the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant’s noncompliance with AS 34.03.120. The accrued rent and damages must be itemized by the landlord in a written notice mailed to the tenant’s last known address within the time limit prescribed by (g) of this section, together with the amount due the tenant. In this subsection, “damages”
- means deterioration of the premises and, if applicable, of the contents of the premises;
- does not include deterioration
- that is the result of normal wear and tear;
- caused by the landlord’s failure to prepare for expected conditions or by the landlord’s failure to comply with an obligation of the landlord imposed by this chapter.
- All money paid to the landlord by the tenant as prepaid rent or as a security deposit in a lease or rental agreement shall be promptly deposited by the landlord, wherever practicable, in a trust account in a bank, savings and loan association, or licensed escrow agent, and the landlord shall provide to the tenant the terms and conditions under which the prepaid rent or security deposit or portions of them may be withheld by the landlord. Nothing in this chapter prohibits the landlord from commingling prepaid rents and security deposits in a single financial account; however, the landlord shall separately account for prepaid rent and security deposits received from each tenant. The landlord may not commingle prepaid rent and security deposits with other funds. The landlord may not use money held for one tenant in a trust account to
- refund the security deposit of another tenant;
- apply to the payment of another tenant’s accrued rent;
- apply to damages suffered by the landlord because of another tenant’s noncompliance with AS 34.03.120.
- If the landlord wilfully fails to comply with (b) of this section, the tenant may recover an amount not to exceed twice the actual amount withheld.
- This section does not preclude a landlord or tenant from recovering other damages to which either may be entitled under this chapter.
- The holder of the landlord’s interest in the premises at the time of the termination of the tenancy is bound by this section.
- If the landlord or tenant gives notice that complies with AS 34.03.290, the landlord shall mail the written notice and refund required by (b) of this section within 14 days after the tenancy is terminated and possession is delivered by the tenant, except the landlord shall have 30 days after the tenancy is terminated to mail the refund if costs are deducted for damages that the landlord has suffered because of the tenant’s noncompliance with AS 34.03.120. If the tenant does not give notice that complies with AS 34.03.290, the landlord shall mail the written notice and refund required by (b) of this section within 30 days after the tenancy is terminated, possession is delivered by the tenant, or the landlord becomes aware that the dwelling unit is abandoned. If the landlord does not know the mailing address of the tenant, but knows or has reason to know how to contact the tenant to give the notice required by (b) of this section, the landlord shall make a reasonable effort to deliver the notice and refund to the tenant.
- Notwithstanding the limitation on the amount of prepaid rent or security deposit in (a) of this section, a landlord may demand or receive an additional security deposit from a tenant who has a pet on the premises that is not a service animal. The additional security deposit
- may not exceed the periodic rent for one month; and
- shall be accounted for separately from prepaid rent or a security deposit received under (a) of this section and may be applied only to the amount of damages that are directly related to the pet of the tenant.
- In this section,
- “normal wear and tear” means deterioration that occurs from the intended use of the rental unit and without negligence, carelessness, accident, misuse, or abuse of the premises or contents by the tenant, members of the household of the tenant, or the invitees or guests of the tenant;
- “service animal” means an animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks that are directly related to and for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.