State Rules and Regulations for Alaska
Rental Properties and Landlords
In Alaska, leases can be either oral or written. According to Alaska law (Alaska Statutes Ch. 3), this lease automatically grants tenants certain rights, such as the right to a habitable living space and the right to take at least one form of alternative action.
Landlords also have certain rights, such as the right to receive rent in a timely manner and the right to pursue evictions pending lease violation or non-payment of rent.
These rights exist regardless of a rental agreement stating otherwise.
Alaska Landlord Tenant Laws – Statutes and Regulations
- Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.010 – 34.03.360 – Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act
- Alaska Stat. §§ 09.10.010 – Limitations of Actions
- The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: What It Means to You (PDF) – Alaska Department of Law
Alaska Landlord Tenant Laws – Landlord Responsibilities
In Alaska, landlords are responsible for maintaining habitable premises and must make requested repairs in a timely manner (10 days). If they do not, then Alaska tenants are empowered to make the repairs themselves and deduct the cost from future rent payments.
Alaska Landlord Tenant Laws – Tenant Responsibilities
Aside from paying rent on time every payment period, Alaska tenants must:
- Keep the property and premises clean
- Maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
- Keep the plumbing fixtures as clean as possible
- Dispose of all trash, rubbish, and ashes
- Use electricity, plumbing, appliances, heating, cooling, kitchen, and other facilities in a reasonable manner
- Cannot damage, deface, or destroy the property or premises, deliberately or negligently
- May not cause disturbances for neighbors
- May not change the locks without the landlords written consent unless an emergency has occurred with no contact from the landlord. Copies of the new keys must be provided to the landlord. In an emergency, the tenant has five days to change the locks and provide the landlord with a written notice as well as copies of the keys.
- Cannot exceed the number of occupants allowed by ordinance, set in the rental agreement, or by any covenant limiting use of the property
- Cannot engage in any illegal activities
- Must leave the property in a similar condition upon moving out as when the property was first rented, minus normal wear and tear
Alaska Landlord Tenant Laws – Security Deposit
- Maximum Security Deposit: Prepaid rent and security deposit cannot exceed two month’s rent, except when the monthly rent is over $2,000. (§§ 34.03.070(a))
- Security Deposit Interest: Landlords are required to deposit a tenant’s prepaid rent and security deposit in a trust bank account, qualifying escrow account or with a savings and loan association. It is not required to place the moneys collected in a interest bearing account, however, it is recommended that this stipulation be written in the lease agreement.
(§§ 34.03.070(c)) and (The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: What It Means to You (Page 5))
- Commingling of Funds: Prepaid rents and security deposits can be placed in a single financial account (§§ 34.030.70(c)), however, a landlord should not place prepaid rents or security deposits in personal accounts or commingle either with personal funds.
- Pet Deposits: Can be collected by landlord but cannot exceed one month’s rent. Pet deposit can only be applied to damages caused by the pet.
- Non-Refundable Fees: No state statute
- Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: If the landlord or tenant provides written notice to one or the other in compliance with Alaska statute §§ 34.03.290, refund and notice must be returned to the tenant within 14 days of end of tenancy. If there are any damages that have been caused by the tenant, the landlord has 30 days from the termination of tenancy to refund any remaining deposit due and sent written notice.)
- Permitted Uses of the Deposit: The security deposit may be used to pay for any rent owed by tenant or damages the landlord has incured due to the tenant’s failure to comply with statutory Tenant Obligations. (§§ 34.03.070(b))
- Itemized List of Damages and Charges: YES. Landlord must provide tenant an itemized list of withholdings for damages or accrued rent mailed to tenant’s last known address. (§§ 34.03.070(b))
- Tenant Remedies: If landlord does not comply with statutory obligations for deposit withholding and return, the tenant may be entitled to recover twice the amount withheld. (§§ 34.03.070(d))
Alaska Landlord Tenant Laws – Rents and Fees
- Rent Due Date: A stipulated in the lease agreement. (§§ 34.03.020(c))
- Notice of Rent Increase: For month-to-month tenancy, the landlord must provide a minimum of 30 days notice to the tenant before any rent increase shall take effect.
- Late Fees: Lafe fees can only be charged as agreed upon in the written lease or rental agreement. (See The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: What It Means to You – Page 3)
- Prepaid rent: Prepaid rent and security deposit cannot exceed two month’s rent, except when the monthly rent is over $2,000. (§§ 34.03.070(a))
- Non-sufficient Funds: Any fee assessed and charged to tenant for returned checks or non-sufficient funds must be stipulated in the rental agreement.
- Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent: In Alaska, tenants are allowed to withold rent for landlord’s failure to provide essential services (water, heat, etc.) after providing written notice to landlord in order to procure such service. However, if the condition was caused by the tenant, or another occupant, the tenant may not withhold rent. (§§ 34.03.180). Tenant is also allowed to make repairs and deduct repair costs from rent after providing the landlord notice of necessary repairs and landlord’s failure to make repairs.
- Attorney Fees: The prevailing party in any dispute arising from the lease agreement or Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (§§ 34.03.350) will be entitled to collect reasonable attorney fees.
- Rent Control: Alaska law does not limit how much landlords can charge in rent as there are not rent control policies.
Alaska Landlord Tenant Laws – Notices and Entry
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No notice is required as the lease simply expires.
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: 30-day written notice prior to rent due date. (§§ 34.03.290(b))
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: 14-days written notice. (§§ 34.03.290(a))
- Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: If the tenant or someone in the tenant’s control deliberately inflicts substantial damage exceeding $400 to the rental unit, the landlord may deliver a written notice to quit specifying that the rental agreement will terminate within 24 hours after the notice was delivered. (§§ 34.03.220(a)(1))
- Termination of Tenancy for Nonpayment of Utilities: If a public utility providing electricity, natural gas, or water to the rental unit discontinues service for nonpayment, five days notice is required, and the tenant has three days to have service reinstated and must paylandlord for any amount the landlord paid to reinstate the service. Three days notice is required if a similar breach occurs again within six months. (§§ 34.03.220(a)(1))
- Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute
- Notice of Termination for Nonpayment: Seven days written notice required. (§§ 34.03.220(b))
- Termination for Lease Violation: If the tenant is not in compliance with either the rental agreement or statutory Tenant Duties, other than deliberate damage to the premises, the landlord may give written notice to quit, specifying the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate not less than 10 days after service of the notice. If the breach is not remedied, the rental agreement terminates, as detailedin the notice. If the breach is remedial by repairs or the payment of damages and the tenant adequately remedies the breach before the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement will not terminate. See statute for additional provisions. (§§ 34.03.220(a)(2))
- Required Notice before Entry: 24 hours, and entry is allowed only at reasonable times (§§ 34.03.140(c))
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes (§§ 34.03.140)
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Yes (§§ 34.03.140(a))
- Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes (§§ 34.03.140(b))
- Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: Yes. Also, the rental agreement requires that the tenant notify the landlord of any anticipated extended absences that are longer than seven days. (§§ 34.03.150 and §§ 34.03.230(b))
- Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute
- Lockouts Allowed: No. If the landlord locks the tenant out, the tenant may recover possession of the rental unit or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover up to one and one-half times actual damages. (§§ 34.03.280 and §§ 34.03.210)
- Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No. If the landlord shuts off utilities, the tenant may recover possession of the rental unit or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover up to one and one-half times actual damages. (§§ 34.03.280 and §§ 34.03.210)
Alaska Landlord Tenant Laws – Housing Discrimination
Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, familial status, or disability. These rules do not apply to homes operated by religious organizations or to owner-occupied homes. State law in Alaska extends protections to renters on the basis of pregnancy and marital status.
Discriminatory acts & penalties. The Alaska Commission for Human Rights handles cases related to housing discrimination in the state. The following behaviors may be interpreted as discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected class:
- Refusing to rent or sell on a bona fide offer
- Offering different terms, conditions, or privileges
- Advertising the implies a preference for one group over others
- Applying different rules to tenants than others
Alaska Landlord Tenant Laws – Evictions
Alaska landlords are empowered to evict tenants for the following reasons:
- Nonpayment of rent – If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, then the landlord may issue a 7-Day Notice to Pay or Quit after any applicable grace period. If the tenant does not pay, then the landlord may begin eviction proceedings.
- Lease violation – If a lease violation occurs then the landlord may issue a 10-Day Notice to Cure or Quit. Failure to pay utility bills can be met with a 5-Day Notice to Quit. Any damages more than $400 can justify a 24-Hour Notice to Quit.
- Illegal acts – Alaska landlord may issue a 5-Day Notice to Quit if they have documentation of illegal activity on the premises.
At-will tenants are entitled to at least 30 days’ notice before being evicted. It is also illegal for landlords to evict tenants in retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
Alaska Landlord Tenant Laws – Helpful Links
State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Alaska
- Alaska Division of Insurance
- Alaska Consumer Protection Unit
- Alaska Housing Finance Corporation
- Alaska Real Estate Commission
- Juneau Housing–Juneau Economic Development Council
- Association of Alaska Housing Authorities
- Aleutian Housing Authority
- Cook Inlet Housing Authority
- Tlinget-Haida Regional Housing Authority