A summary of Alaska Landlord Tenant Laws based on state law statutes as they apply to residential lease agreements executed between landlords and tenants.
Required Disclosures (by Landlords)
A landlord must disclose to the tenant in writing (before the lease begins) the name and address of the person authorized to manage the premises, and the property owner’s (or an authorized person to act on behalf of the owner) to be used for receiving official notices and demands. (Alaska Stat. § 34.03.080)
Landlord must disclose (orally or in writing) the conditions under which landlord may withhold all or part of the deposit. (Alaska Stat. § 34.03.070)
Required Disclosures (by Tenants)
The lease must require that the tenant notify the landlord of an anticipated extended absence from the property if more than seven days; however, the notice maybe given as soon as reasonably possible after the tenant knows the absence will exceed seven days. (Alaska Stat. § 34.03.150)
Security Deposit Limit
Landlords can charge two months’ rent, unless rent exceeds $2,000 per month. Landlord may ask for an additional month’s rent as deposit for a pet that is not a service animal. A pet deposit can only be used toward pet damage.
Deadline for Returning Security Deposit
A landlord must return the tenant’s security deposit within 14 days if the tenant has given proper notice to terminate the tenancy. The landlord has 30 days to return the deposit if the tenant hasn’t given proper notice.
Landlords must disclose the conditions under which all or part of the security deposit may be withheld. This may be done verbally or in writing.
Small Claims Lawsuits
Tenants can sue landlords in small claims court for up to $10,000. This may include disputes for security deposits and other lease disagreements.
Rent is legally due on the date specified in your lease. There is no statute in Alaska that covers late fees for rent. If your lease does not specifically address late fees, your landlord may not collect one.
Landlords must give at least 30 days’ notice (in writing) to increase rent or change another term of a month-to-month lease. Landlords may not increase the rent on longer term leases until the lease ends. However, if the lease has a renewal amount specified for a new term, then no change can be made.
Retaliation or Discrimination
A landlord may not increase rent in a discriminatory manner or as retaliation against tenants for exercising their legal rights such as notifying a local housing authority or health department regarding unsafe living conditions.
Termination for Nonpayment of Rent
If rent is late, landlords must give tenants at least seven days to pay rent or move before filing for an eviction.
Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent
A tenant may withhold rent or exercise their right to “repair and deduct” if a landlord fails to take care of important repairs such as plumbing leaks.
Before withholding rent or fixing things yourself, make sure that the circumstances justify you paying less rent and that you comply with Alaskan requirements. The most important of which is to be in communication with your landlord by providing written notice. If at all possible, the landlord should be given a chance to resolve any issues within a reasonable timeframe.
Termination and Eviction Rules
Tenants involved in illegal activity on the premises may be given an unconditional quit notice that basically says the tenant has five days to move out before an eviction is filed. Here is the timeframes and under which circumstances such a notice can be given:
24 hours – Tenant or guest intentionally causing more than $400 of damage to landlord’s property or same violation of lease within 6 months
5 days – Specified illegal activity on the premises
3 days – Failure to pay utility bills twice within six months
10 days – Refusal to allow the landlord to enter
10 days – Violators of agreement materially affecting health and safety; 3 days to cure for failing to pay utility bills, resulting in shut-off, additional 2 to vacate.
Right to Access Property
Landlords must provide 24 hours notice of entry.
Court may order removal of respondent from residence of petitioner regardless of ownership of residence.
Alaska Lease Agreement
Alaska Landlord-Tenant Law Statutes
Alaska Code §§ 35-9-1 to 35-9-100; 35-9A-101 to 35-9A-603.