Alaska Rental Laws
Explore the rules and regulations that govern the landlord-tenant relationship in the state of Alaska. The information on this page will provide you a basic understanding of what you as a landlord need to be aware of when renting or leasing a property to a tenant in the state of Alaska. Most of the information below can be found in the Alaska Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act.
Statutes and Regulations:
- Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.010 – 34.03.360 – Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act
- Alaska Stat. §§ 09.10.010 – Limitations of Actions
- Alaska Landlord and Tenant Act (PDF) – Alaska Court System
- The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: What It Means to You (PDF) – Alaska Department of Law
- 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))
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: None (No preemption)
- Abandonment: Landlord has responsibility to make every reasonable effort to re-rent the property at fair rental value after it has been abandoned by the defaulted tenant (34.03.320). If the tenant terminates the rental agreement early, the landlord may take possession of the property, re-rent the property and file a claim for actual damages due to tenant’s breach of agreement. (§§ 34.03.270)
- Nonpayment of Rent: Tenant has 7 days to pay rent from receipt of Notice of Termination for Nonpayment.
- Partial Payment of Rent: Landlords may accept partial rent payment and extend eviction from the time included in the Notice to Vacate.
- Utlities: If service to utilities is cut off due to nonpayment by the tenant, the landlord can provide written notice to have the utilities placed back in service within 5 days of the written notice to quit the agreement. If the tenant reconnects service within three days of notice, reimburses the landlord for any costs incurred due to nonpayment resulting in the utilities turned off, the rental agreement will continue in effect. (§§ 34.03.220(a)(1)(b))
Notices and Entry:
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed Term Lease: Landlord is not required to provide notice of termination for tenants on a lease with a fixed termination date. The lease simply expires at the end of the term.
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: Landlord and tenant are required to provide 30-day written notice of termination prior to rent due date. (§§ 34.03.290(b))
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: Lease may be terminated by providing 14-day written notice. (§§ 34.03.290(a))
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Due to Deliberate Damage: If tenant deliberately and substantially damages premises, landlord may terminate rental agreement with 24 hours of delivering written notice to quit. Damage just exceed $400. (§§ 34.03.220(a)(1))
- Notice to Terminate for Lease Violation: Landlord may provide tenant notice that lease will terminate no less than 10 days after service of notice. If tenant remedies violations before termination date, the lease will not be terminated.
- Notice Before Entry: 24 hour notice required to enter premises to perform maintenance, repairs and for showings. Notice before entry is not required for emergency.
- Tenant lockouts and utility shut-offs are not allowed. Tenant can seek damages against landlord in such cases. (§§ 34.03.280, §§ 34.03.210 and §§ 34.03.280)
- Landlord’s Duties: Landlord is responsible for maintaining habitable condition; maintaining commmon areas; keeping premises clean; maintaining all electrical, plumbing, heating and sanitary systems; ensure hot water and heat; maintaining locks; and providinng smoke and carbon monoxide detection devices as required by statutue. (§§ 34.03.100 and §§ 18.70.095)
- Tenant’s Duties: Tenant is responsible for keeping premises clean; disposing of garbage in safe manner; taking care of appliances; not damaging premises; not disturbing others; maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide dectors; not to change locks on doors; not engage in conduct that would result in a fine under municipal ordinance (§§ 34.03.120, §§ 18.70.095 and §§ 29.35.125)
- Subleasing: Tenants are not allowed to sublease premises unless their lease specifies that it is allowed. §§ 34.03.060
- Small claims court limit of $10,000.
- Evication cases can be filed in small claims court.
- Alaska Small Claims Handbook (PDF)
- Eviction Information (PDF)
- 3 year statute of limitation on written and oral contracts (§§ 09.10.053 and §§ 09.10.053) and 6 year statute of limitation for real property damage (§§ 09.10.050)
- Alaska Court System