Guide to Kentucky Tenant Rights
If you are renting a house or apartment in Kentucky, it's important to know what your rights are when dealing with your landlord. KY tenant rights protect tenants from intrusive landlords and those who violate tenets of their lease agreements. This guide will help you understand your Kentucky tenant rights, as well as what recourse is available to you under the law if your landlord has violated any of these rights.
For the entire time that you are a tenant in a Kentucky house or apartment, your landlord is obligated to provide you with a safe and habitable home. This obligation is called a “warranty of habitability,” and according to KY tenant rights, you must be provided with certain key features for your home to be considered habitable. Your dwelling must have safe hot and cold running water, electricity, and a functional heating system.
Kentucky tenant rights specify that appliances in your home should be in good working order, that your windows and doors should be in good repair, and that your home should be free from pests. If your landlord violates your KY tenant rights to habitability, you may have several options. The first step is to notify your landlord about the violation to your Kentucky tenant rights. Once you have given your landlord reasonable notice (usually 14 days), KY tenant rights may allow you to repair the damage and deduct the costs from your rent, or even break your lease early. Talking to a lawyer familiar with Kentucky tenant rights can help you understand your legal options if your landlord has not maintained your home's habitability.
In addition to habitability, KY tenant rights require a landlord to make sure a tenant is able to have “quiet enjoyment” of his or her dwelling. This means that if your landlord is repeatedly trying to enter your apartment without notice or cause, your Kentucky tenant rights are being violated. The only way for a landlord to enter an apartment while abiding by KY tenant rights is to give a tenant reasonable notice beforehand.
Landlords may enter an apartment in order to inspect the premises or to make needed repairs. The only time a landlord is allowed to enter a dwelling without a tenant's permission is when emergency repairs are needed. If this is the case, the landlord may give as little notice as is necessary to fix the problem before more damage is done.
Kentucky tenant rights specify that landlords may only evict a tenant for cause, like violating a provision of their lease or failing to pay rent on time. If you are being evicted, your landlord is required to go through the eviction process with the county courthouse in your county. No landlord is allowed to use what are commonly called “self help eviction” methods.
If your landlord attempts to evict you by harassing or intimidating you, changing the locks on your dwelling, shutting off your water or electricity, or removing your possessions from your home, your KY tenant rights are being violated and you may be able to sue your landlord in small claims court.