Frequently Asked Questions about Alaska Landlord Tenant Law
What is Alaska landlord-tenant law?
In 2010, the Alaska legislature passed the Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act, a landmark piece of legislation which codified all of the state’s laws governing rental properties. Individuals are often taken advantage of in landlord-tenant relationships, so Alaska landlord-tenant law is an essential resource and defense for the thousands of renters and property-owners in the state, a resource that you can’t afford to ignore. Here are some of the most helpful concepts of Alaska landlord-tenant law.
What should I do once I move in?
The most essential aspect to a landlord-tenant relationship should be an agreement signed by both parties at the inception of the relationship, called sometimes a Rental Agreement, Tenant Agreement, or a lease. This document will include important information that will affect all further interactions between the parties, in particular the following:
• The identities of the parties;
• The amount of rent that will be charged, when it will be due, and who it will be paid to;
• Whether a security deposit is required and what the conditions will be for its return;
• The duration of the lease;
• After what period of time rent is considered delinquent, and whether a fine will be inflicted for delinquent rent, and how much such a fine would be;
• Which utilities and services will be paid for by the landlord;
• Whether any items are prohibited from the premises;
• What the repair responsibilities will be of the landlord;
• Whether the apartment can be sublet.
Sometimes, one party will forget to sign an agreement, but this doesn’t automatically disqualify it altogether. Instead, Alaska landlord-tenant law still respects agreements that are only signed by one party, so long as the tenant moved in according to schedule and paid rent that their landlord accepted.
What is a security deposit?
A security deposit is a perfectly acceptable institution according to Alaska landlord-tenant law. Its purposes are to compensate the landlord if their tenant moves out without repairing damage that they’ve done to their landlord’s property, or if they do not properly clean up the property prior to moving.
There are strict aspects of Alaska landlord-tenant law detailing what a landlord may do with security deposits, which is deposit them in a trust account, savings account, or with a licensed escrow agent. It must be a separate account from any of the landlord’s other personal or business accounts, and detailed receipts must be kept showing all of a landlord’s deposits and withdrawals from such an account.
What if a landlord doesn’t comply with Alaska landlord-tenant law?
If a landlord refuses to fix their property as per the rental agreement or to provide an adequate place of living, then they’ve terminated the rental agreement and the tenant may move. In order for this to occur properly, the tenant must send a written notice to their landlord, stating that if changes aren’t made within ten days, they will move in twenty days. The tenant may also sue the landlord for non-compliance.