This article is a summary of Alaska Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the Alaska states, the Alaska Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, and various online sources to serve as a reference for people wanting to learn about Alaska landlord-tenant laws, Alaska eviction laws, and Alaska renters’ rights.
However, this guide is not comprehensive, and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.
Rules and Regulations Governing Alaska Landlord Tenant Laws
- Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.010 – 34.03.360 – Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
- Alaska Stat. §§ 09.10.010 – Limitations of Actions
Alaska Lease Terms Provisions
- What is the maximum allowable security deposit?
The security deposit cannot exceed two month’s rent, except for rental units where the rent exceeds $2,000 a month. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.070(a))
- Are security deposits required to earn interest?
No. There is no Alaska law requiring security deposits to earn interest.
- Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account?
No. There is no Alaska law requiring security deposits to be stored in a separate bank account. However, security deposits and prepaid rent must be promptly deposited into a trust account in a bank, savings and loan association, or licensed escrow agent. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.070(c))
- Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?
No. There is no Alaska law forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- How long do landlords have to return security deposits?
If proper notice of termination of the lease is provided (as described in Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.290), the landlord has 14 days to mail the security deposit refund. If the tenant does not provide proper notice, the landlord has 30 days to mail the refund. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.070(g))
- Can landlords withhold security deposits?
Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to cover accrued rent and to repair any damages to the property caused by tenants’ failures to comply with their duties (see Tenant’s Duties). (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.070(b))
- Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?
Yes. An itemized list, detailing the amount withheld and the reasons for withholding, must be mailed to the tenant’s last known address within the same time frame required to return the deposit. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.070(b))
- Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?
No. There is no Alaska law requiring landlords to issue receipts for security deposits.
- Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?
No. There is no Alaska law specifying record-keeping requirements.
- What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?
The tenant may recover up to twice the amount of the original security deposit if the security deposit refund and/or accounting is not returned within the required time frame. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.070(d))
- Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)
No. There are no rent control laws in Alaska.
- When is rent due?
Rent is due at the time and place agreed upon by the landlord and tenant. Unless they agree to a different arrangement, rent is due at the beginning of the month and will be paid in equal monthly installments. For week-to-week tenancies, rent is due every week. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.020(c))
- Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?
No. There is no Alaska law requiring a certain payment method for rent.
- Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?
Yes. There is no Alaska law forbidding late fees. However, this amount must reasonably approximate the landlord’s actual costs caused by the tenant’s failure to pay rent on time and be agreed to in the rental agreement. (The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: What It Means to You, p. 3).
- Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?
No. There is no Alaska law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.
- Can landlords charge application fees?
Yes. There is no Alaska law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- Can landlords charge returned check fees?
Yes. There is no Alaska law forbidding returned check fees. However, this amount must reasonably approximate the landlord’s actual costs caused by the tenant’s writing a bad check and be agreed to in the rental agreement. (The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: What It Means to You. p. 3)).
Alaska Landlord-Tenant Relations
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases if there is no lease?
Yes. Unless there is a lease, landlords are legally entitled to raise the rent by any amount; however, landlords must give tenants at least 30-days notice before the increase takes effect on month-to-month tenancies. (The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: What It Means to You. p. 14)).
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?
No. There is no Alaska law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.
- What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?
No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease.
- What notice is required to terminate a week-to-week periodic lease?
Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 14 days written notice. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.290(a))
- What notice is required to terminate a month-to-month periodic lease?
Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 30 days written notice. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.290(b))
- Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?
There is no statute in Alaska law covering this issue.
- When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?
- To inspect the premises.
- To make necessary or agreed to repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements.
- To supply necessary or agreed services.
- To remove personal property belonging to the landlord that is not covered by a written rental agreement.
- To show the unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.140(a))
- What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?
The landlord must provide at least 24-hours notice of intention to enter and may enter only at reasonable times and with the tenant’s consent. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.140(c))
- When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?
- In case of an emergency.
- Under court order.
- When the tenant has been absent from the property for more than 7 days without notice.
- When the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.140)
Landlord’s Duties (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.100)
- Landlords must make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a habitable condition.
- Landlords must keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition.
- Landlords must maintain in good and safe working order all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord.
- Landlords must provide and maintain appropriate receptacles for the removal of garbage and arrange for their removal.
- Landlords must supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat.
- Landlords provide and maintain locks and furnish keys reasonably adequate to ensure safety to the tenant’s person and property if requested by the tenant.
- Landlords must provide smoke detection devices and carbon monoxide detection devices.
Tenant’s Duties (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.120)
- Tenants must keep that part of the premises that the tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permits.
- Tenants must dispose of all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste cleanly and safely.
- Tenants must keep all plumbing fixtures as clean as their condition permits.
- Tenants must use all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises in a reasonable manner;
- Tenants must not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises; or knowingly permit any person to do so.
- Tenants and their guests must conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
- Tenants shall maintain smoke detection devices and carbon monoxide detection devices.
- Tenants may not, except in an emergency when the landlord cannot be contacted after reasonable effort to do so, change the locks on doors of the premises without first securing the written agreement of the landlord.
- Tenants may not unreasonably engage in conduct or permit others on the premises to engage in conduct that results in the imposition of a fee for police protective services.
- Tenants may not allow the number of individuals occupying the premises to exceed the number allowed by applicable law, by a covenant limiting the landlord’s use of the premises, or the rental agreement.
Required Landlord Disclosures
- Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards.
Alaska Renters’ Rights
- What rights do tenants have if their landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)
If a landlord’s failure to comply with the rental agreement or their legal duties materially affects health and safety, the renter may deliver a written notice to the landlord identifying the issue(s). If the landlord does not remedy the breach in 10 days of receiving notice, the lease will terminate on the notice specified in the notice. The termination date must be at least 20 days after receipt of the notice. The entire security deposit must be refunded, and the tenant is also entitled to recover injunctive relief and damages. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.160)
- Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?
Yes. If a landlord fails to supply running water, hot water, heat, sanitary facilities, or other essential services, the tenant may give written notice to the landlord specifying the breach and may immediately procure reasonable amounts of the essential service(s) and deduct their actual and reasonable cost from the rent. This also applies to any repairs necessary to procure the essential service(s). (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.180)
- Are tenants permitted to sublease their rental units?
Yes, but only with consent. Alaska law requires tenants to obtain consent from the landlord before subletting their rental unit unless otherwise agreed to in writing. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.060)
- What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their Alaska renters’ rights?
Alaska law prohibits landlords from increasing rent, decreasing services, or bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession if the tenant has complained to the landlord about a breach of landlord’s duties, sought to enforce the tenant’s rights and remedies, become a member of a tenant’s union or similar organization, or complained to a governmental agency. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.310)
Alaska Eviction Laws
- What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Alaska eviction laws?
- Nonpayment of rent (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.220(b))
- Material noncompliance with lease terms / rental agreement (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.220(a)(2)
- A breach in the tenant’s duties materially affecting health and safety (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.220(a)(2)
- Illegal activity or the deliberate infliction of substantial damage to the property (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.220(a)(1)
- Failure to pay utilities (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.220(e))
- Failure to provide the landlord reasonable access to the unit (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.300)
- The tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration or termination of the term of the rental agreement (holdover tenancy) (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.290(c))
- What notice must landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process in Alaska?
- For evictions based on nonpayment of rent, landlords must give 7-days notice to allow the tenant to pay the full past due amount before starting the eviction process. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.220(b)
- For evictions based on material noncompliance with the rental agreement or a material health and safety violation, landlords must give 10-days notice to remedy the breach before starting the eviction process. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.220(a)(2)
- For evictions based on illegal activity or the deliberate infliction of substantial damage to the property, landlords must give between 24 hours to 5-days notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.220(a)(1))
- For evictions based on failure to pay utilities, landlords must give 5-days notice before starting the eviction process. However, if the tenant pays the past due amount and restores services within 3 days of receiving notice, the eviction process will be stopped. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.220(e))
- For evictions based on failure to provide reasonable access to the unit, landlords must give 10-days notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.300)
- For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, landlords must provide a 14-day notice to terminate a week-to-week tenancy and a 30-day notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. If the tenant remains on the rental property after the termination date, the landlord can begin the eviction process without providing additional notice. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.290)
- Are landlords permitted to recover damages from an evicted tenant?
Yes. In Alaska, a landlord may recover actual damages and/or attorney fees when the lease is terminated based on a tenant’s breach of the rental agreement. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.270); (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.350)
- Are landlords permitted to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities?
No. If a landlord evicts a tenant using self-help methods, the tenant can choose to recover possession or terminate the lease and can recover up to one and one-half times actual damages. (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.280); (Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.210)
COVID-19 Changes to Alaska Landlord-Tenant Laws
- The CDC has passed a national eviction ban through December 31, 2020, that prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who meet the following criteria for nonpayment:
- Have used their best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent.
- Expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return).
- Are unable to pay their full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of income or employment, or extraordinary medical bills.
- If evicted, will have no other housing options.
- The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires landlords to provide a 30-day notice to tenants before eviction. However, the CARES Act only applies to properties that are supported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or the United States Treasury (Low Income Housing Tax Credit), and properties with federally-backed mortgages, such as FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.
- The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: What It Means to You (PDF) – Alaska Department of Law
- Forcible Entry and Detainer Forms (PDF) – Alaska Court System
- Alaska Court System
- Alaska District Court Information
- Alaska Department of Law
- 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
- Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority
Attorney Referral Services
Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations