Timeline. Evicting a tenant in Alaska can take around one to two months, depending on the eviction type. If the landlord asks for money damages or the tenant requests a continuance, the process could take longer (read more).
Introduction. Under Alaska’s law there are specific rules and procedures of when and how a landlord may evict a tenant. In Alaska there are two parts of an eviction, which is also known as a “Forcible Entry and Detainer” (F.E.D.):
- The Eviction Phase: The court decides to deny or grant the landlord’s request to regain possession of their real property;
- The Damages Phase: The court decides if the landlord will receive a judgement against the client for any damages owed (i.e. unpaid rent, damage to the premises, etc.)
Below are the individual steps of the eviction process in Alaska.
Step 1: Notice is Posted
A “Notice to Quit” or “Notice of Termination of Tenancy” must explain what the tenant can do to correct the problem and remain on the premises. The Notice to Quit shall be in writing and must include the date and time that the problem needs to be corrected. It shall be served to the tenant in person, sent by certified mail or left at the premises.
Landlords in Alaska can begin the eviction process by delivering a Notice to Quit for several reasons, including:
- Nonpayment of Rent – Once rent is past due, notice must be served giving the tenant the option to pay rent in order to avoid eviction.
- Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement – If a tenant violates a provision of a written lease/rental agreement, the landlord must give the tenant the opportunity to correct the issue before moving forward with the eviction process.
- No Lease / End of Lease Term (Tenant at Will) – If there is no lease or the term of the lease has ended, the landlord does not need any additional reason to end the tenancy as long as proper notice is given.
- Failure to Pay Utilities – If the tenant fails to pay utilities, causing them to be shut off, the tenant can be evicted after receiving written notice.
- Failure to Allow Landlord Access – If the tenant refuses to give the landlord reasonable access to the rental unit, they can be evicted after receiving written notice.
- Illegal Activity – If a tenant is engaged in illegal activity, notice must be served before the tenant can be evicted.
- Retaliatory Evictions. It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for complaining to the landlord or to the appropriate local or government agency regarding the property. It is also illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for joining, supporting, or organizing a tenant organization or union.
- Evicting a Squatter. If the individual occupying the property did not have the permission of the landlord when initially moving in, does not have a lease (or verbal agreement) and has no history of paying rent, then a landlord/tenant relationship may not be established. As a result, the normal eviction process may not be applicable (read more).
Each possible ground for eviction has its own rules for how the process starts.
Eviction Process for Nonpayment of Rent
A landlord is allowed to evict a tenant for failing to pay rent on time.
In Alaska, rent is considered late the day after it’s due. Grace periods (if any) are addressed in the rental agreement/lease.
Once rent is past due, the landlord must provide tenants with a 7-Day Notice to Pay if the landlord wants to file an eviction action with the court. This notice gives the tenant the option to pay the past due amount in full within seven days in order to avoid eviction.
If the tenant does not pay the rent due by the end of the notice period and remains on the property, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
Eviction Process for Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement
A tenant can be evicted in Alaska if they do not uphold their responsibilities under the terms of a written lease/rental agreement.
Alaska landlords must provide tenants with a 10-Day Notice to Comply, giving tenants 10 days to correct the issue in order to avoid eviction.
Typical lease violations under this category could include things like having too many people residing in the rental unit, having a pet when there’s a no-pet policy, and material health and safety violations.
Examples of material health/safety violations could include letting trash pile up inside the rental unit, providing a harbor for rodents or bugs, or even things like damaging the electrical wiring in the rental unit.
Note that illegal activity is not included in this category.
If the tenant fails to correct the issue by the deadline/remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
Eviction Process for No Lease / End of Lease
In the state of Alaska, if tenants “holdover,” or stay in the rental unit after the rental term has expired, then the landlord must give tenants notice before evicting them. This can include tenants without a written lease and week-to-week and month-to-month tenants.
Often this type of eviction applies to tenants who are at the end of their lease and the landlord doesn’t want to renew.
The amount of time required in the notice depends on the type of tenancy.
- Week-to-Week – If rent is paid on a week-to-week basis, a landlord must provide the tenant with a 14-Day Notice to Quit .
- Month-to-Month – If rent is paid on a month-to-month basis, a landlord must provide the tenant with a 30-Day Notice to Quit .
If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
Eviction Process for Failure to Pay Utilities
In Alaska, if a tenant fails to pay for the utilities they’re required to pay for under the lease and rental agreement, causing electricity, natural gas, or water service to the rental unit to be discontinued, the landlord may evict the tenant.
Landlords must provide tenants with five days’ written notice prior to beginning the eviction process.
However, if a tenant pays the past-due utility amounts and restores service to the rental unit within three days of receiving the notice, and the utility shut-off didn’t cause any damage to the rental unit, the tenant won’t have to move and the eviction process will be stopped.
If the tenant remains on the rental property after the notice period expires, without restoring utility service, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
Eviction Process for Failure to Allow Landlord Access
In Alaska, tenants are required to allow the landlord into the rental unit to:
- Inspect the rental unit
- Make necessary repairs/alterations to the rental unit
- Show the rental unit to potential renters
- Remove the landlord’s property from the rental unit
- Provide agreed upon/necessary services
If a tenant refuses to give the landlord reasonable access to perform any of the above items, the landlord may evict the tenant by providing a written notice giving the tenant 10 days to move out.
If the tenant remains in the rental unit after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
Eviction Process for Illegal Activity
Tenants of a rental unit who are involved in illegal activity must be given 24 hours to five days’ written notice before the landlord can proceed with an eviction action.
Tenants may also be evicted if their guests or other occupants in the rental unit are involved in illegal activity, even if the tenant wasn’t specifically involved in the activity.
Illegal activity includes:
- Illegal drug activity
- Illegal activity involving alcoholic beverages
- Illegal activity involving gambling
- Illegal activity involving imitation controlled substances
- Substantial damage to the rental unit
In these instances, tenants do not have the opportunity to correct the issue and must move out.
If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
Step 2: Complaint is Filed and Served
If the problem is not corrected by the deadline or by the move out date, the landlord may file a complaint with the court. Alaska landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate District or Superior Court. In Alaska, the filing fee costs $150 for District Court (if the landlord is suing less than $100,000), and $250 in filing fees in Superior Court (if the amount is greater than $100,000). The court clerk will schedule a hearing once it is filed.
The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant by a State Trooper or professional process server at least two days prior to the eviction hearing through any one of the following methods:
- Giving a copy to the tenant in person;
- Leaving a copy with someone who lives at the rental unit; or
- Mailing a copy via certified or registered mail with a return receipt.
2 days. The summons and complaint must be served at least two days before the hearing, or the hearing may be postponed by the judge.
Step 3: Court Hearing and Judgment
The tenant must file an answer within 20 days after being served the complaint. The eviction hearing will be held within 15 days of the date the complaint was filed with the court.
Tenants may request a two day continuance; however, the court could approve a continuance for a longer period.
If the tenant fails to appear for the eviction hearing, it will not be continued, and the judge will make a ruling on the eviction that day.
Damages. In Alaska, this is a formal civil action and is governed by the Civil Rules. If the landlord requests money damages (rent owed, to pay for damage to the rental unit, etc.), the tenant has 20 days after receiving the complaint to disagree in writing with the dollar amount claimed.
If the tenant files a written answer disagreeing with the amount owed, a separate hearing will be held after the eviction hearing to determine how much money is actually owed to the landlord.
If the tenant doesn’t file a written answer, the court may award the landlord the full amount requested without having the damages hearing.
If the judge rules in favor of the landlord at the eviction hearing, a judgment for possession will be issued and the eviction process will proceed.
An appeal may be filed within 30 days of the date of judgment in favor of the landlord, but this may not stop the eviction.
~15 days The eviction case must be held within 15 days of the date the complaint was filed.
Step 4: Writ of Assistance Is Issued
The writ of assistance is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit before a State Trooper returns to the property to forcibly remove them.
If the court has ruled in the landlord’s favor, a judgment of possession is issued, telling the tenant they must move out by a court-ordered deadline.
If the tenant fails to move out by the deadline, the landlord must ask the court to issue a writ of assistance, but state law doesn’t specify a time frame for requesting the writ.
A few hours to a few days. The landlord must request the writ of assistance once the court-ordered deadline requiring the tenant to move out has passed.
Step 5: Possession of Property is Returned
Alaska state law doesn’t specify how quickly State Troopers must remove a tenant once the writ of assistance has been issued. The landlord does have to work with State Troopers to schedule the eviction.
A few days to a few weeks, depending on how quickly the landlord and State Troopers are able to schedule the eviction once the writ of assistance has been issued.
Alaska Eviction Process Timeline
Below is a summary of the aspects outside of the landlord’s control that dictate the amount of time it takes to evict a tenant in Alaska. With that being said, these estimates can vary greatly, and some time periods may not include weekends or legal holidays.
- Initial Notice Period – between 24 hours and 30 days, depending on the notice type and reason for eviction.
- Issuance/Service of Summons and Complaint – 2 days prior to the hearing.
- Court Hearing and Ruling on the Eviction – within 15 days of the date the complaint was filed with the court.
- Issuance of Writ of Assistance – A few hours to a few days after the judgment for possession is issued.
- Return of Possession – A few days to a few weeks, depending on how quickly the landlord and law enforcement officers can schedule the eviction.
Additional Eviction Information
Mobile Home Parks. A mobile home park operator may evict a mobile home or a mobile home park dweller or tenant only for one of the following reasons:
1. The mobile home tenant is late on rent owed;
- The mobile home tenant has been convicted of violating a local ordinance or federal or state law, and the tenant continues to violate the law that is detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of other tenants in the mobile home park;
- The mobile home tenant has violated a rule or regulation of the rental agreement; and
- A change in the land comprising the mobile home park, or the portion of it on which the mobile home to be evicted is located. All tenants affected by a change in land use shall be given at least 270 days’ notice.
Flowchart of Alaska Eviction Process
For additional questions about the eviction process in Alaska, please refer to the official legislation, Alaska Statutes §§34.03.010 to 34.03.380, §§09.45.060 to 09.45.160, and the Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4, for more information.