In Alaska, leases can be either oral or written. According to Alaska law (Alaska Statutes Ch. 3), the rental agreement automatically grants tenants certain rights, including the right to a habitable living space and the right to take at least one form of alternative action.
Landlords also have certain rights, such as the right to receive rent on time and the right to pursue eviction, if the tenant is deemed to be in any lease violation or non-payment of rent.
Note: These rights exist regardless of a rental agreement stating otherwise.
Landlord Responsibilities in Alaska
In Alaska, landlords are responsible for maintaining habitable premises and must make requested repairs in a timely manner (10 days). If they do not, then Alaska tenants are empowered to make the repairs themselves and deduct the cost from future rent payments.
Here is a list of essential amenities that Alaska landlords are and are not responsible for.
|Working appliances||Yes, if supplied by landlord|
|Electrical outlets and wiring||Yes|
Landlords are not permitted to evict tenants in retaliation for exercising their right to a habitable dwelling.
Tenant Responsibilities in Alaska
Aside from paying rent on time every payment period, Alaska tenants must:
- Keep the unit in a clean, safe and habitable condition.
- Make minor repairs.
- Keep the unit and plumbing fixtures clean and sanitary.
- Use facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner.
- Not negligently or deliberately damage the unit or allow others to do so.
- Maintain all smoke and carbon monoxide devices.
- Not disturb other tenants or neighbors.
- Not change any door locks without landlords’ permission (unless it is an emergency).
Evictions in Alaska
Alaska landlords are empowered to evict tenants for the following reasons:
- Nonpayment of Rent – If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, then the landlord may issue a 7-Day Notice to Pay after any applicable grace period. If the tenant does not pay, then the landlord may begin eviction proceedings.
- Lease Violation – If a lease violation occurs then the landlord may issue a 10-Day Notice to Cure or Quit.
- No Lease/End of Lease – 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. The amount of time required in the notice depends on the type of tenancy, if rent is paid on a week-to-week basis, a landlord must provide the tenant with a 14-Day Notice to Quit and month-to-month tenancies, a landlord must provide the tenant with a 30-Day Notice to Quit.
- Failure to Pay Utilities – If the tenant fails to pay utilities, causing them to be shut off, the tenant can be evicted after receiving a 5-Day Notice to Quit.
- 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 a 10-Day Notice to Quit.
- Illegal Acts – Alaska landlord may issue a 24- Hour to 5-Day Notice to Quit if they have documentation of illegal activity on the premises.
It is illegal for landlords to evict tenants in retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
Security Deposits in Alaska
- Standard Limit/Maximum Amount – 2 months’ rent.
- Time Limit for Returns – 30 days.
- Penalty if Not Returned on Time – If an Alaska landlord wrongfully withholds a security deposit, then they may be liable to pay up to twice the security deposit’s value.
- Allowable Deductions – Unpaid rent, damages that exceed normal wear and tear.
Lease Termination in Alaska
Notice requirements. If an Alaska tenant wishes to break a periodic lease then they must give the following amount of notice.
|Rent Payment Frequency||Notice Needed|
Early termination. Alaska Tenants may legally break a lease early for the following reasons:
- Early termination clause
- Active military duty
- Uninhabitable unit
- Landlord harassment
Tenants who break a lease early may be required to pay the remainder of the lease term. Landlords in Alaska are obligated to facilitate re-renting the unit “quickly”
Rent Increases & Related Fees in Alaska
- Rent control. Alaska law does not limit how much landlords can charge in rent as there are not rent control policies.
- Rental increases. Month-to-month tenants are entitled to receive at least 30 days notice before raising rental prices. Landlords are not limited in how much they can raise rent.
- Rent-related fees. There are no limitations to fees as long as they are included in the lease agreement. Automatic late fees may not be enforceable. The stat does not limit returned check fees.
Housing Discrimination in Alaska
Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, familial status, or disability. These rules do not apply to homes operated by religious organizations or to owner-occupied homes. State law in Alaska extends protections to renters on the basis of pregnancy and marital status.
Discriminatory acts & penalties. The Alaska Commission for Human Rights handles cases related to housing discrimination in the state. The following behaviors may be interpreted as discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected class:
- Refusing to rent or sell on a bona fide offer
- Offering different terms, conditions, or privileges
- Advertising the implies a preference for one group over others
- Applying different rules to tenants than others
The state does not outline specific punishments but if you are the victim of housing discrimination you can report it to the Alaska Human Rights Commission’s website.
Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Alaska
Landlord Right to Entry in Alaska
Alaska landlords are required to give at least 24 hours’ notice before entering an inhabited property. This notice can be extended by a lease agreement but not decreased. Landlords may also enter within reasonable hours between 8am and 5pm. Landlords do not need permission to enter in case of emergencies.
Small Claims Court in Alaska
Alaska small claims court will hear rent-related cases valued up to $10,000 or less. Small claims court does not handle eviction cases. There is a 3-year statute of limitations on contracts in Alaska.
Mandatory Disclosures in Alaska
Alaska landlords are required to make the following mandatory disclosures:
- Lead-Based Paint – Landlords who own homes built before 1978 must provide information about the concentrations of lead paint used in the building.
- Landlord’s Name & Address – Landlords must disclose their contact information.
- Tenant Occupancy – Landlords must disclose that if the tenant is absent from the unit for more than seven days, that notice must be given to the landlord.
- Withholding Security Deposits – A landlord must disclose that they have the option to withhold the security deposit for specific reasons listed in the lease agreement.
Changing the Locks in Alaska
Alaska tenants are only allowed to change the locks if they get written permission from the landlord. Tenants can request a lock change for emergencies but must notify and provide the landlord with the new set of keys within 5 days.
Local Laws in Alaska
Anchorage Landlord Tenant Rights
Anchorage provides extra landlord-tenant regulations that go above those mandated by the state. It is illegal to refuse renting to a tenant because of their age. More details on these provisions can be found here.
In addition, check your local county and municipality for additional land-lord tenant regulations.