Tenants in Alaska have the legal right to repairs for issues that place the property in violation of state health and safety standards. To exercise this right, they must properly notify the landlord in writing and allow 10 days for the repairs to be made.
Alaska Landlord Responsibilities for Repairs
Alaska landlords are responsible for keeping all of the following in good working condition:
- Hot water.
- Garbage receptacles and removal.
- Supplied facilities or appliances.
- Common areas.
- Anything impacting health, safety, or habitability.
If any of the above stops working properly, and the tenant isn’t at fault for the damage, the landlord is the one responsible for making the repairs necessary to fix it.
What Repairs Are Tenants Responsible for in Alaska?
Alaska tenants are responsible for repairing all damage they deliberately or negligently cause to the property.
By specific written agreement, tenants can sometimes take responsibility for certain repairs that would normally be the landlord’s duty. Most repair obligations can only be changed when leasing single- and two-family residences, or properties renting for more than $2,000 a month.
Requesting Repairs in Alaska
Alaska tenants must request repairs by giving the landlord notice of the issue in writing. When the tenant intends to cancel the rental agreement if the landlord doesn’t repair, the intention to cancel must be included in the repair request.
This is an example of language a tenant might use to state this intention: “If the issue isn’t fixed within ten days, the rental agreement shall terminate 20 days from delivery of this notice.”
How Long Does a Landlord Have To Make Repairs in Alaska?
Alaska landlords have 10 days to make repairs after getting a written request.
Can the Landlord Refuse To Make Repairs in Alaska?
Alaska landlords cannot refuse to make repairs that are their responsibility, even if the tenant isn’t current on rent.
Do Landlords Have To Pay for Alternative Accommodation During Repairs in Alaska?
Alaska landlords must only pay for alternative accommodation when their deliberate or negligent actions deprive the renter of essential services like water, heat, or sanitation. If this happens, the renter can stop rent, find substitute housing, and bill the landlord for reasonable differences in rental cost.
Tenant’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Alaska
Alaska tenants can cancel the rental agreement if the landlord doesn’t make timely repairs, depending on the situation. They can also sue for damages or get an injunction to force repairs, and recover attorney fees if they win.
Can the Tenant Withhold Rent in Alaska?
Alaska tenants are not allowed to withhold rent, although a landlord’s actions may, on a case by case basis, create defenses for the tenant which will excuse partial nonpayment of rent.
Can the Tenant Repair and Deduct in Alaska?
Alaska tenants are not allowed to arrange for repairs and deduct from the rent.
Can the Tenant Break Their Lease in Alaska?
Alaska tenants can break leases 20 days after proper written notice, for failure to repair issues that weren’t the tenant’s responsibility or other uncorrected breaches of the rental agreement. They can break leases immediately (with 10 days’ written notice) when a previous issue recurs within six months.
When the property is destroyed or severely damaged by fire or casualty (for example, a hurricane), tenants can move out immediately and notify the landlord that the lease has ended on the move-out day.
Can the Tenant Sue in Alaska?
Alaska tenants can sue to force repairs or recover monetary damages, when the landlord doesn’t make timely repairs.
Can the Tenant Report the Landlord in Alaska?
Alaska tenants can report landlords for code violations that affect health or safety. Tenants should usually report to the local inspections or code enforcement department. If an inspecting officer finds a violation, the tenant could cancel the rental agreement, or sue to force repairs.
Landlord Retaliation in Alaska
In Alaska, it’s illegal for landlords to retaliate against tenants by raising rent, reducing services, or threatening eviction or other civil action, except for good cause like unpaid rent or lease violations. Retaliation is presumed after tenants have taken any of the following actions:
- Reporting violations to the government.
- Complaining to the landlord about maintenance.
- Participating in a tenant organization.
- Pursuing rights under Alaska’s Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.
- 1 Alaska Stat. § 34.03.160(a) (2021)
“(a) Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with AS 34.03.100 materially affecting health and safety, the tenant may deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and specifying that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 20 days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in 10 days, and the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice subject to the provisions of this section. If the breach is remediable by repairs or the payment of damages or otherwise, and the landlord remedies the breach before the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement will not terminate.”Source Link
- 2 Alaska Stat. 34.03.160(a) (2021)
“The tenant may not terminate for a condition caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenant’s family, or other person on the premises with the tenant’s consent.”Source Link
- 3 Alaska Stat. § 34.03.100(a) (2021)
“The landlord shall (1) make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition; (2) keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition; (3) maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, kitchen, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord; (4) provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal; (5) supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water and heat at all times, insofar as energy conditions permit… (6) if requested by the tenant, provide and maintain locks and furnish keys reasonably adequate to ensure safety to the tenant’s person and property; and (7) provide smoke detection devices and carbon monoxide detection devices as required under AS 18.70.095.”Source Link
- 4 Alaska Stat. § 34.03.100(c) (2021)
“(c) The landlord and tenant of a one- or two-family residence may agree in writing that the tenant perform the landlord’s duties specified in (a)(4), (5), (6), and (7) of this section. A tenant may agree to perform the duties specified in (a)(3) of this section in rental units where the rent exceeds $2,000 a month. They may also agree in writing that the tenant perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, and remodeling, but the tenant may not agree to maintain elevators in good and safe working order. Agreements are allowed under this subsection only if the transaction is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord.Source Link
- 5 Alaska Stat. § 34.03.100(d) (2021)
“(d) The landlord and tenant of a dwelling unit other than a single family residence may agree that the tenant is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, or remodeling only if (1) the agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord and is set out in a separate writing signed by the parties and supported by adequate consideration; and (2) the agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the landlord to other tenants in the premises.”Source Link
- 6 Alaska Stat. § 34.03.180(a)(3) (2021)
“If, contrary to the rental agreement or AS 34.03.100, the landlord deliberately or negligently 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 substitute housing during the period of the landlord’s noncompliance, in which case the tenant is excused from paying rent for the period of the landlord’s noncompliance and, in addition, may recover the amount by which the actual and reasonable cost exceeds rent.”Source Link
- 7 Alaska Stat. § 34.03.350 (2021)
“Attorney fees shall be allowed to the prevailing party in any proceeding arising out of this chapter, or a rental agreement.”Source Link
- 8 Alaska Stat. § 34.03.160(a) & (b) (2021)
“In the absence of due care by the landlord, if substantially the same act or omission that constituted a prior noncompliance of which notice was given recurs within six months, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement upon at least 10 days written notice specifying the breach and the date of termination of the rental agreement. The tenant may not terminate for a condition caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenant’s family, or other person on the premises with the tenant’s consent.
“(b) Except as provided in this chapter, the tenant may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for any noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or AS 34.03.100, 34.03.210, or 34.03.280.”Source Link
- 9 Alaska Stat. § 34.03.200(a)(1) (2021)
“If the dwelling unit or premises are damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty to the extent that enjoyment of the dwelling unit is substantially impaired, the tenant shall immediately vacate the premises and notify the landlord of the intention to terminate the rental agreement, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the date of vacating.”Source Link
- 10 Alaska Stat. § 34.03.310(a) (2021)
“Except as provided in (c) and (d) of this section [nonpayment of rent; tenant malfeasance; good-faith reasons for possession such as sale; good-faith reasons to raise rent], a landlord may not retaliate by increasing rent or decreasing services or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession after the tenant has (1) complained to the landlord of a violation of AS 34.03.100 [landlord’s duties]; (2) sought to enforce rights and remedies granted the tenant under this chapter; (3) organized or become a member of a tenant’s union or similar organization; or (4) complained to a governmental agency responsible for enforcement of governmental housing, wage, price, or rent controls.”Source Link