Alaska Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Alaska Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Last Updated: February 2, 2023

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:

  • Plumbing.
  • Locks.
  • Heating.
  • 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.

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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.

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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.

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