Warranty of Habitability in Alaska

Last Updated: February 2, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

In Alaska, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by AK Stat. § Sec. 34.03.100. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Quick Facts Answer
Landlord Responsibilities Hot/Cold Water, HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Stairs/Railings, Fire Exits, Floors, Showers, Toilets, Kitchen Appliances, Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Time Limit for Repairs 10 days
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: No (landlord malfeasance only)
  • Repair & Deduct: No (landlord malfeasance only)

Applicable Dwelling Types in Alaska

The implied warranty of habitability in Alaska does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are & aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs Not addressed
RV parks Not addressed
Mobile home parks Not addressed
Condos Not addressed
Hotels/Motels No

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Landlord Responsibilities in Alaska

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in Alaska, as indicated below.

Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Not addressed
Provide hot and cold running water. *Yes
Provide working HVAC equipment. Yes
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Yes
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Not addressed
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Yes
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Yes
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Yes
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Yes
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Yes
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Yes
Provide a mailbox. No
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. Only If Provided
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Yes
Provide a working washer/dryer. No
Provide and maintain locks and furnishing keys. If requested by tenant

*Supply of running water and hot water is excluded when heat/hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection. (AK Stat. § Sec. 34.03.100(5)(A)(B)) Or if the dwelling unit does not have a well/water provided by a public utility connection and the rental agreement states that it’s the tenant’s responsibility.

Additionally, if a rental property (specifically a single-family residence) is in an undeveloped rural area or located where public water service and sewer services have never been connected, the landlord is not liable for running water, hot water, sewage, or sanitary facilities from a private system. (AK Stat. § Sec. 34.03.100(b))

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Pests

Landlords must treat for rats, mice, roaches, or other “pests” in the rental unit.

Appliances

Landlords may choose to provide additional appliances, but they are not required to under the law. If any non-landlord owned appliance fails, it’s the renter’s responsibility to repair/replace it.

However, tenants and landlords can have a written agreement that requires the tenant to be responsible for providing running water, heat, trash service, and carbon monoxide and smoke detectors—but only if the rental property is a single-family property or a duplex.

Repairs, Recourse, and Retaliation in Alaska

If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in Alaska, state laws outline how the repair process works, what tenants can do if repairs aren’t made, and how tenants are protected against retaliating landlords.

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.

Renter’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Alaska

Alaska renters have the right to repairs within 10 days of proper notice for most issues. If an issue isn’t fixed in a timely way, the renter could end the lease or get an injunction for repairs or compensation. However, the renter usually can’t repair and deduct, or withhold rent. Read More

Landlord Retaliation in Alaska

In Alaska, it’s illegal for landlords to retaliate by raising rent, reducing services, or threatening eviction or other civil action, except for good cause like unpaid rent or lease violations. The law assumes retaliation after tenants have:

  • Reported violations to the government.
  • Complained to the landlord about maintenance.
  • Participated in a tenant organization.
  • Pursued rights under Alaska’s Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.

Tenants can respond by suing to recover quiet possession of the rental property or by ending the lease after proper notice. In either case, the tenant can recover one and one-half times their expenses, plus attorney fees.

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