In Kentucky, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by Kentucky Stat. §383.595. 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.
|Hot/Cold Water, HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Sanitation Facilities.
|Time Limit for Repairs
|Tenant Recourse Options
Applicable Dwelling Types in Kentucky
The implied warranty of habitability in Kentucky does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.
|Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
|Not specifically addressed
|Mobile home parks
|Not specifically addressed
|Only if tenant is renter, not owner
Kentucky’s Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is not enforced in every locality. As of December 2022, Fayette, Jefferson, Oldham, and Pulaski counties have adopted Kentucky’s Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (URLTA), in addition to these cities: Barbourville, Bellevue, Bromley, Covington, Dayton, Florence, Georgetown, Ludlow, Melbourne, Newport, Silver Grove, Southgate, Shelbyville, Taylor Mill, and Woodlawn. Outside these places, the landlord owe the tenant no duty to repair property up to code, except as agreed in the lease.
This Act makes the landlord accountable for failing to maintain the property or providing essential services (running water, heating, etc.).
If the rental property is not a jurisdiction that has adopted the Act, nothing in this article applies to you.
Landlord Responsibilities in Kentucky
The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability. Not all of them are requirements in Kentucky, 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.
|Provide windows and doors that are in good repair.
|Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks.
|Provide hot and cold running water.
|Provide working HVAC equipment.
|Yes. Heat must be supplied between Oct. 1st and May 1st of each year.
|Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting.
|Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking
|Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet).
|Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services).
|Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe.
|Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe.
|Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean.
|Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials.
|Provide working smoke detectors
|Provide a mailbox.
|Provide working wiring for one telephone jack.
|Provide working kitchen appliances.
|Provide working carbon monoxide detector.
|Provide a working washer/dryer.
Landlords are responsible to keep all common areas clean and in a safe condition.
Repairs, Recourse & Retaliation in Kentucky
If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in Kentucky, 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 Kentucky
Kentucky tenants must request repairs by writing to the landlord describing the issue. To reserve the relevant legal options, the tenant must also state actions they might take if the landlord does not make timely repairs, such as canceling the lease altogether.
An example of language a tenant might use to state these intentions is: “If the landlord hasn’t remedied the issue in 14 days, the renter may exercise his right to cancel the rental agreement on [date], which is 30 or more days from today.”
Renter’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Kentucky
Kentucky renters have the right to repairs for issues that affect health and safety, unless they caused the issue themselves. The landlord gets 14 days after receiving written notice to remedy the issue.
If the issue isn’t fixed, the renter can end the rental agreement, or ask a court to order repairs or compensation. The renter is potentially allowed to repair and deduct, but isn’t allowed to withhold rent. Read More
Landlord Retaliation in Kentucky
Kentucky landlords can’t retaliate with raised rent, reduced services, or threatened eviction against tenants who have taken one of the following protected actions in the past year:
- Complaining to the government about health and safety.
- Asking the landlord to do required repairs.
- Participating in tenant organizations.
There’s an exception in Kentucky law for non-retaliatory, good-faith motivations. For example, a proportionate increase in rent following an increase in property tax isn’t retaliation.
Tenants can respond to retaliation by suing for quiet enjoyment of the property, and can recover possession of the property or cancel the rental agreement, plus recovering punitive damages.