A Kentucky rental agreement is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a rental property and a tenant who wishes to use it. Kentucky landlord-tenant law governs these agreements; rental terms must be within the limits allowed by law.
Kentucky Rental Agreement Types
A Kentucky roommate agreement is a legal contract between two or more people (“co-tenants”) who share a rental property according to rules they set, including for things like splitting the rent. This agreement binds the co-tenants living together, and doesn’t include the landlord.
Kentucky Required Residential Lease Disclosures
- Landlord’s Name and Address (required for all leases) – Kentucky leases must contain the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. This enables smooth communication of any important legal notice.
- Move-In Checklist (required for some leases) – Kentucky landlords collecting a security deposit must provide a move-in checklist for both parties to agree on any existing damages on the rental property. This lets the condition of the property receive accurate assessment upon move-out.
- Security Deposit Holdings (required for some leases) – Kentucky landlords collecting a security deposit must disclose holding information to the tenant, including the bank and account number holding the relevant deposit.
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (required for some) – For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a Kentucky residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure with an EPA informational pamphlet, plus notice of any lead hazards on the property.
To learn more about required disclosures in Kentucky, click here.
Kentucky Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – Kentucky landlords can only rent out habitable property, which means providing certain features essential to basic health and safety. This includes things like heat, plumbing, electricity, and sound structural elements. Landlords must repair any issues within 14 days after proper notice from the tenant. Failure to repair lets a tenant sue the landlord, terminate the lease, or repair and deduct from the rent. Tenants in Kentucky aren’t allowed to withhold rent.
- Evictions – Kentucky landlords may evict for rent default, lease violations, or illegal acts, among other things. Before filing eviction, landlords must serve tenants with prior notice to pay, comply, or quit, depending on the eviction type. This means most evictions in Kentucky take between a few weeks to a month.
- Security Deposits – Kentucky does not set a maximum cap on what a landlord can charge for a security deposit. Upon lease termination, a landlord must return any unused portion of a security deposit within 30 days.
- Lease Termination – Kentucky lets tenants terminate a month-to-month lease with 30 days of advance notice. A fixed-term lease can’t be terminated early without active military duty, landlord harassment, uninhabitable property, or domestic abuse.
- Rent Increases and Fees – Kentucky does not set a maximum cap on rent increase, or require landlords to provide justification or advance notice. Late fees are capped $20 or 20% of the rental fee plus reasonable expenses incurred (whichever is greater). Returned check fees are capped at $50 per case of insufficient funds.
- Landlord Entry – Kentucky landlords may enter rental property for purposes reasonably related to the tenancy, like maintenance, inspections, and property showings. Except in emergencies, they must provide reasonable advance notice before entering, and enter only at reasonable times of day.
- Settling Legal Disputes – Kentucky allows hearing landlord-tenant disputes in its small claims courts, as long as the amount in controversy is under $2,500. Unlike many states, Kentucky allows evictions in small claims. Rent-related cases have a 15-year statute of limitations, while cases involving property damage have a 5-year statute of limitations.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Kentucky, click here.