The Kentucky rental agreements are legal contracts written between a landlord and a tenant who wishes to use real property. The tenant makes regular compensatory payments (“rent”) in exchange. The agreements determine the terms for use of the property, but they must comply with Kentucky’s landlord-tenant laws.
Kentucky Rental Agreement Types
Kentucky Required Lease Disclosures
- Landlord’s Name & Address (required for all) – Every Kentucky lease agreement must include a notice in or alongside their lease agreement that outlines contact information of anyone authorized to act on behalf of the property for serving or receiving legal documentation.
- Move-In Checklist (required for some) – If intending to charge a security deposit for a rental property, Kentucky landlords must provide a move-in checklist for both parties to agree on any existing damages in the unit so that new damages can be assessed against the security deposit at move-out.
- Security Deposit Holdings (required for some) – The holding information, including the bank and account number where it is held, must be disclosed when charging a Kentucky security deposit for a lease to ensure fund availability during the tenancy and upon move-out.
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (required for some) – Every Kentucky lease agreement must include a lead-based paint disclosure form to protect the owner’s liability and inform new tenants of lead paint dangers, including an EPA-approved pamphlet regarding the dangers of lead paint in addition to any known hazards that exist in the dwelling unit or the building it resides in if it was built before 1978.
To learn more about required disclosures in Kentucky, click here.
Kentucky Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – In Kentucky, a landlord is legally obliged to provide tenants with reasonable running hot/cold water, adequate plumbing, safe electric outlets, and more. Landlords must fix habitability issues within 14 days of notice, or the tenant can terminate the lease agreement after 30 days. If this is not done, a Kentucky tenant may withhold rent or use the repair and deduct method.
- Evictions – Kentucky landlords may evict tenants for a number of reasons including, but not limited to failure to pay rent, a violation of a leasing term, or committing an illegal act. Landlords must provide tenants with prior notice to pay, comply or quit, depending on the type of eviction. In most situations, Kentucky evictions can take several weeks to a month.
- Security Deposits – Kentucky landlords have no limit as to what they can charge for a security deposit. They must return any unused funds within 30 days of a tenant’s lease ending, though.
- Lease Termination – Kentucky tenants can end their month-to-month lease as long as they provide 30 days of notice to their landlord. A fixed-term tenant can end their lease early under the following conditions: active military duty, landlord harassment, domestic violence or unit uninhabitability.
- Rent Increases & Fees – Kentucky landlords do not need to provide notice or justification for rent increases. They are also not limited to how much they can charge for a rent increase. Additionally late fees are capped at $20 or 20% of the rental fee plus reasonable expenses incurred and bounced check fees are capped at $50 per instance.
- Landlord Entry – A Kentucky landlord is required to provide 2 days of notice before entering a tenant’s unit. This does not apply in emergency situations, if the tenant no longer occupies the property, or if there is a court order.
- Settling Legal Disputes – Evictions and other disputes valued at $2,500 or less can be heard in Kentucky’s small claims court. However, rent-related cases are subject to a 15-year statute of limitations, while those involving property damage carry a 5-year statute of limitations.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Kentucky, click here.