Alaska Overhauls Landlord/Tenant Act

Downtown JuneauJUNEAU, Alaska –Gov. Sean Parnell (R) signed HB 282, a major rental housing bill that updates the state’s landlord tenant act for the first time in 20 years. The sponsor, Rep. Doug Isaacson (R), incorporated changes to provide protections for both owners and residents, with the goal of not providing additional burdens to rental owners.

In his official statement he said the legislation “integrates property management best practices and protects against abuses by either landlord or tenant.” The bill is a mix of new provisions and clarifications which include defining normal wear and tear, as well as “service animals” versus “comfort animals” and pets.

New provisions of the act that will benefit owners include expedited eviction of residents engaged in illegal activities (drug dealing and prostitution are singled out); the ability to restrict occupancy; the right to require a pet deposit for non-service animals; and an extended deadline (from 14 days to 30 days) for refunding the security deposit in the event of resident noncompliance/damages.

The most significant new requirement on rental owners is the maintenance of separate accounts for security deposits and prepaid rent; under current law these funds are permitted to be comingled in a single account. Residents will now be required to sign a premises condition statement, which can be used by either party in a dispute over damages.

Office of Gov. Sean Parnell, Alaska State Legislature, Alaska House Majority

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