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Article 01. PURPOSES AND RULES OF CONSTRUCTION

Sec. 34.03.010. Purpose and construction.

(a) This chapter shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes and policies.

(b) The underlying purposes and policies of this chapter are to

(1) simplify, clarify, modernize, and revise the law governing the rental of dwelling units and the rights and obligations of landlord and tenant;

(2) encourage landlord and tenant to maintain and improve the quality of housing; and

(3) make uniform the law among those states that enact it.

Article 02. RENTAL AGREEMENTS

Sec. 34.03.020. Terms and conditions of rental agreement.

(a) The landlord and tenant may include in a rental agreement clauses and conditions not prohibited by this chapter or by law, including rent, terms of agreement, and other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the parties.

(b) In the absence of agreement, the tenant shall pay as rent the fair rental value for the use and occupancy of the dwelling unit.

(c) Rent shall be payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the dwelling unit. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one month or less and otherwise in equal monthly installments. Unless otherwise agreed, rent shall be uniformly apportionable from day to day and shall be paid on the date the periodic tenancy begins and payable on or before the same date of each and every month thereafter until the tenancy terminates.

(d) Unless the rental agreement fixes a definite term, the tenancy shall be week to week in the case of a tenant who pays weekly rent, and in all other cases month to month.

(e) If required by the landlord, the landlord and the tenant shall include within the rental agreement, incorporate by reference in the rental agreement, or add as a separate attachment to the rental agreement a premises condition statement, setting out the condition of the premises, including fixtures but excluding reference to any of the other contents of the premises, and, if applicable, a contents inventory itemizing or describing all of the furnishings and other contents of the premises and specifying the condition of each of them. In the premises condition statement and contents inventory, the parties shall describe the premises and its contents at the commencement of the term of the period of the occupancy covered by the rental agreement. When signed by the parties, the premises condition statement and contents inventory completed under this subsection become part of the rental agreement.

Sec. 34.03.030. Effect of unsigned or undelivered rental agreement.

(a) If the landlord does not sign and deliver a written rental agreement signed and delivered to the landlord by the tenant, acceptance of rent without reservation by the landlord gives the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed and delivered by the landlord.

(b) If the tenant does not sign and deliver a written rental agreement signed and delivered to the tenant by the landlord, acceptance of possession and payment of rent without reservation gives the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed and delivered by the tenant.

(c) If a rental agreement given effect by the operation of this section provides for a term longer than one year, it is effective only for one year.

Sec. 34.03.040. Prohibited provisions in rental agreements.

(a) A rental agreement may not provide that the tenant or landlord

(1) agrees to waive or to forego rights or remedies under this chapter;

(2) authorizes a person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement;

(3) agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any liability of the landlord or tenant arising under the law or to indemnify the landlord or tenant for that liability or the costs connected with it;

(4) agrees to pay the landlord's attorney fees.

(b) A provision prohibited by (a) or (c) of this section included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. If a landlord or tenant wilfully uses a rental agreement containing provisions known by the person to be prohibited, the other party may recover the amount of actual damages.

(c) A rental agreement between a mobile home park operator and a mobile home park tenant may not

(1) deny a tenant of a mobile home park the right to sell the tenant's mobile home within the park or require the resident or tenant to remove the mobile home from the park solely on the basis of the sale of the mobile home, nor may the mobile home park operator make a rule or regulation to the same effect, except that, within 30 days of written notice by the tenant of intent to sell the mobile home to a specified buyer, the operator or owner of the mobile home park may refuse to allow a sale for the following reasons:

(A) the mobile home is in violation of laws or ordinances relating to health, safety or welfare;

(B) the proposed buyer refuses to assume the same terms as are in the existing rental agreement; or

(C) the proposed buyer does not have sufficient financial responsibility;

(2) require a tenant to provide permanent improvements that become a part of the real property of the mobile home park owner or operator as a condition of tenancy in the mobile home park; however, the rental agreement may require the tenant to maintain existing conditions in the park;

(3) require payment of any type of vendor or transfer fee either by a tenant in the mobile home park desiring to sell the tenant's mobile home to another party or by any party desiring to purchase a mobile home from a tenant in the park as a condition of tenancy; however, this paragraph does not prevent the owner or operator from applying normal park standards to prospective tenants before granting or denying tenancy or from charging a reasonable vendor or transfer fee for services actually performed if the tenant is notified in writing of the amount of those charges before agreeing to move into the park; or

(4) require the prospective tenant to pay a fee to enter the mobile home park or a tenant to pay a fee to transfer the tenant's mobile home to another location outside the park; however, this paragraph does not prevent the owner or operator from charging a reasonable fee for services actually performed and if the tenant is notified in writing of the amount of those charges before agreeing to move into the park.

Sec. 34.03.050. Separation of rents and obligations to maintain property forbidden.

A rental agreement, assignment, conveyance, trust deed, or security instrument may not permit the receipt of rent free of the obligation to comply with AS 34.03.100 (a).

Sec. 34.03.060. Sublease and assignment.

(a) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the tenant may not sublet the premises or assign the rental agreement to another without the landlord's consent.

(b) The tenant's right to sublease the premises or assign the rental agreement to another shall be conditioned on obtaining the landlord's consent, which may be withheld only upon the grounds specified in (d) of this section; no further restrictions on sublease or assignment are enforceable.

(c) When the rental agreement requires the landlord's consent for sublease or assignment, the tenant may secure one or more persons who are willing to occupy the premises. Each prospective occupant shall make a written offer signed and delivered by the prospective occupant to the landlord, containing the following information on the prospective occupant:

(1) name, age, and present address;

(2) marital status;

(3) occupation, place of employment, and name and address of employer;

(4) number of all other persons who would normally reside with the prospective occupant;

(5) two credit references, or responsible persons who will confirm the financial responsibility of the prospective occupant; and

(6) names and addresses of all landlords of the prospective occupant during the prior three years.

(d) Within 14 days after the written offer has been delivered to the landlord, the landlord may refuse consent to a sublease or assignment by a written rejection signed and delivered by the landlord to the tenant, containing one or more of the following reasonable grounds for rejecting the prospective occupant:

(1) insufficient credit standing or financial responsibility;

(2) number of persons in the household;

(3) number of persons under 18 years of age in the household;

(4) unwillingness of the prospective occupant to assume the same terms as are included in the existing rental agreement;

(5) proposed maintenance of pets;

(6) proposed commercial activity; or

(7) written information signed by a previous landlord, which shall accompany the rejection, setting out abuses of other premises occupied by the prospective occupant.

(e) In the event the written rejection fails to contain one or more grounds permitted by (d) of this section for rejecting the prospective occupant, the tenant may consider the landlord's consent given, or at the tenant's option may terminate the rental agreement by a written notice given without unnecessary delay to the landlord at least 30 days before the termination date specified in the notice.

(f) If the landlord does not deliver a written rejection signed by the landlord to the tenant within 14 days after a written offer has been delivered to the landlord by the tenant, the landlord's consent to the sublease or assignment shall be conclusively presumed.

Article 03. LANDLORD OBLIGATIONS

Sec. 34.03.070. Security deposits and prepaid rent.

(a) A landlord may not demand or receive prepaid rent or a security deposit, however denominated, in an amount or value in excess of two months' periodic rent. This section does not apply to rental units where the rent exceeds $2,000 a month.

(b) Upon termination of the tenancy, property or money held by the landlord as prepaid rent or as a security deposit may be applied to the payment of accrued rent and the amount of damages that the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with AS 34.03.120 . The accrued rent and damages must be itemized by the landlord in a written notice mailed to the tenant's last known address within the time limit prescribed by (g) of this section, together with the amount due the tenant. In this subsection, "damages"

(1) means deterioration of the premises and, if applicable, of the contents of the premises;

(2) does not include deterioration

(A) that is the result of the tenant's use of the premises by normal, nonabusive living;

(B) caused by the landlord's failure to prepare for expected conditions or by the landlord's failure to comply with an obligation of the landlord imposed by this chapter.

(c) All money paid to the landlord by the tenant as prepaid rent or as a security deposit in a lease or rental agreement shall be promptly deposited by the landlord, wherever practicable, in a trust account in a bank, savings and loan association, or licensed escrow agent, and the landlord shall provide to the tenant the terms and conditions under which the prepaid rent or security deposit or portions of them may be withheld by the landlord; nothing in this chapter prohibits the landlord from commingling prepaid rents and security deposits in a single financial account.

(d) If the landlord wilfully fails to comply with (b) of this section, the tenant may recover an amount not to exceed twice the actual amount withheld.

(e) This section does not preclude a landlord or tenant from recovering other damages to which either may be entitled under this chapter.

(f) The holder of the landlord's interest in the premises at the time of the termination of the tenancy is bound by this section.

(g) If the landlord or tenant gives notice that complies with AS 34.03.290, the landlord shall mail the written notice and refund required by (b) of this section within 14 days after the tenancy is terminated and possession is delivered by the tenant. If the tenant does not give notice that complies with AS 34.03.290 , the landlord shall mail the written notice and refund required by (b) of this section within 30 days after the tenancy is terminated, possession is delivered by the tenant, or the landlord becomes aware that the dwelling unit is abandoned. If the landlord does not know the mailing address of the tenant, but knows or has reason to know how to contact the tenant to give the notice required by (b) of this section, the landlord shall make a reasonable effort to deliver the notice and refund to the tenant.

Sec. 34.03.080. Disclosure.

(a) The landlord or a person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on behalf of the landlord shall disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy the name and address of

(1) the person authorized to manage the premises; and

(2) an owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving and receipting for notices and demands.

(b) The information required to be furnished by this section shall be kept current and this section extends to and is enforceable against any successor landlord, owner, or manager.

(c) A person who fails to comply with (a) of this section becomes an agent of each person who is a landlord for the purpose of

(1) service of process and receiving and receipting for notices and demands; and

(2) performing the obligations of the landlord under this chapter and under the rental agreement and expending or making available for the purpose all rent collected from the premises.

(d) A mobile home park operator shall disclose fully in writing all capital improvements that will be required to be made by the tenant including but not limited to skirting or utility hook-ups, before entering into a rental agreement.

Sec. 34.03.090. Landlord to supply possession of the dwelling unit.

(a) At the commencement of the term the landlord shall deliver possession of the premises to the tenant in compliance with the rental agreement and AS 34.03.100 . The landlord may, after serving a notice to quit under AS 09.45.100 - 09.45.105 to a person who is wrongfully in possession,

(1) bring an action for possession against any person wrongfully in possession; and

(2) recover the damages provided in AS 34.03.290 .

(b) As a condition of delivery of possession of the premises to the tenant, the landlord may require the tenant to acknowledge or verify by the tenant's signature the accuracy of the premises condition statement and contents inventory prepared under AS 34.03.020 (e). Before requiring the tenant's signature, the landlord shall first advise the tenant that the premises condition statement and contents inventory

(1) may be used by the landlord as the basis

(A) to determine whether prepaid rent or a security deposit shall be applied to the payment of damages to the premises when authorized by AS 34.03.070(b); and

(B) to compute the recovery of other damages to which the parties may be entitled under this chapter; and

(2) is, in an action initiated by a party to recover damages or to obtain other relief to which a party may be entitled under this chapter, presumptive evidence of the condition of the premises and its contents at the commencement of the term of the period of occupancy covered by the rental agreement.

Sec. 34.03.100. Landlord to maintain fit premises.

(a) The landlord shall

(1) make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;

(2) keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition;

(3) maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, kitchen, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord;

(4) provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal;

(5) supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water and heat at all times, insofar as energy conditions permit, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection;

(6) if requested by the tenant, provide and maintain locks and furnish keys reasonably adequate to ensure safety to the tenant's person and property; and

(7) provide smoke detection devices and carbon monoxide detection devices as required under AS 18.70.095 .

(b) A landlord of a single family residence located in an undeveloped rural area or located where public sewer or water service has never been connected is not liable for a breach of (a)(3) or (5) of this section if the dwelling unit at the beginning of the rental agreement did not have running water, hot water, sewage, or sanitary facilities from a private system.

(c) The landlord and tenant of a one- or two-family residence may agree in writing that the tenant perform the landlord's duties specified in (a)(4), (5), (6), and (7) of this section. A tenant may agree to perform the duties specified in (a)(3) of this section in rental units where the rent exceeds $2,000 a month. They may also agree in writing that the tenant perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, and remodeling, but the tenant may not agree to maintain elevators in good and safe working order. Agreements are allowed under this subsection only if the transaction is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord.

(d) The landlord and tenant of a dwelling unit other than a single family residence may agree that the tenant is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, or remodeling only if

(1) the agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord and is set out in a separate writing signed by the parties and supported by adequate consideration; and

(2) the agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the landlord to other tenants in the premises.

(e) The landlord may not treat performance of a separate agreement described in (d) of this section as a condition to an obligation or performance of a rental agreement.

Sec. 34.03.110. Limitation of liability.

(a) Unless otherwise agreed, a landlord who conveys premises that include a dwelling unit subject to a rental agreement in a good faith sale to a bona fide purchaser is relieved of liability under the rental agreement and this chapter as to events occurring subsequent to written notice to the tenant of the conveyance. However,

(1) the landlord remains liable to the tenant for the property and money to which the tenant is entitled under AS 34.03.070 , unless the property and money are specifically assigned to and accepted by the purchaser; and

(2) the provisions of

(A) a premises condition statement prepared under AS 34.03.020 (e) between the landlord and the tenant remains valid as between the purchaser and the tenant until a new premises condition statement is entered into between the purchaser and the tenant; and

(B) a contents inventory prepared under AS 34.03.020 (e) between the landlord and the tenant remains valid as between the purchaser and the tenant for the contents remaining on the premises after the conveyance of the premises until a new contents inventory is entered into between the purchaser and the tenant.

(b) Unless otherwise agreed, a manager of premises that include a dwelling unit is relieved of liability under the rental agreement and this chapter as to events occurring after written notice to the tenant of the termination of the person's management.

Sec. 34.03.115. [Renumbered as AS 34.05.025 ].

Repealed or Renumbered

Article 04. TENANT OBLIGATIONS

Sec. 34.03.120. Tenant obligations.

(a) The tenant

(1) shall keep that part of the premises occupied and used by the tenant as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit;

(2) shall dispose all ashes, rubbish, garbage, and other waste from the dwelling unit in a clean and safe manner;

(3) shall keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;

(4) shall use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, kitchen, and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises;

(5) may not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove a part of the premises or knowingly permit any person to do so;

(6) may not unreasonably disturb, or permit others on the premises with the tenant's consent to unreasonably disturb, a neighbor's peaceful enjoyment of the premises;

(7) shall maintain smoke detection devices and carbon monoxide detection devices as required under AS 18.70.095 ;

(8) may not, except in an emergency when the landlord cannot be contacted after reasonable effort to do so, change the locks on doors of the premises without first securing the written agreement of the landlord and, immediately after changing the locks, providing the landlord a set of keys to all doors for which locks have been changed; in an emergency, the tenant may change the locks and shall, within five days, provide the landlord a set of keys to all doors for which locks have been changed and written notice of the change; and

(9) may not unreasonably engage in conduct, or permit others on the premises to engage in conduct, that results in the imposition of a fee under a municipal ordinance adopted under AS 29.35.125 .

(b) The tenant may not knowingly engage at the premises in prostitution, an illegal activity involving a place of prostitution, an illegal activity involving alcoholic beverages, an illegal activity involving gambling or promoting gambling, an illegal activity involving a controlled substance, or an illegal activity involving an imitation controlled substance, or knowingly permit others in the premises to engage in one or more of those activities at the rental premises.

Sec. 34.03.130. Rules and regulations.

(a) A landlord may adopt rules and regulations, which shall be posted prominently on the premises, concerning the tenant's use and occupancy of the premises. A rule or regulation is enforceable against the tenant only if

(1) its purpose is to promote the convenience, safety, health, or welfare of the tenants in the premises, preserve the landlord's property from abusive use, or make a fair distribution of services and facilities held out for the tenants generally;

(2) it is reasonably related to the purpose for which it is adopted;

(3) it applies to all tenants in the premises in a fair manner;

(4) it is sufficiently explicit in its prohibition, direction, or limitation of the tenant's conduct to fairly inform the tenant of what the tenant must or must not do to comply;

(5) it is not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord; and

(6) the tenant has notice of it at the time the tenant enters into the rental agreement.

(b) A rule or regulation adopted after the tenant enters into the rental agreement is enforceable against the tenant if reasonable notice of its adoption is given to the tenant and it does not work a substantial modification of the rental agreement.

(c) A mobile home park operator may determine by rule or regulation the style or quality of the equipment, including but not limited to underskirting and tie-downs, to be purchased by the tenant from the vendor of the tenant's choice; however, the operator may not require that the equipment be purchased from the operator.

Sec. 34.03.140. Access.

(a) The tenant may not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, remove personal property belonging to the landlord that is not covered by a written rental agreement, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors.

(b) The landlord may enter the dwelling unit without the consent of the tenant in the case of emergency.

(c) A landlord may not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant. Except in case of emergency or if it is impracticable to do so, the landlord shall give the tenant at least 24 hours notice of intention to enter and may enter only at reasonable times and with the tenant's consent.

(d) The landlord does not have a right of access to the dwelling unit

(1) except

(A) as permitted by this section;

(B) by court order; or

(C) as permitted by AS 34.03.230 (b); or

(2) unless the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises.

Sec. 34.03.150. Tenant to use and occupy.

Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant shall occupy the dwelling unit only as a dwelling unit. The rental agreement shall require that the tenant notify the landlord of an anticipated extended absence from the premises in excess of seven days; however, the notice shall be given as soon as reasonably possible after the tenant knows the absence will exceed seven days.

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