Most residential leases and rental agreements in Alaska require a security deposit. This is a dollar amount, usually one month's rent, that's intended to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear, and to cushion the financial blow if a tenant skips out early on the lease without paying. Here’s a summary of Alaska landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.
Does Alaska law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?
Yes. Under Alaskan law landlords can charge two months' rent, unless rent exceeds $2,000 per month. Landlord may ask for an additional month's rent as deposit for a pet that is not a service animal, but may use it only to remedy pet damage.
To learn more about steps that tenants can take to protect their security deposit after they've paid it, check out Nolo's article Protect Your Security Deposit When You Move In.
What about when a tenant moves out? What is the deadline in Alaska for returning a security deposit?
Under Alaska law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 14 days if the tenant has given proper notice to terminate the tenancy. The landlord has 30 days to return the deposit if the tenant hasn't given proper notice.
Learn more about tenants' rights and landlords' obligations when it comes to the return of the security deposit in Nolo's chart Cleaning and Repairs a Landlord Can Deduct from a Security Deposit and Nolo's article Get Your Security Deposit Back.
Is there additional information that Alaska landlords must provide to tenants when it comes to security deposits in Alaska?
Yes. In addition to complying with Alaska laws on security deposit limits and how (and when) the deposit must be returned to tenants, landlords in Alaska must, orally or in writing, disclose the conditions under which all or part of the security deposit may be withheld.
Where can I look up Alaska law on security deposits?
If you want to go right to the source and look up Alaska law on security deposits -- or if you're writing a letter to your landlord or tenant and want to cite the applicable law -- the relevant statute(s) can be found at Alaska Statutes § 34.03.070. Your city or county might have different landlord-tenant and security deposit laws than those at the state level in Alaska. For tips on looking up Alaska state and local laws, check out Nolo's State Laws & Legal Research section.
You can also find useful information in the state's tenant's guide http://www.law.state.ak.us/pdf/consumer/LandlordTenant09_web.pdf.