A landlord in Alaska may evict a tenant for violating a term of the lease or rental agreement – for example, by keeping a pet (if the lease prohibits pets), allowing more than one tenant to live in the rental apartment or house (if the lease allows only one tenant), causing extensive damage to the rental unit, or creating a serious health hazard on the property. The landlord in these situations may begin the eviction process by serving the tenant with a “Notice to Tenant of Termination of Tenancy” or a “Notice to Quit.” The eviction process described in this article also applies to situations in Alaska where the tenant remains in the rental unit after the lease term has ended or when the landlord simply wants to end a month-to-month or week-to-week rental agreement. The Alaska Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act spells out details on these types of evictions: AS 34.03.220(a).
Alaska Eviction Notices: Notice to Tenant of Termination of Tenancy and Notice to Quit
A Notice to Tenant of Termination of Tenancy and Notice to Quit are two types of eviction notices that a landlord prepares, informing the tenant the reason the tenant must move out and providing the date for the tenant to do so. A Notice to Tenant of Termination of Tenancy is used when the tenant has violated the lease agreement, while a Notice to Quit is used when the initial rental or lease term has ended according to the lease or rental agreement and the landlord now wants the tenant to move out. However, both eviction notice terms are often used interchangeably. For the purpose of this article, “Notice to Quit” will be used for any referenced eviction notice.
Tenant Deadline in a Notice to Quit
Depending on the reason for the eviction notice, the landlord must give the tenant a deadline by which to move out of the rental unit.
If the landlord is evicting the tenant because the tenant is on a month-to-month or week-to-week rental agreement, the landlord must give the tenant a move date equal to one rental period – 30 days for a month-to-month rental agreement and seven days for a week-to-week rental agreement.
If the tenant has violated the lease or rental agreement, the landlord must give the tenant 10 days to move out or fix the violation. If the lease or rental violation recurs within six months of a prior violation for the same action or inaction by the tenant, then the landlord must only give five days’ written notice to the tenant to move out.
If the tenant has engaged in illegal activities on the rental property, such as activity involving a controlled substance or gambling, the landlord need only provide five days for the tenant to move out.
If a tenant or a guest of the tenant deliberately causes substantial damage to the rental unit, the landlord may serve notice indicating 24 hours for the tenant to move out. (Damage is defined as “substantial” if the loss, destruction, or defacement of property caused by the deliberate infliction of damage to the rental unit property exceeds $400).
Drafting the Notice to Quit
Alaska provides a helpful resource to aid landlords and tenants in preparing eviction notices: The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act Guide. Page 33 of the Guide (Sample Notice Forms section) contains a sample “Notice to Tenant of Termination of Month-to-Month Tenancy (Notice to Quit),” and page 34 contains the week-to-week version. A sample “Notice to Tenant of Termination of Tenancy for Violation of Agreement/Law” can be found at page 38 of the Guide, and at page 39 is a sample “Notice to Tenant of Termination of Tenancy for Intentional Damage to Dwelling.”
Any of these sample Notice to Quit forms must be filled out by the landlord and include the following information:
- the name of the tenant,
- the address of the rental unit,
- the date
- a description of the reason for the notice
- the date for the tenant to move out, and
- the signature of the landlord or property manager (see AS 09.45.105).
The bottom portion of the Notice to Quit sample forms contains a “Landlord’s Record of Service.” This portion must be completed by the landlord after the tenant has been served with a copy of the Notice to Quit. (See discussion below for details on completing the Record of Service.)
How a Notice to Quit Is Served in Alaska
Once the Notice to Quit form is filled out, the landlord must serve the notice on the tenant by delivering it to the tenant using one of the following methods:
- personal delivery to the tenant
- personal delivery to the tenant’s rental property given to any adult there with a request to give the Notice to the tenant
- by securely posting on the entry door of the rental property after knocking with no answer, or
- by registered or certified mail with a return receipt requested (see AS 09.45.100).
After the landlord serves the tenant with the Notice to Quit, the landlord should complete the Landlord’s Record of Service portion of the notice on the landlord’s copy. The landlord must include on the Record of Service:
- the name of the person served and the date, if served to the tenant or an adult at the rental property personally
- the date and time the notice was posted on the entry door of the rental unit, or
- indication that the tenant was served by registered or certified mail and that the landlord has retained the return receipt of mail service.
If the landlord personally serves the tenant with the Notice to Quit, the tenant may be willing to acknowledge receipt of the notice and sign the Landlord’s Record of Service. The landlord, or whoever performed the service of the notice on the tenant, must sign and date the Record of Service.
The Effect of the Notice to Quit
After the landlord serves the Notice to Quit on the tenant, the date following the deadline date for the tenant to move out is the date the landlord may take further eviction action, if needed. If the landlord is evicting the tenant due to a lease or rental agreement violation, the tenant has the opportunity to cure, or fix, the violation with the 10-day period to move out. If the tenant does cure the lease violation, then the lease or rental agreement continues and the tenant does not need to move out of the rental property (see AS 34.03220).
Alaska Resources on Evictions
The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: what it means to you is a useful guide for landlords and tenants and has been approved by the Alaska Department of Law. Another useful site is the Alaska Legal Resource Center. For more articles on landlord-tenant laws in the state, including Eviction Notices for Nonpayment of Rent in Alaska and Illegal Eviction Procedures in Alaska, see Nolo’s Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in Alaska.