When a tenant fails to pay rent, a landlord must take specific steps under the Alaska Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act to force the tenant to either pay the rent due or move out of the rental property. Alaska law prohibits “self-help” eviction remedies; this means the landlord cannot take personal action to remove the tenant from the rental property, such as entering the home and changing the locks, without obtaining a court order (see AS 34.03.280). The first step a landlord must take to evict a tenant who has not paid rent is to serve the tenant with a Notice of Termination for Nonpayment of Rent under Alaska state law (AS 34.03.010 – 34.03.360).
This article explains the basics of evicting a tenant in Alaska for nonpayment of rent. It discusses the Notice of Termination for Nonpayment of Rent (referred to here as the “Notice”) that gives a tenant the right to pay the rent rather than face an eviction lawsuit. Landlords who do not want to give the tenant the option of paying the rent must use a Notice to Quit, which for a month-to-month tenancy, allows the tenant 30 days to move before the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit (see AS 34.03.290).
If the tenant does not pay rent on the day rent is due according to the lease or rental agreement, the landlord may serve the tenant with a Notice of Termination for Nonpayment of Rent. This Notice advises the tenant that the tenant must either pay the rent due or move out of the rental property within seven days of the notice (see AS 34.03.220).
The State of Alaska provides landlords with a sample form to use as the Notice of Termination for Nonpayment of Rent. See Alaska court-approved Notice to Quit form for the form used for nonpayment of rent.
The landlord must include the following information when completing the Notice form:
The Landlord’s Record of Service portion at the bottom of the form is left blank until after the landlord serves the tenant with the Notice (see the discussion below for details on completing the Record of Service at that point).
Once the Notice 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:
After the landlord serves the tenant with the Notice, the landlord should complete the Landlord’s Record of Service portion of the Notice on the landlord’s copy, including the following information:
If the landlord personally serves the tenant with the Notice, 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 tenant’s response to a Notice may have different consequences:
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 Alaska, including Alaska tenant rights to withhold rent and illegal eviction procedures in Michigan, see the Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in Alaska on the Nolo site. For more eviction-related articles, see the Evicting a Tenant or Ending a Lease section of the Nolo site, including Eviction Notices for Lease Violations in Alaska.