The Eviction Process in Alaska: Rules for Landlords and Property Managers

An overview of Alaska eviction rules, forms, and procedures.

A landlord who wants to evict a tenant in Alaska must file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant. Alaska law sets forth how and when the landlord can evict the tenant, and the landlord must follow the law very carefully in order for the eviction to be valid. This article will explain the basic rules and procedures landlords and property managers must follow when evicting a tenant in Alaska.

Notice for Termination With Cause

A landlord must have cause, or a legal reason, when evicting a tenant. Alaska law only lets the landlord evict the tenant for certain reasons, such as failing to pay rent or violating the lease or rental agreement. Once the landlord establishes legal cause, then the landlord must terminate the tenant’s lease or rental agreement. The landlord does this by giving the tenant written notice. The type of notice the landlord uses will depend on the reason for the eviction.

  • Seven-Day Notice to Pay Rent: If the tenant fails to pay rent when it is due, the landlord can give the tenant a seven-day notice to pay rent. This notice must inform the tenant that the tenant has seven days to pay rent or the landlord will terminate the tenant’s lease or rental agreement. If the tenant does not pay rent during the seven-day notice period, then the landlord can go to court and file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant. The landlord can choose to accept a partial rent payment and extend the date of eviction, but the landlord is under no obligation to do so (see  Alaska Stat. § 34.03.220(b)).  Eviction Notices for Nonpayment of Rent in Alaska  has more information on this topic.
  • Ten-Day Notice to Remedy: If the tenant violates the lease or rental agreement (other than deliberately damaging the rental unit, which requires a different type of notice), then the landlord can give the tenant a ten-day notice to remedy. This notice must inform the tenant that the tenant has ten days to fix the violation or the landlord will terminate the tenant’s lease or rental agreement. If the tenant does not fix the violation within ten days, then the landlord can go to court and file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant (see  Alaska Stat. § 34.03.220(a)(2)).  Eviction Notices for Lease Violations in Alaska  has more information on this subject.
  • Unconditional Quit Notice: In some cases, the landlord can terminate the tenant’s tenancy without giving the tenant the opportunity to correct the offending behavior. However, the landlord still needs to give the tenant a notice, known as an unconditional quit notice. This notice will inform the tenant of the tenant’s offending behavior and give the tenant a certain amount of time to move out of the rental unit before the landlord terminates the tenancy and files an eviction lawsuit against the tenant. Different situations require different amounts of notice:
    • Ten-Day Notice to Quit: If the tenant refuses to allow the landlord lawful access to the rental unit, then the landlord can give the tenant a ten-day notice to quit (see  Alaska Stat. § 34.03.300(a)).
    • Three-Day Notice to Quit: If the tenant fails to pay the utility bill twice within six months, the landlord can give the tenant a three-day notice to quit (see  Alaska Stat. § 34.03.220(e)).
    • 24-Hour Notice to Quit: If the tenant or a tenant’s guest intentionally causes more than $400 damage to the rental unit or engages in prostitution or other illegal activities, the landlord can give the tenant a 24-hour notice to quit (see  Alaska Stat. § 34.03.220(a)(1)).

Notice for Termination Without Cause

If the landlord does not have legal cause to evict the tenant but wants the tenant to move out of the rental unit anyway, the landlord must wait until the lease or rental agreement has expired before expecting the tenant to move. In some cases, the landlord will still need to give the tenant written notice to move.

Month-to-Month Tenancy

A landlord who wants to end a month-to-month tenancy but does not have cause to evict the tenant, must give the tenant a written 30-day notice to quit. This notice must inform the tenant that the landlord is terminating the month-to-month tenancy and that the tenant must move out of the rental unit by the end of the notice period. If the tenant does not move out of the rental unit in time, then the landlord can proceed with an eviction lawsuit against the tenant (see  Alaska Stat. § 34.03.290).  Alaska Notice Requirements to Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy  has more information.

Fixed-Term Lease

A landlord who wants a tenant with a fixed-term lease (that is, a lease with a specified end date) to move but does not have legal cause to evict the tenant, must wait until the lease has ended before expecting the tenant to move. Unless the terms of the lease specifically require it, the landlord is not required to give the tenant written notice to move. If the tenant does not move out of the rental unit by the end of the lease term, then the landlord should stop accepting rent from the tenant and proceed with an eviction lawsuit against the tenant.

Tenant Defenses to Eviction

Although a landlord may have a valid legal cause to evict a tenant, the tenant can always choose to fight the eviction. The tenant could have a valid legal defense against the eviction, such as the landlord retaliating against the tenant or failing to maintain the rental unit. The tenant’s decision to fight the eviction could lead to increased legal fees for both the landlord and the tenant or allow the tenant to remain living in the rental unit for a longer period of time.  Tenant Defenses to Evictions in Alaska  has more information on this topic.

Removal of the Tenant

The only way a landlord can remove a tenant from a rental unit is by winning an eviction lawsuit against the tenant. Even then, a law enforcement officer, not the landlord, will be the one who actually evicts the tenant. It is illegal for the landlord to try to force the tenant to move out of the rental unit, and the tenant can sue the landlord for trying.Illegal Eviction Procedures in Alaska  has more information.

After the tenant has been evicted, the landlord might find that the tenant has left behind personal property at the rental unit. The landlord is not allowed to immediately dispose of this property, unless the items are perishable (such as, food left in the refrigerator). Instead, the landlord must store the property in a safe location and send the tenant a 15-day notice to claim the property. If the tenant does not claim the property within 15 days, then the landlord can dispose of the property, through sale or otherwise (see  Alaska Stat. § 34.03.260).  Handling a Tenant’s Abandoned Property in Alaska  has more information for landlords who find themselves in this situation.

Rationale for the Rules

Landlords must carefully follow all the rules and procedures required by Alaska law when evicting a tenant; otherwise, the eviction may not be valid. Although these rules and procedures may seem burdensome to the landlord, they are there for a reason. Evictions often occur very quickly, and the end result is serious: the tenant has lost a place to live. The rules help ensure the eviction is justified and that the tenant has enough time to find a new home.

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