Alaska rental laws could change under Republican proposal

  • By MATT WOOLBRIGHT
  • Sunday, March 2, 2014 9:44pm
  • News

A North Pole Republican is trying to change the Alaska Landlord and Tenant Act for the first time since the early 1990s.

HB282, sponsored by Rep. Doug Isaacson, R-North Pole, includes minor technical updates and serious alterations to the tenant act, such as a section authorizing landlords to collect unpaid rent from a tenant’s Permanent Fund Dividend.

The House Labor and Commerce committee listened to testimony on HB282, but took no action Friday. Isaacson called his proposal the “never-ending bill” because it’s been tinkered with regularly over the past year.

“In contact with a lot of Realtors, tenants and constituents, people just started coming, and we saw a common thread (of different issues from different people) so they all kind of congealed,” Isaacson said.

“The current statute is in dire need of updating, and this bill addresses many of the deficiencies in the current statute,” Kris Abegg, a broker with Paragon Properties, told lawmakers in an email.

Lisa Mariotti, the policy program director for the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, praised a portion of the bill that allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to get out of their leases early if they were attacked at their rental.

“This is going to be a great benefit for many people in this state,” she said.

The provision requires the victim to present the landlord a copy of the criminal complaint, details about the incident and a move-out date.

Mariotti asked lawmakers to consider a confidentiality clause to protect victims’ sensitive information.

Other measures in the bill would allow landlords to evict tenants who engage in illegal activities including prostitution, alcohol, gambling or drug use.

The bill also clarifies in statute that a pet deposit does not count against the state’s security deposit limit — two months’ rent.

Under the current law, security deposits are required to be refunded to the tenant within 14 days. This proposal would extend that timeframe to 30 days if damage to the apartment needs to be repaired.

“If there are significant repairs that need to be made, I need that time, and right now 14 days does not always work,” said PeggyAnn McConnochie, a Juneau-based broker at ACH Consulting.

Isaacson said he thinks the bill can move forward.

“There’s widespread agreement,” Isaacson said. “The majority and the minority members all feel it’s a well-balanced bill.”

More in News

A group spanning the length of five blocks marches in downtown Soldotna, Alaska, to celebrate Pride Month on Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Housing org seeks to create safe homestays for queer youth

Choosing Our Roots houses LGBTQ+ youth ages 13-24 with a host person or family

File
Kasilof man arrested in connection to alleged death threats

Tarbell began in August making threats to individuals in Vermont and others states, according to an FBI affidavit.

Ashlyn O’Hara / Peninsula Clarion 
From left: Kenai City Council candidates Alex Douthit, Deborah Sounart and Victoria Askin attend an election forum Wednesday at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.
Council candidates discuss Kenai’s future at forum

Three of the five candidates vying for seats on the council participated in the event.

A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The project was discontinued in August due to vandalism. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
StoryWalk vandalism results in project’s early end

The StoryWalk was made possible by a $2,500 donation from the Soldotna Library Friends.

In this March 12, 2020 file photo, Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, addresses reporters at a news conference in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases, a day after the state’s largest hospital announced it had entered crisis protocol and began rationing care. When many people become ill at the same time, it overwhelms the state’s health care system. “And then we start to see excess mortality where more people dying from other things such as heart attacks and strokes and car accidents and bear maulings or whatever else happens,” Zink said. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Alaska records most daily COVID cases amid health care strain

By Mark Thiessen Associated Press ANCHORAGE — Alaska on Wednesday reported its… Continue reading

Alaskans pick up and turn in Permanent Fund Dividend applications at the Department of Revenue office in the State Office Building in March 2011. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Dividend payments expected in 30 days

Payments of $1,100 set for mid-October

A vote-by-mail ballot box is photographed at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Administration building in Soldotna, Alaska, in October 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Soldotna to allow voters to fix affidavits

About 16 absentee ballots were rejected due to a variety of reasons in the 2020 elections.

A sign instructing patients and visitors on the COVID-19 screening process is seen in the River Tower of Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska, on April 7, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Hospital ‘dealing with’ overcapacity

Central Peninsula Hospital was operating at a 112% occupancy rate Wednesday morning.

In this Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, file photo, a syringe containing a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sits in a container during a vaccine clinic at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Overwhelmed by a surge in COVID-19 patients, Providence Alaska Medical Center, Alaska’s largest hospital, on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, implemented crisis standards of care, prioritizing resources and treatments to those patients who have the potential to benefit the most.(Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP, Pool, File)
Alaska’s largest hospital implements crisis care standards

The emergency room is overflowing at Providence, with patients wait for hours in their cars to see a doctor for emergency care.

Most Read