ATTORNEYS AT LAW 1009 W 7TH AVENUE ANCHORAGE, ALASKA 99501 TELEPHONE: (907) 279-4529 FAX: (907) 279-9223
It is an unfortunate reality that many Alaskan Landlords find themselves unprepared to deal with; a tenant who has damaged the rental premises, a tenant who fails to abide by the rental agreement, or a tenant who fails to pay their rent in full. Fortunately, Alaska law provides a means by which a landlord can obtain a court's assistance to terminate a tenant's lease and evict the tenant from the premises so that the landlord may recover possession of and re-rent the rental unit.
The process of evicting a tenant is referred to as forcible entry and detainer in Alaska. A forcible entry and detainer action consists of three separate and distinct parts; the notice to quit, the forcible entry and detainer proceeding, and a lawsuit involving damages.
In order to evict tenants, a landlord must first provide them with a written notice to quit. The notice to quit states the landlord's reason for requiring the tenant to leave the property. A landlord may properly evict a tenant who causes substantial damage to the premises, does not comply with an important term in the rental agreement, acts in a manner that adversely affects health and safety, or fails to pay their rent in full when due. In some circumstances, the tenant may be able to quickly correct the violation and avoid eviction. The notice to quit must state exactly what the tenant must do within a certain time period in order to avoid eviction. The notice to quit must always state the date and time when the tenant must leave, and inform the tenant that if he or she continue to occupy the premises after the termination date, the landlord may file a lawsuit against the tenant.
A landlord may sue a tenant who does not correct their violation and fails to leave within the proper time stated in the notice to quit. The lawsuit generally consists of two parts, a forcible entry and detainer action and a damages trial. At the forcible entry and detainer action, the only issue is the possession of the leased property. The landlord attempts to prove that the tenant is in wrongful possession of the premises. The landlord can do so by proving that the tenant has intentionally damaged the rental unit, failed to comply with the lease, caused a health and safety hazard, or failed to pay their rent in full when due. If the landlord succeeds in proving that the tenant is in wrongful possession of the premises, the court will order the tenant to leave the rental unit. At the trial for damages, the landlord may attempt to recover any unpaid rent or repair costs.
This article presents only a general overview of the procedure involved in evicting a tenant in Alaska. It is probable wise to consult with an attorney prior to initiating a forcible entry and detainer action against a tenant, or if you are a tenant who has been served with a notice to quit or a lawsuit by your landlord so that you can have all of your questions answered.
Steven Pradell is an Anchorage Attorney with a practice emphasizing family law, personal injury, and criminal law.
© 1997 by Steven Pradell and John Shaw. This article is not intended to provide legal advice and should not be relied on for that purpose. The law office of Pradell and Associates provides low cost legal consultations. Attorneys can recommend a course of action which can assist you in resolving your case. A helpful staff provides prompt, courteous services to meet your legal needs. Give Pradell and Associates a call today, at (907) 279-4529-- (279-4LAW).