Kentucky Landlord Tenant Relations Act

By Tiffany Garden
state capitol - frankfort, kentucky image by Wendy Hampe from Fotolia.com

The Kentucky Landlord Tenant Relations Act regulates rental agreements, the responsibilities of landlords, and the responsibilities of tenants. Legal recourse and remedies are provided for both landlords and tenants. The legal process of eviction is defined in this act, as well as what a landlord can and cannot do with security deposits and lease agreements.

Security Deposit

A security deposit is used to protect a landlord against property damage. A tenant that has a monetary investment in the property might be less likely to cause damage. The Kentucky Landlord Tenant Relations Act does not restrict the amount a landlord can ask for a security deposit, most landlords ask for a security deposit equal to one month's rent. State law requires that the deposit is kept in a separate bank account. All damage is put down on a list with estimated costs. These costs are deducted from the security deposit.

Lease Agreement

There are three different types of lease agreements in Kentucky. The first type is the typical lease agreement set for a specific amount of time, usually one year. This is called a tenancy for years and must have a written lease agreement. A periodic tenancy does not have an end to the term, just a date that the rent must be paid. These are usually month-to-month or week-to-week lease agreements, and can be written or oral. The last type of lease agreement is called a holdover tenancy. This is an agreement established when a tenant stays in the property after his lease term ends. Like periodic tenancies, there is no set date to end a holdover tenancy.

The Act does not require specific clauses put into the lease, but it does prohibit certain clauses from inclusion into a lease agreement. Any lease term that violates the Landlord Tenant Act, requires a tenant to pay landlord legal fees, or waives a tenant's Landlord Tenant Act rights is not permitted under Kentucky law.

Tenant Rights and Responsbilities

A tenant is granted rights and protection under the Kentucky Landlord Tenant Relations Act, as well as a number of responsibilities. A tenant is expected to keep the residence safe and sanitary, adhering to all local health and housing codes. A tenant and his guests are required to be respectful of noise levels and not bother neighbors. A tenant has the right to gain possession of the premises before paying rent.

In the event that the landlord violates his responsibilities in the Landlord Tenant Relations Act, a tenant has the option of terminating the lease with proper written notice. The notice period in Kentucky is 14 days. Another remedy for landlord lease violations is rent deduction. A tenant can make repairs that a landlord refuses to and deduct the cost from the rent payment. The landlord must be given a written notice informing him of the tenant's intention 14 days in advance of the repair.

Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

The landlord is responsible for keeping the residence safe and habitable for tenants. This requires adhering to building, housing, and health codes as well as making needed repairs. Regular and needed maintained on major systems in the house, such as plumbing and electrical, are the responsibility of the landlord. Common areas should be kept clean and safe to use. Unless the tenant controls the heat and water, the landlord is expected to ensure these utilities are provided.

A landlord has a number of rights in Kentucky. The right to terminate a lease is one of the bigger ones. A landlord provides written notice to a tenant when he intends to terminate the lease. A 14-day notice is provided for lease violations, and a seven-day notice is provided for overdue rent. If the tenant disregards these notices the landlord has the right to file an eviction complaint.

Another landlord right is the right to enter the premises. There are three reasons that a landlord can enter the home: Making repairs, inspection, and showing the home to prospective tenants. A tenant that is leaving the home for seven days or longer must inform the landlord of his intentions.

Eviction

The legal process of eviction is used by a landlord to gain full legal possession of the property. After the written notice is given to a tenant and the notice period has expired, the landlord files for an eviction, called an Unlawful Detainer. A tenant has the right to contest the eviction during the hearing. A landlord may need to file a Writ of Possession after the eviction hearing if the tenant continues to refuse to leave.