Kentucky Landlord Tenant Law SUMMARY
Kentucky Landlord-Tenant Law
A summary of Kentucky Landlord Tenant Laws based on state law statutes as they apply to residential lease agreements executed between landlords and tenants.
Security Deposit (KRS 383.580)
- There is no maximum security deposit limit.
- Deposits must be returned to tenants within 30 to 60 days.
- The 60 day maximum is the time frame to give tenants to dispute any notification of any withholdings from the security deposit.
- Landlords must keep security deposits in a separate account.
- Tenants must be notified of the location of the account and the account number.
- If a landlord fails to maintain a separate account, the landlord is not allowed to keep any portion of the security deposit.
- Upon move-in, landlords are required to provide a full list of any existing damage to the property which could be the basis of a charge against the deposit.
- Upon move-out, landlords must provide a list of damages and charges to explain the reasons any portion of a security deposit was retained.
- If a landlord withholds part or all of the security deposit, the tenant has a right to inspect the property after receiving the list of damages.
- Both landlord and tenant must complete a checklist of the property before the landlord can collect rent.
Rent Payments (KRS 383.565)
- Rent is due based on the agreement of both parties at the time the lease was signed.
- If no other agreement is in place, rent is due at the beginning of the month.
- A definitive time frame for a rental can be set within the agreement.
- If no agreement exists, the lease is week-to-week for tenants who pay weekly rent and month-to month in all other payment situations.
- There is no statute regarding late fees for payments. The lease agreement can contain an amount for a late fee. If the agreement contains no provision for a late fee, one cannot be imposed by the landlord.
- Landlords must give 30 days written notice in order to increase the rent or change any other term in a month-to-month contract.
- Rent prices cannot be increased during the term of the lease – unless otherwise stated within the lease.
Prohibited Lease Clauses (KRS 383.570)
- Both tenant and landlord must abide by the clauses agreed upon within the terms of the lease
- Landlords cannot enforce prohibited lease clauses that violate state law.
Termination of Rental Agreements
- The notice required to terminate a month-to-month lease is 30 days. (KRS 383.695)
- The notice required to terminate a week-to-week lease is seven days. (KRS 383.695)
- If a tenant does not pay, the tenant has seven days to pay or remove themselves from the property from the time of notice from the landlord. (KRS 383.660)
- If a tenant violates the lease, the tenant has 15 days to correct the violation or leave the rental from the time of notice from the landlord. (KRS 383.660)
- If a tenant is renting under a labor contract – an agreement to provide labor services for the landlord in return for renting the property – and the tenant does not begin or complete the labor contracted, the lease ends at once and the tenant must leave. (KRS 383.130)
- The landlord is not required to make an official demand or notice to the tenant.
- Once the deadline has been met for tenants to pay rent, repair damage, or cease actions that violate the lease, if the tenants have not made the corrections or move, landlords may file for eviction. (KRS 383.660)
- The owner of the property is required to disclose the name and address of the landlord, owner, and anyone else authorized to manage the property or allowed to receive notice on the owner’s behalf. (KRS 383.585)
- Landlords must disclose lead paint hazards, if known.
- Landlords must provide tenants with an information pamphlet regarding lead-based paint hazards. This must be included in the written lease.
Rights and Responsibilities
- Tenants may withhold rent if a landlord fails to provide essential services such as water and heat. (KRS 383.640)
- Tenants may deduct the cost of repairs from the rent in two situations (KRS 383.635)
- The cost of the repair is either $100 or half the cost of the rent
- The landlord was given notice and did not repair the problem within 14 days
- Landlords are required to give two days’ notice prior to entering the property. (KRS 383.615)
- Landlords may only enter at reasonable times.
- Landlords must give notice for maintenance and repairs.
- Landlords must give notice to enter the property for showings.
- Landlords may enter without notice due to an emergency situations.
- Landlords are allowed access to the property during tenant’s extended absences (KRS 383.670)
- Tenants must provide notice to landlords for any absence from the property that lasts longer than seven days. (KRS 383.670)
Landlord Responsibilities (KRS 383.595)
- Landlords must follow all building and housing codes regarding health and safety.
- Landlords are required to make all repairs and whatever else is needed to maintain the property and keep it habitable for tenants.
- Landlords must keep all of the common areas clean and safe.
- Electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and other facilities must be kept in good condition.
- Landlords must supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times
- Between October 1 and May 1, landlords are required to supply heat to tenants.
- Exceptions to this include:
- Properties that are not required by law to be equipped for heat or running water
- Properties where the heat and hot water is controlled by an installation that the tenant mountain’s exclusive control over and a public utility company supplies the connection.
- Exceptions to this include:
Tenant Responsibilities (KRS 383.605)
- Tenants must comply with any and all housing and building codes that address health and safety.
- Tenant must maintain cleanliness of the property.
- Tenants must dispose of trash in a safe manner.
- Tenants must keep plumbing as clean as their condition allows.
- Tenants must only use appliances in the manner in which they are intended to be used.
- Tenants may not damage, destroy, or vandalize the property in a deliberate or negligent manner.
- Tenants must be mindful of the surrounding neighbors and not allow themselves or anyone else to disturb surrounding neighbors’ use of their own property.