Alaska Tenant Screening
Last Updated: January 21, 2015
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area, the 4th least populous and the least densely populated of the 50 United States. Approximately half of Alaska residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area.
Step 1: Know Your Rights & Responsibilities
Landlords and property managers are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act [PDF] (FCRA) during the tenant screening process. Additionally, Alaska has laws that affect the tenant screening process. You can find the current Alaska Housing Codes here. If you are finding the formalities of the state code daunting, you might want to check out these friendlier sites:
- Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in Alaska
- Alaska Consumer Protection Unit – Landlord And Tenant Act Overview
Recent Law Changes
Updates to the Alaska Landlord And Tenant laws went into effect on September 15, 2014, with changes to rules governing pets, water service, PFD garnishment and other matters affecting property owners and renters. HB 282 goes into effect.
Step 2: Required Forms & Disclosures
Tip: before you rent for the first time, consider hiring a lawyer to review all of the documents you will use during the application and rental process to ensure that you are protected to the fullest extent of the law.
- Rental Application [PDF] (this must be completed in full by the applicant prior to screening)
- Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act [PDF]
- Consumer Report Disclosure [PDF]
If you are ACCEPTING an applicant:
- Move-In Checklist [PDF]
- Mold: There are no state or federal laws that deal specifically with mold in rental units. The rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords with respect to mold can vary depending on the terms of the lease contract, the cause of the mold growth, and local (e.g., municipal) codes. For example, local property maintenance codes require that rental units be habitable and in good repair. If a rental unit becomes uninhabitable (not livable), this might constitute a breach of the lease. Alaska Household Mold Fact Sheet
- Lease Agreement (written), containing or attaching the following information:
- Owner/Agent Identity – this should include name and address, and if the owner/agent is out-of-state it must include contact information for a resident of the COUNTY in which the rental is located that can act as an agent for the purposes of serving notices and process.
- Security Deposit – this must include the amount of the deposit and the conditions under which some or all of the deposit may be withheld. It must also include the name and banking institution holding the deposit.
- Non-refundable Fees – explicitly describe any non-refundable fees, and state clearly that they are non-refundable.
- Fire Protection & Safety Information: You must disclose the available fire protection and safety information specific to the unit you are renting, including smoking policy, evacuation plans, and who to notify in case of emergency.
- Owner Or Agent Identity: Alaska landlords must disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy the name and address of the person authorized to manage the premises, and an owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving notices and demands. (Alaska Stat. 34.03.080)
- Extended Absence: In Alaska, the rental agreement must require that the tenant notify the landlord of an anticipated extended absence from the premises in excess of seven days; however, the notice may be given as soon as reasonably possible after the tenant knows the absence will exceed seven days. (Alaska Stat. 34.03.150)
- Security Deposit: Alaska landlords must disclose, orally or in writing, the conditions under which landlord may withhold all or part of the deposit. (Alaska Stat. 34.03.070)
If you are DECLINING an applicant:
- Adverse Action Notice [PDF]
Step 3: Order a Tenant Screening Report
What You’ll Need
- A completed rental application signed by the applicant.
- Some details about your applicant:
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Previous address
- Bank account number (optional)
- Bank routing number (optional)
What Will Be Covered
- Package Options
- Background Report Coverage for Alaska:
- Criminal, OFAC/Patriot Act & Sex Offender Records – A nationwide search is always performed. These jurisdictions specifically are available in Alaska: AK Admin Of Courts, AK Sex Offender Registry.
- Eviction Records – records are available from the following counties: Aleutians West, Anchorage, Bethel, Bristol Bay, Dillingham, Fairbanks North Star, Juneau, Kenai Peninsula, Ketchikan Gateway, Kodiak Island, Matanuska-Susitna, Northwest Arctic, Sitka, Southeast Fairbanks, Valdez-Cordova, Wrangell-Petersburg, Yukon-Koyukuk.
- Bankruptcies, Liens & Judgments – records are available from the following counties/areas: Aleutians East Borough, Anchorage Municipality, Bethel Census Area, Bristol Bay Borough, Denali Borough, Dillingham Census Area, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Haines Borough, Juneau City and Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Kodiak Island Borough, Matanuska-Susitna Borough/Palmer, Nome Census Area, North Slope Borough, Northwest Arctic Borough, Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area, Sitka City and Borough, Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Wade Hampton Census Area, Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area, Yakutat City and Borough, Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area.
- Social Security Number validation, Death Index, credit checks, previous addresses, alias names, and the Rent Check Advisor include all information available regardless of location.
Resources for Alaska Landlords
- Alaska State Bar Association Lawyer Referral
- Alaska Court System
- Law Enforcement Agencies in Alaska (Wikipedia)