Disclosures Landlords Must Make in Kentucky

There are certain required disclosures that a landlord must make when renting property located within a jurisdiction that has adopted Kentucky’s Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (“URLTA”). While these disclosure requirements are straightforward, a landlord’s failure to comply can have serious consequences for both the landlord and the tenant.

Tenancy AgreementLandlords requiring security deposits from their tenants must deposit those funds in an account used only for that purpose and must disclose the location of that account, as well as the account number, to the tenant.[1] This ensures that the security deposit is a legitimate hedge against damages to the premises and/or other breaches by the tenant of its obligations under the lease. Making the aforementioned disclosures aids in protecting the security deposit from being utilized/appropriated by the landlord for purposes prohibited under URLTA. This is especially important due the fact that the security deposit is essentially the property of the tenant being held in trust by the landlord.

Prior to receipt of the security deposit, however, the landlord is required to provide the prospective tenant with a comprehensive listing of all then-existing damage to the premises which might later serve as the basis for a charge against the tenant’s security deposit.[2] This disclosure by the landlord must also include the estimated cost of repairing the existing damage.[3] This protects the tenant from fraudulent charges against the security deposit upon move-out, and allows the tenant to inspect the unit to determine the accuracy of the list.

In the event that the landlord fails to comply with the URLTA requirements regarding security deposits, the landlord is not entitled to retain any portion of the security deposit.[4]

Finally, the landlord must provide a written disclosure to the tenant at the commencement of the lease which identifies the name and address of the person authorized to manage the premises, as well as the name and address of the owner or agent of the owner who shall service as the process agent and who is authorized to receive all notices and demands concerning the premises.[5] If, at any time during the tenancy, the landlord sells/conveys the subject premises to a third party and/or the manager of the premises terminates his management of the premises, the landlord and/or manager must provide notice to the tenant of such sale/conveyance and/or termination.[6] Otherwise, the landlord’s and/or manager’s liability with regard to the premises will continue beyond the date of sale/conveyance and/or termination.[7]

These minimum disclosure requirements for URLTA jurisdictions protect the interests of both the landlord and the tenant. Moreover, compliance with these disclosures, as the saying goes, isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law. If you have any questions regarding landlord-tenant issues, don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at McBrayer.

BYates

Brendan Yates joined the Lexington office of the firm as an associate in 2002. Brendan is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, where he focuses his practice on construction and real estate litigation, workers’ compensation defense litigation, insurance defense and commercial litigation. He has successfully defended his clients in state and federal courts, the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the Kentucky Supreme Court, and in administrative agency proceedings in Kentucky. He can be reached at byates@mmlk.com or (859) 231-8780, ext. 208.

This article is intended as a summary of state and federal law and does not constitute legal advice.

[1] See KRS 383.580(1).

[2] See KRS 383.580(2).

[3] See KRS 383.580(2).

[4] See KRS 383.580(4).

[5] See KRS 383.585(1).

[6] See KRS 383.600.

[7] See KRS 383.600.

Landlords, Make Sure Your Eviction is URLTA-Compliant

As tempting as it may be to immediately attempt to throw an unruly and non-abiding tenant out of the house or apartment, doing so can have serious legal consequences. Kentucky has codified the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act in KRS 383.500 – 383.715 (“URLTA”). Pursuant to KRS 383.500, in order for the URLTA to be applicable in a given locale, that particular city, county, or urban county government must adopt the URLTA in its entirety. In areas where the URLTA has been adopted, tenants are often afforded greater protection at the landlord’s expense.

It is imperative that if your property is in an URLTA jurisdiction, you follow the specific, detailed requirements to effectuate a legal, proper eviction. Adequate notice must be provided and contain precise elements, such as the tenant’s name and property address, the nature of the breach and the time period within which said breach must be remedied. Depending on the type of breach, URLTA also requires that the tenant be given a certain period of time to remedy the breach (i.e., 7 days for nonpayment of rent; 14 days for material noncompliance with the lease agreement). It is only after the URLTA notice requirements have been satisfied and the period for remedying the breach elapsed that a landlord may initiate eviction proceedings by filing a petition with the court.

In Kentucky, the eviction procedure is known as a “forcible detainer” action under the law and is outlined in KRS Chapter 383. The biggest misconception in forcible detainer actions is that the end result will be the landlord receiving the money owed to him for past due rent and/or damages. However, this is not the purpose of a forcible detainer action. The purpose is solely to determine who has the right to possession of property. If a forcible detainer judgment is entered against the tenant, the tenant has seven (7) days to vacate the premises. If the tenant does not vacate within the allotted seven (7) day period, the landlord may seek a writ of possession and have the tenant’s property removed from the premises. A separate civil action must be filed against the tenant in order to recover the past due rent, late fees, damages, etc.

McBrayer provides representation to landlords, both in and out of court. If you are dealing with a tenant who has overstayed their welcome, we are here to help. Contact us anytime for more information about URLTA and how to ensure your eviction procedure is lawful.

BYates

Brendan Yates joined the Lexington office of the firm as an associate in 2002. Brendan is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, where he focuses his practice on construction and real estate litigation, workers’ compensation defense litigation, insurance defense and commercial litigation. He has successfully defended his clients in state and federal courts, the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the Kentucky Supreme Court, and in administrative agency proceedings in Kentucky. He can be reached at byates@mmlk.com or (859) 231-8780, ext. 208.

This article is intended as a summary of  federal and state law and does not constitute legal advice.