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30 day notice rules

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30 day notice rules/Return of deposit

What is the name of your state? Alaska

My 12 month lease was up Jan.1 and there was no other aggreement signed.

I provided my landlord an in person VERBAL 30 day notice that I was moving due to getting married and purchasing a house. They were fine with this and never stated a problem.

When I have numerous times tried to do an inspection with them and obtain my deposit they are now saying they are charging me for "damages" that are normal wear and tear.

Immediately I tried to resolve this issue and have not been successful.

When I said that I was going to have to get legal counsel involved (because he violated many aspects of the alaska statutes), he now is using the fact that my notice wasn't physically WRITTEN but given verbally, to his advantage.

Can he still get away with unlawfully charging me for "wear and tear" and keep my money because I didn't hand him a physical letter?

Not only does he live next door and saw us moving etc., but I met with him in person the last day we were there doing final cleaning and also gave him the keys. He said "oh everything looks good, but I'll meet with you later this week to do a final inspection with you, and I'll have my check book ready".

So now that I have disputed his charges, he all of a sudden has a problem with our "notice" format. He's manipulating the law.

Does the fact that our notice wasn't "written" void his responsibilities to be fair and honest?

It comes down to us having a very solid case had our notice been properly served (written not in person).

I'm just afraid, that now that he is using this as his defense, he will turn the tables and come after another months rent.

He basically threatened that if we have a problem with his list of charges, then he is going to have a problem with our notice format.
He never mentioned this being an issue either, until we mentioned the laws of what he can charge against us. I actually asked him if he required a written notice and he said it wasn't necessary.
I spoke with him today and I reminded him that he said it wasn't necessary. He responded with "well I didn't think it would come to this". So basically he didn't care and felt it was adequate notice originally, but now that we want to defend our rights to our deposit it's a problem?

So he went and got a copy of the laws and the lack of proper notice is the only thing on his side.

Ugh! I'm going in circles. If I need to give more info please let me know....Thanks
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If the law says the notic should be in writing, that how it should be.

But I would add, if you have a witness of what you told him and how he responded, you might be abe to persuade the judge to lean in your favor. This is risky, but sometimes it works.

Try to tape your telephone conversation with him, think of the legality later, and quit exchanging verbal communicaions with him.


Does the fact that he admits that he was given adequate notice matter?
We didn't just move out and leave him hanging. He's only using this glitch in the law because i'm questioning him keeping my whole deposit.

Oh well, I guess it sucks that I would win if I had handed him a letter, but since I didn't I lose....
I'm not sure why y'all are having such a hard time with this "adequate" notice issue. Alaska statutes require WRITTEN notice. If you don't give WRITTEN notice, it's as though you gave NO NOTICE in the eyes of the law. Whether the landlord agrees to accept a verbal notice is irrelevant...verbal notice does not satisfy the LAW.


The fact that you did not provide the LL written notice does not waive any of your other rights under the law. Obviously you notified him and he accepted your notice as such.

I suggest you consult a lawyer in your area. He will be better able to advise you on the specifics, but it would appear to me that the LL's case for improper notification would appear weak and retaliatory (sp?) after he returns your deposit. A strongly worded letter from a lawyer will sometimes get the LL to cough up the deposit, and will probably cost you less than $100.


I must respectfully disagree with queenofsands, in that while the notice was improper it was acceptable to the landlord. In any case, the AK statutes provide for improper notice:

Sec. 34.03.070. Security deposits and prepaid rent.

(g) If the landlord or tenant gives notice that complies with AS 34.03.290, the landlord shall mail the written notice and refund required by (b) of this section within 14 days after the tenancy is terminated and possession is delivered by the tenant. If the tenant does not give notice that complies with AS 34.03.290 , the landlord shall mail the written notice and refund required by (b) of this section within 30 days after the tenancy is terminated, possession is delivered by the tenant, or the landlord becomes aware that the dwelling unit is abandoned. If the landlord does not know the mailing address of the tenant, but knows or has reason to know how to contact the tenant to give the notice required by (b) of this section, the landlord shall make a reasonable effort to deliver the notice and refund to the tenant.


Thank you all for the feedback. I'm just trying to get a handle on what our rights are.
It seems as if queenofsand doesn't feel I have any rights since I didn't provide a hard copy of our notice.

Regardless, of the notice issue he is willfully keeping our deposit for damages only, not accrued rent. If he felt we didn't provide notice then he would be requiring rent from us.

My problem is, I have to now allow him to keep my deposit for reasons that are not valid under the AK statutes, and to get away with throwing away some belongings inadvertantly left in the dishwasher, without ever doing a walkthrough or notifying us in any manner.

He is required to provide a written list of damages within 30 days (since notice was verbal) but he was also required to notify us of any abandoned property within 15 days. He did not do this.

So can I defend my money regardless of my notice format?
Is he excused from the law because of it?


Also, I am sitting here with the small claims handbook and forms ready to deal with this. I don't want to deal with a lawyer over $500.00 dollars. We're not hung up about the money, it's the moral behind it. He shouldn't be allowed to do this to people.

My only problem being can he come back and later decide I need to pay another months rent? If I take him to court regarding a security deposit issue, and he has itemized the list of damages. Can his defense to abusing our deposit be the notice?
That's like saying "yeah I blew their money but since they don't like it, I'm going to say I didn't get a 30 day notice."

I got a response from a lawyer today, and he wanted to charge me $75 for a consultation. I know that is probably normal, but I just have questions.
Anyways, thanks for letting me vent.


As far as your rights, see my previous post...

The short answers to your questions are:

"So can I defend my money regardless of my notice format?"


"Is he excused from the law because of it?"


"Can his defense to abusing our deposit be the notice?"

No. He can't have it both ways, either he is keeping your deposit for damages or for unpaid rent. As I stated earlier his case looks pretty weak and retaliatory to say that he wasn't properly notified AFTER he has been forced to give you your deposit back.

"We're not hung up about the money, it's the moral behind it."

If that is truly the case, then you should sue him for the deposit regardless of whether you end up paying another months rent, right?


Senior Member
My $0.02 worth (and often overpriced at that!)....

Q1) "can he come back and later decide I need to pay another months rent?"
A1) Yes, he can 'claim' almost anything, but will it 'stick'??? Based on your post and the applicable AK statutes, you failed to provide a written notice of termination, but you did comply with the requirements of the statute by both returning of the keys (possession delivered) and by his being aware of your termination. Simply, the 30 day clock for the landlords REQUIRED notice and refund at that time.

Q2) "If I take him to court regarding a security deposit issue, and he has itemized the list of damages. Can his defense to abusing our deposit be the notice?"
A2) Not based on the above (see A1).

I assume the basis of your lawsuit is not notice or refund failure, but that you dispute his deductions as being above the allowed 'normal wear and tear'. I would suggest that before your court date, write the landlord and ask him to furnish receipts for all deductions claimed.

You have also mentioned the landlords failure to comply with the statutes regarding notice of apparently abandoned property. This is covered under Alaska statute §34.03.260, "(d) The landlord is not liable in damages in an action by a tenant claiming loss by reason of the landlord's storage, destruction, or disposition of property under this section. A landlord who deliberately or negligently violates the provisions of this section is liable for actual damages and penal damages of an amount not to exceed actual damages."

What is the value of damages you are claiming??
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The amount of "damages" we are claiming really has not been determined at this point. We originally just wanted our deposit back that is rightfully ours.

However, but currently it's a microwave and a load of dishes. plus the rediculous claims he has made as far as "the place was trashed", that we would like compensation for. The AK statute says in regards to "abandoned property" that he needs to make good effort to notify us that we left items and provide a date as when they need to be removed, or he is allowed to do what he wants after that. He never let us know, and openly admitted to throwing them away immediately. Apparently not aware of the law I guess. (just as weren't aware of the "written" notice)

What he told me was that it was considered "trashed" because he had to wipe down the washer and dryer as well as dust the cabinets, and shampooing the carpet. Constituting keeping $500.00.

The unfortunate part, is if we go after retrieval of our deposit of $500.00 we very well could win.

But if he in turn decides to retaliate using the "written" notice law, then we'd owe him $1100.00.

That is the ONLY thing holding us up right now.


Q1--If he provides an itemized list of what he thinks we owe him out of our deposit, and it does not include additional months rent. Is he then waiving his chance to come back later and say we owe him rent? It seems as if that would be admitting that he got his required notice, whether proper or not. Just a thought.....

Q2--If he provides the itemized list and it includes additional days of rent on it, is it also saying he accepted our notice?

When he gave me a verbal itemization of damages over the phone he decided to tack on 3 days (through Sept. 3) of rent because we didn't meet with him to give the keys until that day. Should I be charged for the day we give the keys or just the days prior to that (1st and 2nd)?

I'm not going to argue with him about those additional days because it's a mute point. He's right (although he origionally had no problem with that because it was labor day weekend etc and I had told him I wouldn't be available until that day) But of course being that it has become ugly he is grasping at anything he can.


Halket or anyone else with good advise...

Can you advise as to what I should/could write to the LL regarding the itemized list?

I don't want to say too much or too little, and would like to cover my rear from here on out.

Thanks for all this great feedback. It really helps put things in order. :)


I would say, you don't loose anything if you keep quiet until you hear from him. He should send you a notice in writing before or on the 30th day. You don't have to remind him of anything.

If he makes the error and misses the 30th day, you got him. If he sends you a timely note, then request from him an itemized statement with evidence of the expensed, such as receipts, or checks (not the stub of the check, the proof that the check was cashed) showing amounts, dates and the type of services. Request to inspect the premise. Try to make an estimate of the cost he claims and the reasonable cost of the repair. Take a camera with you and if you suspect something take pictures. Get equipped with every possible evidentiary material, some may be useful some may not, don’t make this determination. Make use of it when you go to the court.

Trick him by asking him, in your written request, is it not true that you turned in the keys to him on that date. He may not answer to this question. You will bring it up in the court that he is evasive. How the judge will take this depends on his mood. You have to keep in mind that judges of small claims courts lean to interpret the law and to use their discretion in favor of their constituents. Landlords are always there, tenants not.

If he responds to your question about the date you turned in the keys, you may argue in the court that this is equivalent to out of court settlement and that would set you free from the legal requirement of giving notice to move out. Again, how the judge will take it depends on his mood.

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