Is it legal for a landlord to ask for first and last months rentand a security deposit?

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Is it legal for a landlord to ask for first and last months rentand a security deposit?

My rent would be $1410/month (and that’s including the $60 tax), so is it legal for my landlord to ask for $2820 plus $1000 security deposit before move in? In AK.

Asked on September 7, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Alaska


AK, Attorney, Alaska

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am an Alaska attorney. A landlord cannot receive "prepaid" rent in excess of two months rent, except as described by SL. Althought this has not been addressed by our Supreme Court,  generally the first month's rent is due and payable when you rent a place. I think that a landlord can require a security deposit, whatever he/she/it might call the payment, of up to two times the rent.

So if the landlord is asking you to pay the first month's rent, that isn't prepaid, it is due when you rent a place. If he is asking for $2,410. that is less than two months rent.

Plus, in Alaska, the security deposit can be applied to rent, cleaning, damages, etc, as the statutes allow.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

 Generally, it is the landlord's discretion whether or not to ask for last month's rent in addition to first month's rent and a security deposit.  Some landlords ask for last month's rent to insure that the tenant won't move out at the end of the tenancy without paying rent for the final month.  The security deposit is separate from last month's rent as the security deposit is for cleaning.

However, in Alaska, "A landlord may not demand or receive prepaid rent or a security deposit, however denominated in an amount or value in excess of two months periodic rent.  This section does not apply to rental units in which the rent exceeds $2,000 per month". (Alaska Statute 34.03.070(a)).

In your particular situation, the landlord would not be able to charge you $3820 to move in because that would exceed two months rent @ $1410 per month.  If your rent had been more than $2000 per month, the landlord could charge you the above amount.     


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