Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Alaska

Is it legal if your landlord shuts off your water sporadically? My husband & baby have been living in this place for over a year in Alaska. Our landlord told us last night that he'll be shutting our water off(10pm) & it was still off(6am), I doubt he's doing repairs in the middle of the night. He's done this before, without giving notice that he'll be shutting our water supply off, but it was only off for a few hours. He previously accused of us flushing diapers & threatening us with shutting our water off or charging us an extra $300 for rent, we already pay $945/1 bedroom apartment with all utilities included. He's already raised $50 for "heating expenses" last winter and it's still in effect even though it's summer and we have the heat to it's lowest degree. It's month-to-month. Is this at all legal?

Asked on 6/04/13, 11:01 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Terrence Thorgaard Thorgaard Law Firm

AS 34.03.180 reads as follows:

"Wrongful Failure to Supply Heat, Water, Hot Water or Essential Services.

(a) If, contrary to the rental agreement or AS 34.03.100 , the landlord deliberately or negligently fails to supply running water, hot water, heat, sanitary facilities, or other essential services, the tenant may give written notice to the landlord specifying the breach and may immediately

(1) procure reasonable amounts of hot water, running water, heat, sanitary facilities, and essential services during the period of the landlord's noncompliance and deduct their actual and reasonable cost from the rent;

(2) recover damages based on the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit; or

(3) procure reasonable substitute housing during the period of the landlord's noncompliance, in which case the tenant is excused from paying rent for the period of the landlord's noncompliance and, in addition, may recover the amount by which the actual and reasonable cost exceeds rent.

(b) A tenant who proceeds under this section may not proceed under AS 34.03.160 as to that breach.

(c) Rights do not arise under this section until the tenant has given written notice to the landlord. Rights do not arise under this section if the condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenant's family, or other person on the premises with the tenant's consent."

So no, it's probably not legal. If this is deliberate or negligent on the landlord's part (and it appears that it very well might be), you should immediately give him the notice provided for in the statute.

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Answered on 6/22/13, 12:46 pm

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