Evicting a tenant in Alaska requires to first give notice to the tenant before making a filing with the court. If the tenant agrees to cure the lease violation or move-out, the landlord can avoid the court process. If the tenant remains on the property and does not cure the lease violation, the landlord is eligible to file a Forcible Entry and Detainer (F.E.D.).
Laws – Alaska Landlord and Tenant Act (PUB-30)
How to Evict
- Step 1 – Send an Eviction Notice
- Step 2 – Speak with the Tenant
- Step 3 – File an Eviction Lawsuit
- Step 4 – Serving the Tenant
- Step 5 – Tenant Has 20 Days to Answer
- Step 6 – Common Defenses for Tenant
- Step 7 – Landlord’s Damages
- Step 8 – Obtain Judgment for Possess (CIV-300)
Step 1 – Send an Eviction Notice
A landlord is not able to enter the tenant’s property unless the entry is given by law1. The eviction process starts by giving the tenant an eviction notice (“notice to quit”) to remove themselves from the property2.
Use one (1) of the following eviction notices:
- Late Rent (7-day notice (Form CIV-725)) – If the tenant has not paid rent on the due date. In Alaska, there is no rent grace period3.
- Noncompliance with Rental Agreement (10-day notice) – For any lease violation other than late payment of rent. The violation must be mentioned in the notice with language on how to cure the issue4.
- Illegal Activity (5-day notice) – If the tenant has been accused or caught conducting illegal activities5.
- Deliberate Damage to the Property (24-hour notice) – If the tenant has caused damage to the property in a purposeful manner6.
- Month-to-Month Tenancy (30-day notice) – When either a landlord or tenant wants to cancel a tenancy at will. Termination must be given with at least 30 days’ notice7.
Step 2 – Speak with the Tenant
Find out the tenant’s intentions. If the landlord does not feel as though the tenant will cure the lease violation, they can prepare an eviction filing for when the notice period ends.
If the tenant does cure the violation, the lease continues as normal.
Step 3 – File an Eviction Lawsuit
- Average Processing Time – 3-4 months8
- Filing Fee – $1509
- Where to File – District court where the property is located10.
Filing an eviction requires following the Rules of Civil Procedure and the instructions located in Form CIV-720 with the landlord completing the following forms:
- Complaint for Forcible Entry and Detainer (CIV-730) – Complete and attach the Notice to Quit.
- Summons – Forcible Entry and Detainer (CIV-105) – A separate summons is required to be prepared for each tenant being evicted.
- Case Description (CIV-125D) – Check the “Forcible Entry and Detainer” box.
- Service Instructions (CIV-615) – To be completed by the process server (next step).
- Judgment for Possession (CIV-300) – Only fill in the case caption and description of the dwelling.
- Writ of Assistance (CIV-575) – To be used later if the tenant does not move out on the date established by the Judge.
When filing, the clerk will ask when is the best time to schedule a hearing date. It must be at least 2 days after the tenant is served the papers showing an eviction case has been filed against them (and cannot be more than 15 days after the filing with the clerk).
Step 4 – Serving the Tenant
It is required that the tenant is served by a process server or peace officer (Civil Rule Part IV). Use the approved process server list (view here on the right side of the page). The process server will deliver the case documents to the tenant and give the Return of Service to the court and the landlord. This makes it known that the tenant has been officially presented with the court papers and allows the case to proceed.
Step 5 – Tenant Has 20 Days to File the Answer
The tenant will have 20 days to file the Answer (CIV-735) and detail their version of events. After the 20 days, the landlord (“petitioner”) will be required to set a court hearing. Most courts do this automatically, but if they don’t, the landlord will need to file Memorandum to Set Civil Case for Trial (CIV-200).
Tenant Doesn’t Answer – If the tenant does not file an Answer (CIV-735) with the court, the landlord will be able to file for a default judgment by completing the following documents and sending a copy to the Defendant:
After sending it to the Defendant, either by 1st class mail or personal hand-delivery11, the landlord will be able to file the documents with the court.
Step 6 – Common Defenses for Tenant
It is common for the tenant to make a counter-claim to the landlord’s filing by using any of the following reasons:
- The landlord’s failure to maintain the premises12;
- The landlord did not supply heat, water, or other essential services13;
- The landlord accepted partial payment by the tenant14; and
- The landlord ONLY increased rent because of retaliation or other related reason15
The landlord should be prepared to defend themselves against any of the above accusations by the tenant.
Step 7 – Claim Damages
At the court hearing or if the tenant didn’t answer, the landlord will be able to claim damages. The following can be claimed:
- Fees for filing the eviction;
- Three times (3x) the check amount for any bounced checks;
- Unpaid months in the lease;
- Interest16; and
- Reasonable attorney’s fees17.
The damages can be claimed at the hearing or in the Debt Default Application (CIV-855).
Step 8 – Obtain a Judgment for Possession (CIV-300)
A Judgment for Possession (CIV-300) is issued by the Judge at the conclusion of the case. The tenant will have 30 days to file an appeal to the judgment. If there is no appeal, the landlord may take the Judgment for Possession (CIV-300) and submit to a Sheriff’s office.