Kentucky Landlord Tenant Laws
January 31, 2023
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|Required Disclosures |
Security deposit receipt
Rent and Fees
Application Fees: Permitted
Rent Control: Banned
Late Fee Limit: N/A
Grace Period Minimum: N/A
Amount Limit: N/A
Return Within: 30 days
Notice: 2 days’ notice
Permitted Times of Entry: Reasonable
|Fair Housing Protections |
Rent Demand Notice: 7-day pay-or-quit notice
Notice for Lease Violation: 14-day cure-or-quit notice
Unconditional Notice to Quit: 14-day quit notice
Kentucky Landlord-Tenant Law
Understand Kentucky landlord tenant state law before enforcing your own rental policies. Find more information in the Kentucky state law code.
Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992.
Kentucky landlords must disclose the name and address of the person authorized to manage the premises as well as the person responsible for receiving notices.
Security Deposit Location
Landlords are required to inform prospective tenants of the location and account number where their security deposit is stored.
Landlords in Kentucky must provide tenants with a comprehensive list of existing damages to the rental unit. The tenant has the right to inspect the premises and confirm the accuracy of the list. After the tenancy ends, the landlord may inspect the premises and should send the tenant another list covering any charges against the security deposit with the estimated dollar amount for repairs.
Rent and Fees
- Rent Due Date: Rent in Kentucky is due without demand or notice at the time and place agreed on in the lease agreement. If no time or place is given in the lease, rent is due at the beginning of each month at the dwelling unit (KRS § 383.565(2)).
- Application Fees: Rental application fees are not regulated in Kentucky.
- Rent Increases: Rent control is banned in Kentucky (KRS § 65.875).
- Late Fees: There is no statutory limit on late fees in Kentucky.
- Grace Period: There is no mandatory grace period in Kentucky.
- NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord may charge a fee of $50 (KRS § 514.040(4)(b)).
- Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: If the landlord fails to supply essential services (heat, running water, hot water, electric, gas, etc.), the tenant may procure a reasonable amount of the service and deduct the cost from the rent. The tenant may also choose to recover damages based on the diminution in the fair rental value of the unit or find comparable substitute housing (KRS § 383.640).
- Deposit Limit: There is no limit on security deposit amounts in Kentucky.
- Interest: Landlords are not required to pay interest on security deposits.
- Return Within: 30 days (KRS § 383.580(6)).
- Deposit Location: Security deposits in Kentucky must be kept in a separate bank account or lending institution regulated by the Commonwealth of Kentucky or a federal agency (KRS § 383.580(1)).
- Withholding: Landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit for unpaid rent, costs of damages beyond ordinary wear and tear, and other reasons listed in the lease agreement. The deposit may be used for last month’s rent only if both parties agree or if the tenant does not demand the return of their deposit while having an outstanding balance (KRS § 383.580).
Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections
- Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). Kentucky state law reaffirms these protections (KRS § 344.360).
- Kentucky landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681), which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial.
- A Kentucky criminal background check is permitted during tenant screening, with signed consent from the prospective tenant.
- Kentucky landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property.
- Advanced Notice: 2 days’ notice (KRS § 383.615(3)).
- Permitted Times: Kentucky landlords may only enter at reasonable times for inspections, repairs, alternations, improvements, or showings (KRS § 383.615(1)). Landlords may also enter an occupied unit with a court order or if a tenant abandons or surrenders the premises (KRS § 383.615(4)).
- Emergency Entry: In case of an emergency, the landlord may enter without advanced notice or consent (KRS § 383.615(2)).
- Rent Demand Notice: 7 days to pay or quit (KRS § 383.660(2)).
- Notice for Lease Violation: 14 days to cure or quit (KRS § 383.660(1)).
- Unconditional Notice to Quit: 14 days to quit. How many lease violations can you get in Kentucky? This notice applies when a tenant violates the lease more than once within a six-month period. In this case, Kentucky eviction laws do not require the landlord to give the tenant an opportunity to cure the breach (KRS § 383.660(1)).
Other Laws and Facts About Kentucky
- The median rent rate in Kentucky is $1,250.
- The median rent rate in Louisville is $1,325.
- The state of Kentucky does not require landlords to obtain a rental license to rent out their property.