The Key Points of Kansas Renters Rights
Landlords and tenants have a unique business relationship. Tenants receive a home in exchange for paying a monthly amount in rent to the property owner or their agent. Because this is a business relationship, each party has certain responsibilities that they must fulfill. Here are the key points of Kansas renters rights to consider when establishing this business relationship.
1. Security Deposits
Landlords are authorized to charge the equivalent of one month's rent as a security deposit to protect their property from damage that may need to be fixed. If landlords are providing a furnished unit to a tenant, then the security deposit may be 1.5x the monthly rent. Tenants may also be required to pay an additional security deposit of half a month's rent as a pet security deposit. Landlords are required to mail out any remaining deposit 30 days after a tenant moves out. Tenants have the right to make a demand for the deposit after 14 days with their current address. Without the demand, landlords can use their last known address.
2. Rent Withholding
Kansas does not provide any laws which allow for rent withholding. If there is a habitability issue with a rental unit, then written notice to the landlord must be provided about the issue. Landlords then have 14 days to rectify the problem. This repair notice can be a 30 day notice to terminate. There are no early termination or abandonment fees allowed. If the lease expires, renters can simply move out without notice as the expiration date is the expected end of the business relationship.
3. Landlord Termination of Lease
Once a tenant has established an occupancy of 3 months, landlords must provide tenants with a 10 day notice of quit or pay if rent is late. Rent is typically due at the first of the month, but may be an alternative date based on the rental agreement. If the 3 months of occupancy have not been established, a 3 day notice is all that is required. Renters that pay the amount due before the end of the notice period are considered to be in compliance. Other lease violations require a 30 day notice of termination that gives tenants 14 days to cure the situation. If there is a second violation of the lease within six months of the first violation of the same statute, then landlords can issue a 30 day written notice for termination without the option to cure the problem.
4. Landlord Entry
Renters must receive a “reasonable” notice for entry if a landlord wishes to enter the rental unit. This entry must also occur at a “reasonable” hour. Tenants are required to notify their landlord of an extended absence of 7+ days by the first day of their absence. In this situation, a landlord may enter the premises as needed on a reasonable basis to make sure the unit remains in good standing.
5. No Self Eviction Is Allowed
Renters are always permitted to have entry to the rental unit. They are also allowed to have full access to utilities. This applies in Kansas even if there is an eviction proceeding in process. Landlords that shut off utilities in their name or change the locks on a rental unit provide renters with an active defense during the eviction process.
6. A Habitable Environment
Renters must be provided with a rental unit that is safe and habitable. This requires landlords to stay in compliance with all building codes. Repairs must be made as necessary to create a “fit and habitable” condition. If there are common areas provided, these must be reasonably maintained. Trash receptacles must be provided and removal of trash must be arranged by the landlord unless there is a governmental entity providing this service. Heat must be supplied to building in reasonable amounts between October 1 and May 1 in Kansas unless there is a specific exemption in place that does not require this. Tenants are required to maintain these structures, but not repair them unless their negligence or willful destruction caused the damage.
Renters must receive information about all known lead hazards on a rental property and receive information about lead-based paint. Renters are also protected against retaliation through increased rent or decreased services if complaints have been made about building code enforcement, lease violations, or if a renter decides to join a tenant's union. These key points of Kansas renters rights highlight the common questions that get asked regarding the unique landlord-tenant relationship. For specific questions about your situation, it is important to reference the landlord tenant laws in Kansas for an answer.
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