Kentucky Rental Laws

Written on April 18, 2014 by , updated on November 1, 2017

flag-of-kentuckyThis article summarizes some key Kentucky Landlord-Tenant Laws applicable to residential rental units.

The Official State Statutes and other reputable municipal sources were used to research this information. All sources are cited appropriately.

With that said, landlord-tenant laws are always changing, and may even vary from county to county. You have a responsibility to perform your own research and cautiously apply the laws to your unique situation.

If you have a legal question or concern, I only recommend contacting a licensed attorney referral service that is operated by the Kentucky State Bar. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice.

Official Rules and Regulations

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No Statute
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 30 days for unpaid rent. (KRS § 383.580(6)) 60 days from date of notification if tenant does not file a claim/dispute. (KRS § 383.580(7))
  • Nonrefundable Deposits: No Statute
  • Security Deposit Interest: No Statute
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: Required. Tenants shall be informed of the location of the separate account and the account number. (KRS § 383.580(1)) No landlord shall be entitled to retain any portion of a security deposit if the security deposit was not deposited in a separate account. (KRS § 383.580(4))
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No Statute
  • Move-In Disclosure: A prospective tenant shall be presented with a comprehensive listing of any then-existing damage to the unit which would be the basis for a charge against the security deposit. (KRS § 383.580(2))
  • Move-Out Checklist/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Required (KRS § 383.580(3))
  • Advance Notice of Withholding: Required. The tenant also has a right to inspect the premise after receiving the itemized list of damages to verify the accuracy. (KRS § 383.580(3))
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No Statute
  • Receipt of Deposit: No Statute

Lease, Rent and Fees:

  • Rent Is Due: Rent is payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is due at the beginning of each month, and apportionable day-to-day. (KRS § 383.565(2))
  • Default Term: Unless the rental agreement fixes a definite term, the tenancy is week-to-week in case of a tenant who pays weekly rent, and in all other cases month-to-month. (KRS § 383.565(3))
  • Rent Increase Notice: No Statute
  • Rent Grace Period: No Statute
  • Late Fees: No Statute
  • Prepaid Rent: No Statute
  • Returned Check Fees: $50 (KRS § 514.040)
  • Prohibited Lease Clauses: A landlord is prohibited from enforcing lease clauses found in KRS § 383.570.
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): Yes (KRS § 383.640 and 383.645)
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes, if the cost of the repair is less than $100 or 1/2 of the monthly rent, and the landlord is given 14 days notice but does not remedy the issue. (KRS § 383.635)
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes (KRS § 383.640 and 383.645)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages, including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes (KRS § 383.670(2))

Notices and Entry:

  • Definition of Notice: KRS § 383.560
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No Statute. Typically no notice is needed as the lease simply expires.
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: 30 days (KRS § 383.695(2))
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: 7 days (KRS § 383.695(1))
  • Termination for Nonpayment: 7 days to remedy or quit (KRS § 383.660(2))
  • Termination for Lease Violation: 15 days to remedy or quit. Repeating offenders for the same violation within 6 months, having already received notice once before, can be given an unconditional quit notice. (KRS § 383.660(1))
  • Termination under Labor Contract: When a tenant enters or holds premises by virtue of a contract in which it is stipulated that he is to labor for his landlord, and he fails to begin to labor, or if, having begun, without good cause fails to comply with his contract, his right to the premises shall at once cease, and he shall abandon them without demand or notice. (KRS § 383.130)
  • Required Notice before Entry: 2 days, and landlord may only enter premise at reasonable times. (KRS § 383.615)
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes (KRS § 383.615)
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Yes (KRS § 383.615)
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes (KRS § 383.615)
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No Statute
  • Notice of Extended Absence: If specified in the rental agreement, the tenant must give notice to the landlord of any absence of 7 days or longer. If the tenant fails to do so, the tenant can be held responsible for any damages resulting from his/her absence. (KRS § 383.670 and 383.620)
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: Yes (KRS § 383.670)
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No (KRS § 383.655)
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (KRS § 383.655)
  • Consequences for Self-Help Eviction: 3 months periodic rent, reasonable attorney’s fees, and the return of any prepaid rent. (KRS § 383.655)

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Landlord Duties & Maintenance: (KRS § 383.595)
    • Compliance: Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;
    • Repairs: Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;
    • Common Areas: Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition;
    • Maintenance: Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him; and
    • Heat: Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat between October 1 and May 1 except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection.
  • Tenant’s Duties: (KRS § 383.605)
    • Compliance: Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;
    • Cleanliness: Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit;
    • Trash: Dispose from his dwelling unit all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste in a clean and safe manner;
    • Plumbing: Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;
    • Appliances: Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises;
    • Lawful Activity: Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any person to do so; and
    • Quite Enjoyment: Conduct himself and require other persons on the premises with his consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb his neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • Name and Addresses: Before a lease begins, the owner must disclose the name and address of the landlord, property owner, and anyone authorized to manage the property or allowed to receive notice on the owner’s behalf. (KRS § 383.585(1))
  • House Rules and Regulations: A landlord has the right to create rules and regulations at any time, under certain circumstances. (KRS § 383.610)
  • Domestic Violence Situations: No Statute
  • Retaliation: For 1 year thereafter, a landlord must not terminate, refuse to renew a lease, or fine a tenant for complaining to the landlord for a violation listed under KRS § 383.595 for complaining to a government agency, or being involved in a tenant’s organization, otherwise retaliation will be assumed. (KRS § 383.705)
  • Lead Disclosure: Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards.

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337 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Lovely Lynn

    Hi I am a renter and have lived at this adress for 13 months. Back in the summer we have found mold and mushrooms growing from my ceiling. I showed the property owner and he didn’t really know what to say besides he’d never seen that before. So he bought some CLR and told me it would kill the mold out. And that was that, I cleaned it and it wasn’t brought up again.
    Two weeks again I found 3 more mushrooms in my kitchen closet so I made him aware that it had happened again so he just responded by telling me in the spring they’ll treat the studs and see how it could be taken care of.
    So what do u think I should do? Thanks for all your advice.

  • Karla Johnston

    I’m having same issue and need help! Landlord will not even come look!

  • Megan

    Been renting a home in Kentucky and one day my landlord just walks in the house with no notice. What are my rights as a tenant and my privacy?

  • Nancy Brown-Frye

    My landlord is not accepting my renters rights under the fair housing act for emotional support animal. I am afraid she will try to take my animal from my apartment. Do I have any protection to prevent this from happening.

  • Katelinn Duff

    I live in a apartment complex in Kentucky. I just wanted to know if it was legal to have more then one unit in the building to be on the same water heater? EVERY time we get in the shower and it will be normal for a minute and then you can hear the water in the walls running and we get scorned. This is not okay. I have a one year old who got scorned and just want to know if there is anything that can be done about it.

  • Jennifer Jaggers

    I rented a room from a girl I knew and one day, less than two weeks after moving in, I left and before I got back she called for no reason and said her mom don’t want me there now and packed my stuff and had someone drop ot off but kept my computer and other things she wanted and told me possession is 9 10s of the law and I couldn’t have it back.. I had paid her 100 already and I cleaned like crazy the whole time o was there because it was terrible. What can I do to get my things she kept?

  • tyler

    I have black mold and have had to throw clothes box springs etc away. how does my landlord compensate me?

  • Sarah Texidor

    I have been renting for five years, the landlord keeps changing. Our newest land load was spoken to 4 times about pest control. She still has not sent in someone to eradicate the ants from coming in every day before a rain storm. The complie in my sink. There is water damage that she is aware of under the sink where they come in. How do I get her to fix this?

  • Sandra

    My air conditioning unit hasn’t been running good I told them and July the fifth I got my bill because it kept running one bedroom two hundred dollars and my neighbor 81.00 the other one 99.00 and they kept there’s on 73 mine 78 to eighty still running I have an lung issue and sixty and disable they can’t fix it because there maintenance so I had to leave it’s 100 degrees in here they came up with a portable air conditioner it wouldn’t cool one room

  • JSmitb

    Can you break a lease due to roaches? It’s been sprayed twice and they are still seeing them. The tenants under their apartment have said they have had roaches since they moved in so for over 3 years. The landlord was notified and finally hired a exterminator that has came out twice and they are still seeing roaches. The girls recorded the other tenants saying they’d had roaches for 3 years. Also it is a town house and all 3 bedrooms are on the 2nd floor and all windows in each bedroom are messed up and can’t be opened so in a fire they’d have no way to get out. Just wondering if they can get out of this lease and get their $200 a piece damage deposit back. Thank you for your help.

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  • T.Lin

    My landlord put a lock on our dumpster. Instead of giving his 7 tenants a key, he didn’t . We have to wait on him to unlock dumpster. Is this against the law ? Been searching , still haven’t found any answers.

  • Tina Maddux

    I let a friend, his wife, their 2 children and mother in law stay in my basement after they were evicted. There were to get a job and move that was three month ago. No lease and only paid $50 2 months ago. Worked for 1 week and was fired because of being late. I have told them i was going to file for eviction they just lay in bed and hollor at kids all day. Things are starting to disappear and being very disrespectful. I have asked them to clean their area of all the clothes, toys, and dishes with food left for days they pick up a few things and its right back that way next day.

  • Julie

    We have moved out of a home that we rented for 6+yrs. We paid a security deposit and a pet deposit. We have the landlord a month notice that we were moving out. Our allotment went to the old landlord instead of the new one. The old landlord is keeping the rent payments for cleaning. Can he do that when he has our security and pet deposit?

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