1. Can my landlord evict me during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The Alaska Court System has suspended eviction proceedings—at least through May 1, 2020. A landlord may not “self-help” by locking a tenant out of the property. Instead, a landlord must obtain an eviction by giving proper notice and filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) eviction in court. However, FED eviction hearings are suspended through May 1st. Once the court resumes these hearings, however, you are subject to normal landlord tenant law. More information on proper notice and the FED process can be found here
2. I have an order of eviction but I am concerned that I am sick with COVID-19. What are my options?
Trial court judges may find good cause to stay, or halt, an outstanding eviction order based on the current public health emergency. If a tenant is subject to a quarantine order or is self-quarantined pursuant to public health guideline or doctor’s recommendation, then the eviction should be stayed. The court can later lift the stay when it determines the situation warrants it. You can request a stay by making a Motion for Stay—by filling out the motion form found here. You should also fill out an Affidavit explaining your circumstances and why you are concerned that you may be sick and are quarantined. The form is here.
3. What if I can’t work and can’t pay my rent?
It is a good idea to contact your landlord if your income decreases. Communication is key. If possible, try to come up with a plan for how you will pay the rent. For example, you can reach out for help from relatives and nonprofit agencies. You can find out if you qualify for unemployment. You can see if your landlord will agree to you repaying the late rent on a monthly payment plan after you go back to work.
If your landlord will not work with you concerning rent, then the landlord would have to follow Alaska law concerning any eviction by giving proper notice and filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) action in court. However, Alaska Courts have suspended eviction hearings until May 1st and a landlord must wait for a court order before removing you from the property.