As a renter, it’s important to know both what your lease or rental agreement says and the housing laws in your state. It’s possible something in your lease is not legal and is therefore unenforceable. It’s also possible to be evicted for doing something that isn’t specifically listed in the lease, but is legal for other reasons, such as evictions for illegal activities, for example, manufacturing meth in a rented home. Being aware of your rights and responsibilities, as a tenant and as a landlord, can help you protect your home or rental income.
The following table outlines the main lease and rental agreement laws in Kansas. The laws below pertain to residential leases. If you have a mobile home that you own but lease a lot for it, a commercial business lease, or a farmland lease, different or additional laws apply. You can research those laws online or ask a landlord-tenant or agriculture lawyer for help.
|Code Sections||Kansas Statutes Chapter 58, Article 25: Landlords & Tenants and Chapter 44, Article 10: Kansas Acts Against Discrimination (includes housing)|
|Terms of Leases||Tenancies are generally considered to be for month-to-month, unless a boarder in a home is paying weekly, then it’s a week-to-week tenancy.
If a tenant overstays a lease, he or she is considered a holdover tenant and the term converts to month-to-month.
|Security Deposits||Kansas law requires a security deposit is not more than one month’s rent if unfurnished. However, if furnished, then it can be up to one and a half month’s rent. If you have pets, you can be required to pay an additional half-month’s rent as pet deposit, at most. However, pet deposits aren’t allowed for service animals for tenants with disabilities.
After you move out, the security deposit must be returned within 30 days along with an itemized list of any deductions taken from the deposit.
If the landlord fails to comply with the security deposit laws, the tenant can be awarded one and a half the amount wrongfully withheld. Tenants can’t use their security deposit for last month’s rent unless otherwise agreed to by the landlord.
|Discrimination||Landlords can’t discriminate against renters on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, disability, or family status (basically, having children or not). However, housing specifically for older persons are exempted from discriminating based on age or family status.|
|Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act||Kansas adopted the Residential Landlord & Tenant Act in 1975. Leases can’t claim to forgo the rights under this Act, if they do, that part is unenforceable.|
|Landlord Duties||Landlords have many duties to tenants, including:
|Tenant Duties||Generally, tenant duties are simple. You must pay your rent on time and avoid causing damage to the rental beyond the normal wear and tear of everyday living. You also must take out the trash to keep the place clean and ensure that you, a visitor, or a pet doesn’t disturb other tenants.
In addition, you need to inform your landlord of any repairs that need to be made. Asking for repairs in writing rather than orally will protect you if the landlord fails to make necessary repairs.
If you run into problems with your landlord or tenant, you may want to speak to a lawyer that specializes in landlord-tenant law to learn about your legal options. If you have a limited income and need help with a housing issue, you can try contacting Kansas Legal Services at 1-800-723-6953.
Note: State laws are revised constantly, please contact a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these housing laws.
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