Kansas Landlord Tenant Laws
Kansas Residential Landlord Tenant Laws
In Kansas, landlord tenant laws are governed by two acts; the Kansas Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 58-2501 – 58-2573 and the Kansas Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 58-25,100 – 58-25,126. These statutes are designed to fairly represent and govern both landlord and tenant. One of the most important things to do when renting in Kansas is to sign a lease. This document helps the parties avoid conflict and outlines what is expected of both the tenant and landlord. Although Law is fluid and subject to change, we will discuss several key statutes that govern tenancy. Each discussion will contain a link to the relevant statute at the time of this writing. This article is not intended as a substitute for legal council, only an informational offering regarding certain landlord & tenant act statutes.
First Things First
Before anything else, go over the lease so both landlord and tenant have a clear understanding of what is allowed on the property, what the tenant’s responsibilities and rights are, as well as responsibilities the landlord has. This offers the tenant a chance to discuss their expectations regarding what the landlord will be responsible for regrading the rental property, and the landlord to discuss his expectations and the responsibilities of the tenant as outlined in Kansas statute 58-255. For example will the landlord care for the lawn, or will it fall to the tenant?
In Kansas a rental lease serves as legal documentation that records the amount of security deposit, pet deposit, any fees or incidental expenses the tenant may be responsible for. In Kansas, security deposits are limited to one month’s rent for unfurnished units, one and half month’s rent for furnished and allows for a separate pet deposit equal to no greater than one half month’s rent. Kansas has no statute governing the accrual of interest on the deposit, non-refundable fees, record keeping of deposit withholding, receipt of deposit or required written descriptions or lists of damages and related charges. Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 58-25,100 – 58-25,126
Deposits are required to be returned within 14 days of the date the deposit withholding is determined, but no greater than 30 days form the date of vacancy. A deposit may only be used for damages due to tenant noncompliance or for rent still owing. Should a landlord fail to comply with the statutes governing return of the deposit, the tenant may sue to recover one and a half times the amount of the deposit. Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 58-25,100 – 58-25,126
Lease and Rent Requirements
Kansas allows yearly leases to change to month to month agreements at the end of the year if the tenant wishes to remain in the property. There are certain instances that have no statute. For example, Kansas has no statute regarding:
- Prepaid rent
- Withholding rent for landlord failure to supply water or heat
- Rent grace period–although many leases allow for five days after the due date
- Bartering property repairs in exchange for rent
- Property abandonment and early lease termination
Although Kansas has no statute regarding property abandonment, there is a statute requiring landlords to store any personal effects left behind for thirty days. Landlords may store it at the tenants expense and after thirty days may sell or dispose of the tenants personal belongings. However there are restrictions governing the use of funds raised through the sale and proper public notification requirements before the sale in Kansas Statute Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 58-25,100 – 58-25,126.
Likewise, though there is no ordinance governing withholding of rent for landlord failure to provide basic and essential services, it does provide for tenants to terminate tenancy with a thirty day notice regardless of lease period and gives landlords a 14 day period to remedy the problem. (§§ 58-2559)
Kansas does govern when rent is due, placing due at the beginning of the month unless otherwise agreed upon in the lease. It is common in Kansas for landlords to prorate rent during periods beginning in the middle or the end of the month. The statute governing rent periods also allows landlords to charge 30 dollars for returned check fees. Rent increases are also governed in the statute along with late fees. Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 58-25,100 – 58-25,126
Finally, Kansas does not allow for any lease to include agreements to pay for attorney fees, either as the tenant or the landlord (§§ 58-2547(3)) and requires landlords to make reasonable attempts to reduce damages to former tenants by re-renting the property (§§ 58-2565(c)).
Notices and Entering Dwelling During Tenancy
Kansas has many statutes governing notice of entry of the dwelling by the landlord and notices as relating to termination of tenancy. Notice to tenant for extermination is not covered under Kansas statute, but a plethora of situations are. Let’s begin with termination of the lease. Notice of termination is not required with a fixed termination date in the lease. (§§ 58-2559) As mentioned, yearly leases with an open end date can be terminated with a 30 day notice before year’s end. (§§ 58-2559) In a month to month leasing agreement, the tenant must give a 30 day notice unless serving in the military and the move is a result of a transfer. However, a 15 day minimum notice is required should this scenario occur. (§§ 58-2570(b)) A week to week tenancy requires 7 days notice (§§ 58-2570(a)) and 24 hour leases are not governed by Kansas law.
At the end of tenancy, within five days of vacancy, the tenant and the landlord must walk the property together, taking a written inventory of the condition of the premises. Any damages are noted here and assist with figuring out how much of the deposit will be returned. Both landlord and tenant must sign the inventory and must receive a copy of the accounting. Most leases also require a similar walk through upon transferring possession of the property to the tenant. These two inventories are extremely helpful in achieving a fair and realistic settling regarding possible damages. (§§ 58-2548) The state of Kansas has several statutes regarding termination of the lease for nonpayment of rent (§§ 58-2507) (§§ 58-2508) and for termination of tenancy for lease violations. (§§ 58-2564)
Kansas protects both tenants and landlords with statutes regarding entrance into the rental unit. Landlords are required to give “reasonable notice for entry at a reasonable hour.” The statute leaves plenty of room for interpretation. What is a reasonable hour for one person, may not be considered reasonable by another. At any rate, that is how the statute is worded. Also covered are entry for maintenance during an emergency or normal business hours. Entry for showings is also allowed with the same notice to tenant. Kansas also provides for entry during an emergency without notice. (§§ 58-2557), (§§ 58-2557(b)).
When a tenant is absent from the property for an extended period of time, notice may be required if the period is longer than seven days. If the absence extends to 30 days, the landlord may enter the premises if the need arises. (§§ 58-2558 and §§ 58-2565) Kansas does not allow a landlord to lockout a tenant (and vice versa) nor does it allow landlords to shut off utilities in an attempt to get the tenant to vacate. (§§ 58-2563)
Disclosures and Notes
In Kansas, landlords must disclose any hazards that may be present on the property, such as lead paint or asbestos. This is covered under the statue governing landlord duties, (§§ 58-2553). This statute outlines landlord duties to the tenant while Kansas Statute (§§ 58-2555) outlines the tenant’s duties.
In Kansas evictions are not presented in small claims court but in district court. Small claims are limited to $4,000.00. For further information regarding property laws, the Kansas Association of REALTORS® has more information.