Tips for Creating a Kentucky Lease Agreement

Every state has a unique set of laws concerning leasing, especially residential leasing and Kentucky is no exception. All leases should contain basics of property description, dates of the lease, occupants, rent amount, etc. of course. In addition, some unique things about Kentucky:

1) Kentucky has split areas of law; some areas are covered by the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act, but most are not.

2) Kentucky requires notice of breach (like most states) before you can file for eviction. When creating a Kentucky lease agreement keep in mind that the law defaults to 30 days in most cases of residential leases, but as few as seven days’ notice is considered reasonable by the courts. If you don’t put in a clause specifying that a seven day notice of breach can be given, then you are stuck with the default of 30 days. In some areas of Kentucky covered by the URLTA, the seven days applies to money breaches (not paying rent) and for other breaches (pet that’s not allowed, noise, etc.) 14 days is considered the minimum reasonable amount of time.
3) In KKentucky Lease Agreemententucky, the areas which have adopted the URLTA require you to keep tenant deposits in a separate account and notify the tenant of the location (bank) and account number where the funds are at. In non-URLTA areas, this is not required.

4) If you do not expressly forbid subleasing or assignment of the lease, then it is allowed by default. This means someone you don’t know and haven’t screened can be in possession of your property.

5) In URLTA areas you have to give 48-hours notice of entry for non-emergency things like inspection. However in the non-URLTA areas what is in the lease contract governs as long as it is reasonable. Language such as “landlord may enter without prior notice for reasonable cause, such as inspection, repair, improvement, emergency or preservation of property” would probably (not a lawyer, not giving legal advice) work in a non-URLTA area.

6) A recent Kentucky Supreme Court ruling makes landlords responsible for harm caused by tenant’s pets (unbelievable). The conditions are the pet has to be in the proximity of the property, and the landlord has to have either given permission, or have known the pet was there without permission and not taken steps to have it removed. So, your tenant’s pit bull bites someone walking by the rental property? You’ll be the one sued. Safest route is to go no pets.

As you can see, on many items location matters. Kentucky is unique in that while it has adopted its own version of the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act, the state then leaves it up to localities whether or not adopt it. Louisville and Lexington along with several other cities have adopted the URLTA. However, most of the state has not. So, the biggest tip before you start crafting a Kentucky lease is to make sure whether the property is under URLTA or not.

Also you want to be sure you are actually creating a lease and not a land contract (contract for deed, installment sale). Kentucky law is very harsh on sellers (vendors) in a land contract and you can’t simply evict the buyers (vendees) as if they were tenants.

Category: Property Management, Tools and Tips