We were provided some important information from one of our students in Fairbanks, that was shared by a commercial loan officer and a Fairbanks law firm:
In the last few weeks there have been a couple of developments in evictions in Alaska that are judicial over-reach. The courts are placing a large burden on Landlords and giving Tenants lots of ways to delay evictions.
On March 6th, without any notice to the Alaska attorneys, the Eviction Diversion Program was put into place. I am linking the administrative bulletin which outlines the program. In short, it allows tenants to opt into mediation prior to a landlord filing for an eviction or after, which will delay eviction proceedings. The program is free to those who mediate, but the tenant will end up being in the property longer and I see this as just a way for tenants to stay longer without eviction. The other two documents are notices that the landlord is required to give the tenant advising them of the mediation program and the telephone numbers of where they can get free legal assistance. Failure to give the mediation notice at the time the notice to quit is given to the tenant may result in eviction hearing delays or other remedies the court sees reasonable.
The landlord also has to provide an FED information sheet, that has all the tenant’s contact information at the time of filing. And if a tenant moves out after an eviction case is filed but before the hearing, it will be removed from the court website so that it will not show up when landlords look to see if a tenant has a history of evictions being filed against them.
Today, I had an eviction hearing and learned that the judge will no longer give the tenant the standard 48-72 hours to move out but a minimum of 14 days. The judge cited the lack of housing in Fairbanks and recent pandemic as the reason for the increased time. This is the first time we have had the extended time period and just last month we received an order for 48 hours. This gives tenants a long time to move out (and damage) the apartments. Another attorney in our office has an eviction hearing in front of another judge next week and we will see if that judge is giving a different time frame. The judge today told me that it could have been worse and that the Anchorage judges are giving tenants 30 days to move out.
All of these items are placing a large burden on landlords.
I also recommend that for now you let your members know of the new requirements for form MED 600 to be given at the time a notice to quit is delivered and what to expect in the Alaska courts. A landlord who starts a Forcible Entry and Detainer (Eviction) case must give the tenant the MED 601. More details on the requirements and procedures can be found in the Provisional Rules for Eviction Diversion Program, found by following the link below.
We will keep you updated in any new developments.
You can find the new forms and the Provisional Rules for the Eviction Diversion Program click here
Hope this helps,
Jerry Royse, at the helm of Royse and Associates, stands out in real estate education with over 35 years of experience teaching across 46 states and 5 countries. A seasoned educator, Jerry has trained thousands in Sales Pre-Licensing and Continuing Education, also applying his expertise as an expert witness in over 30 legal cases and successfully closing over 1100 homes as a Buyer Broker. His extensive knowledge marks him as a preeminent expert in the field.