In the Sunflower State of Kansas, landlords and tenants must navigate through city and state rental laws that affect their rights, responsibilities, and even their relationships. Kansas, like many states, has comprehensive landlord-tenant laws, but they can be quite complex and confusing.
To help landlords and tenants understand their roles better, we've created this guide to Kansas' rental laws. Here, landlords can learn how to protect their rental properties and build steadfast relationships with renters. At the same time, tenants can learn about their essential rights that will protect them if the need ever arises.
Covering various topics like screening tenants, handling security deposits, creating lease agreements, and going through the eviction process, this guide will help both landlords and renters grasp the ins and outs of Kansas law under the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.
Let's dive in!
Generally, Kansas is considered a moderately landlord-friendly state. While it might not be the most landlord-friendly state, like Alabama, its lack of rent control laws, fast and easy eviction procedures, and relatively low property taxes certainly favor landlords. Additionally, Kansas doesn’t limit rental fees.
According to a list of the most landlord-friendly states, Kansas ranks 28th. This highlights the state’s semi-balanced approach to landlord and tenant rights.
Landlords and real estate investors in Kansas possess specific rights that enable them to operate successful and effective rental enterprises while also safeguarding them from legal complications. Their primary duties include:
Kansas state law also holds landlords responsible for certain obligations to guarantee a smooth tenancy and safe living arrangement for their tenants. Some of their main duties are as follows:
Similar to landlords, tenants in Kansas also enjoy essential rights designed to ensure their safety, well-being, and privacy during their stay in a rental property. These key rights encompass:
Kansas renters too have their own set of responsibilities to manage while residing in a rental unit. This is to maintain the property and landlord-tenant relationship. Some of their main duties are as follows:
Kansas has very few limitations when it comes to the rental application and tenant screening process. The state does not limit application fees and fees do not have have to be refunded even if the tenant is denied.
If a tenant provides content, landlords can run a background check on prospective tenants. The check can include eviction history, criminal history, and credit reports.
It’s important for Kansas landlords to note that they cannot deny a tenant residency based on protect characteristics as established by the federal Fair Housing Act.
In Kansas, rental or lease agreements can be either written or oral, either way it embodies the terms and conditions of the use of the rental property. However, it’s encouraged to always document a lease agreement in writing as it grants important responsibilities to both parties.
While no laws require certain clauses to be added to a Kansas lease agreement, it is important to include certain information such as the lease term, landlord and tenant contact information, security deposit amount, and rent.
To terminate lease agreements early, landlords and renters must provide a 30-day written notice. The only exception is for tenants with week-to-week leases, who have to give a seven-day written notice.
Tenants can terminate a lease agreement early for the following reasons:
It’s important to note that in Kansas tenants may still be required to pay the rest of the rent owed on the lease, even if they terminate early for legal reasons.
Kansas rental property owners can collect a security deposit at the start to the tenancy to cover potential property damage and other unforeseen costs. They can only charge up to one month’s rent for the deposit, except the limit is higher for furnished rentals, pet-friendly rentals, and mobile homes.
There are additional Kansas security deposit statutes landlords should know:
At the end of a lease, landlords have 30 days to return the security deposit in full, or 14 days after the landlord determines deductions. Landlords can withhold a portion or all of the deposit if there is unpaid rent and late fees, damage beyond normal wear and tear, and additional charges outlined in the lease.
If the landlord fails to return the security deposit in a timely manner, renters can sue for one and one-half times the deposit amount wrongfully withheld.
Kansas landlord-tenant law requires rent payments to be made at the beginning of each month unless otherwise specified in the lease. Landlords in Kansas are free to set their own rental rates, as the state does not have rent control laws.
If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, landlords are not required to provide a grace period before charging a late fee as rent is considered late a day past its due. Kansas does not limit how much a landlord can charge for late fee, except that it should be reasonable.
It’s important for Kansas renters to note that they cannot withhold rent for any reason.
Same as most other states, Kansas rental laws require landlords to comply with housing codes, meaning they must maintain all electrical, plumbing, sanitation, and mechanicals in good condition. After receiving written notice from a tenant, landlords have 14 days to make repairs.
If a landlord fails to make the repair in a time manner, tenants have several actions they can take: suing for costs, filing a court order to force the landlord to make the repair, or canceling the rental agreement early. Kansas does not allow the tenant to withhold rent or use the “repair and deduct” remedy.
Kansas landlords have the right to enter the rental property for inspections, maintenance, and property showings. Landlords have to provide “reasonable advanced notice, generally, 24 hours, before entering the property. Only in cases of emergencies can they enter without notice.
Additionally, Kansas state law does not cover tenant changing locks, allowing them to do so unless the rental agreement says otherwise.
Kansas landlords can only start the eviction process for certain legal reasons, and before starting that process they must provide the tenant notice of the issue. Explore the reasons and the required notice periods for evictions below:
Self-help evictions are illegal in Kansas as they are in most states. A self-help eviction includes forcibly removing the tenant or their possessions from the rental or reducing services.
On top of addressing issues like repairs, evictions, and security deposits, Kansas state law goes on to cover topics like housing discrimination and landlord retaliation. Explore some of these topics below.
Kansas has rental housing discrimination laws that protect tenants from discrimination when searching for a rental property. These laws are consistent with the federal Fair Housing Act and prohibit landlord discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or familial status. In the sale and rental of housing, no one may refuse to rent or sell housing based on these protected characteristics.
Tenants who believe they have been discriminated against can file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Like in other states, it’s illegal for Kansas landlords to retaliate against their tenants for taking protected actions like reporting the landlord to a government body for health and safety violations.
Retaliatory actions in Kansas include increasing rent, decreasing services like utilities, and threatening eviction.
Kansas landlords must provide renters with the following required disclosures before the start of a lease:
Gaining a good grasp of Kansas' rental laws, rights, and regulations is important for promoting a peaceful relationship between landlords and tenants. These laws are made to protect the rights and responsibilities of both parties, ensuring renting is fair and equal.
For landlords in the state, understanding and following these laws will protect their rental business and help them foster healthy relationships with their renters. And for tenants, these laws help them feel right at home in the Sunshine State.
In addition to this guide, here are other resources that cover Kansas state and city laws, ensuring you have the information you need to make informed decisions and comply with your rental property’s specific regulations.
Kansas Tenant Handbook: This resource can help tenants understand everything they need to know about renting through the entire process.
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