How to Modify a Rental Agreement during COVID-19
Authored By: Alaska Legal Services
Instructions for how to propose a modification of your rental agreement to your landlord if you cannot pay your rent on time because of COVID-19.
I cannot pay rent due to COVID-19, how can I work with my landlord to come to an agreement on rent payment?
You can use the form posted below to ask your landlord to make a temporary change to your lease. The legal word for a change to a lease is a "modification".
This form does not mean you do not owe rent. You will have to pay rent, but not on time. It just creates a payment plan, or asks your landlord if you can pay later. You should talk to your landlord and try to work out a plan together as soon as you know you will have problems paying rent.
Who has to sign the agreement?
A lease can be modified if everyone who signed the original lease signs a modification. So, if multiple people are on your lease, each person on the lease must initial and sign the form. If your landlord accepts the agreement, they will need to sign it as well.
Does my Landlord have to agree to sign this form if I am having trouble paying rent due to COVID-19?
No. Landlords are not required to accept or agree to the terms you come up with. However, the Alaska Court System has stopped hearing eviction cases because of COVID-19. The court does not plan to start hearing eviction cases until May 31st at the earliest. That date may be extended.
This does not mean that you don't owe rent or that you can't be evicted once the court starts hearing cases again. It just means the courts won't hear an action to evict you at this time.
What do I do once I have completed the Rental Agreement Form?
If your landlord agrees to what you are asking, be sure your landlord signs the agreement and that all renters sign the agreement. Make sure everyone who signs the agreement has a copy with all of the signatures. Keep your copy in a safe place. You might want to use your phone to take pictures of the signed copy too, then you can also keep a digital copy.