How to Modify a Rental Agreement during COVID-19
Authored By: Alaska Legal Services Corporation
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.
Note: The Alaska Courts have started to hear eviction cases again and the CARES ACT Moratorium on evictions, due to failure to pay rent, ended on July 24, 2020. Landlords can begin to file eviction cases again - as long as proper notice is provided. If you are being evicted please call Alaska Legal Services’ intake line at 1-888-478-2572 to see if you qualify for legal help.
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. A lease can only be modified if everyone who signed the original lease agrees to a change, and signs a modification agreement.
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.
For information about Foreclosure during the COVID-19 pandemic, see Alaska Law Help's Foreclosure during COVID-19 page.
For information about not being able to pay rent or utilities because of financial hardship caused by the Covid-19 emergency, see Alaska Law Help's financial hardship for renters page.