Kentucky Rental Lease Agreements

The Kentucky Lease Agreements stipulate the conditions in which a property can be leased for residential purposes. Tenants are able to reside in the property in exchange for periodic payments to the landlord. These agreements have a multitude of crucial tenets that must be covered e.g. how long the least will span, the rental price of the property, and where and when rent should be paid. The landlord may also choose to add in additional provisions such as their policy on guests and whether or not the tenant may renovate the dwelling.

If either party wishes to research state statutes regarding the matter of rental agreements, they should refer to the newly-updated Kentucky Legislative Research Commission website, which is referenced throughout this guide.

Types of Agreements

Commercial Lease Agreement – Differing from a typical residential rental agreement, this form can only be used in relation to properties that are leased to businesses for commercial use.

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Lease to Own Agreement – Otherwise referred to as a Lease With the Option to Purchase contract, this document establishes provisions for a tenant to purchase their rental property from the landlord.

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Month-to-Month Lease Agreement – Sets forth legal scope for a property to be leased on a month-to-month basis.

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Roommate Agreement – A document that has a number of important guidelines for roommates to follow, as well as specifying legally-binding provisions such as those related to the payment of rent and utilities.

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Standard Residential Lease Agreement – Used by landlords and tenants in the state of Kentucky to make clear the legal expectations each party must uphold.

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Sublease Agreement – Should the landlord allow it, this contract makes it possible for a tenant to rent their leased property or a part of it to another party.

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What is a Kentucky Lease Agreement?

A Kentucky Lease Agreement is a legal form required of landlords and tenants to formalize the lease of a property for residential purposes. In order to abide by the stipulations, both parties should thoroughly read through the contract before signing it. Another useful form landlords should be aware of is a rental application, which they can present to prospective tenants as a means of vetting them.

State Definition (§ 383.545) – “means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and
regulations adopted under KRS 383.610 embodying the terms and conditions
concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.”

When is Rent Due?

In line with KRS § 383.565(2), rent must be paid at the time and place agreed upon by both the landlord and tenant. Unless there is some agreement to the contrary, rent should be paid in equal monthly installments at the beginning of each month at the dwelling unit. Periodic rent must be paid at the beginning of any term of one (1) month or less.

Landlord’s Access

Emergency (§ 383.615(2)): Emergency access is governed by state law, which states that in emergency cases, landlords can enter a rental property without consent of the tenant.

Non-Emergency (§ 383.615): Landlords must give tenants at least two (2) days’ notice of their intent to enter, unless it is impractical to do so. The entry must only take place at reasonable times.

Required Disclosures

  • Lead Paint Disclosure: Under federal law, all landlords who lease a residential property built before 1978 must provide tenants with this pamphlet on lead hazards in the home. They are also legally required to disclose any known paint hazards in the property to tenants.
  • Move-In Disclosure (KRS § 383.580(2)): Before a security deposit is tendered, landlords must provide prospective tenants with a “comprehensive listing of any then-existing damage
    to the unit which would be the basis for a charge against the security deposit and the
    estimated dollar cost of repairing such damage.”
  • Names and Addresses (KRS § 383.585(1)): At or before the commencement of a lease, landlords or a party such as a property manager must provide the names and addresses of whoever is authorized to manage the rental dwelling in addition to that of the owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on their behalf.

Security Deposit Laws

Maximum: There is no state law specifying a maximum security deposit amount landlords may charge tenants.

Returning to Tenant (KRS § 383.580(6) & KRS § 383.580(7)): If the tenant leaves not owing rent and having any refund due, the landlord must send notification to the last known or reasonably determinable address regarding the amount of any refund due the tenant. In cases where the landlord has not received a response from the tenant within sixty (60) days from sending the notification, the landlord may remove the deposit from the account it is being held in and retain it free from any claim of the tenant or any person claiming it on their behalf.

If the tenant leaves without paying their last month’s rent and does not demand for their deposit to be returned, after thirty (30) days, the landlord may remove the deposit from the account the deposit is being held in and apply any such excess to the debt owing.

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