Effective June, 2017, the Kentucky legislature passed two new laws that help survivors of domestic violence, which, together, afford more protections for tenants with lease or rental agreements.

One statute (KRS 383.300) sets out landlord-tenant type protections for a person who has obtained a valid emergency protective order, domestic violence order, interpersonal protective order, or certain no contact orders against another person.

A few examples of the many aspects covered:

  • The tenant can change the locks if necessary, after informing the landlord.
  • The landlord can refuse to provide a key to the perpetrator, even if that person is a listed tenant, in certain circumstances.
  • The statute allows for a tenant, under appropriate circumstances related to domestic violence, and after following the procedure laid out, to terminate a lease before it expires without penalty. The status also lays out the tenant’s remaining obligations if that person vacates the leased or rented place.
  • The statute offer landlords ways to deal with individuals against who domestic violence orders or no contact orders are in place, including the ability to refuse them access to the property in question and termination of their lease or rental agreements, both in appropriate circumstances.

The other new statute (KRS 383.302) prohibits landlords from including language in a rental or lease agreement that would allow the landlords to terminate a tenant’s rental or lease agreement, or impose a penalty on a tenant, if the tenant makes requests for assistance from peace officers or other assistance in response to emergencies. This could be helpful, for example, in a scenario where a tenant has to call the police because a batterer show up on his or her doorstep.

The statutes contain many more details that expand on what is explained in this blog and those should be read in their entirety.

Both of these new statutes apply only to leases or rental agreements created or renewed on or after June 29, 2017.

Here are the links: