Legal FAQs for Renters in Kansas

This page has local legal information on residential (not commercial) renters’ issues. It is not legal advice, and you should check with your local legal aid and courts for current information.

This page was last updated on Aug 26th, 2022. It was reviewed by our volunteer attorney experts.

Flag of Kansas
Emergency Protections during COVID

Emergency Protections during COVID


Are there any special protections for Kansas renters during the COVID-19 emergency?

Kansas renters' statewide protections expired on May 28, 2021. Some people -- like people affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking still have housing protections.

People are protected if, during the previous 12 months, they have been in imminent danger of becoming, a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking. Protected people might be safe from eviction. They may also be able to get out of their lease without penalties or other fees. Contact your local legal aid group to get more details on this special housing protection.

Earlier eviction protections:

The Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has ordered that renters cannot be evicted for reasons related to COVID-19 hardships. This order began on August 17, 2020 and is set to expire on May 28, 2021.

Earlier, Governor Kelly's Executive Order prevented evictions of renters who have COVID-related hardships until the end of the emergency period. It ended on May 17, 2020.

Kansas renters may also have been eligible for national protections through August 26, 2021. The CDC eviction moratorium has now expired.

What do the protections mean for Kansas renters?

The protections mean that for Kansas renters who don't qualify for protections based on domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking:

  • Your landlord could give you a notice to quit, or notice to terminate a lease.
  • Your landlord could file an eviction lawsuit against you.
  • Hearings on eviction may still continue, and the court may still hear an eviction case against you. You can defend yourself with the eviction moratoriums.
  • The court could still issue a new order, judgment, or writ of eviction against you.
  • Law enforcement could still enforce an existing eviction order against you, to remove you from your home.

Do I still have to pay rent during the COVID-19 emergency in Kansas?

Yes, Kansas renters still need to pay rent during the emergency.

You may still owe the rent that you have not paid during the emergency. You can get rental assistance to help cover the costs.

Also check with your local city or county government to see if they give renters any additional protections if they are struggling to pay rent during the emergency.

If you cannot pay rent, take steps to protect yourself:

  • Apply for rent assistance: If you need financial assistance for housing costs, you may be able to get help.
  • Communicate with your landlord: Send a written letter or email to your landlord as soon as possible. You can also try to negotiate with your landlord to make a payment plan or get a temporary rent reduction. Get help here for drafting and mailing a letter to your landlord. You can also use this letter-writing tool here.
  • Get written records of all communication: Keep copies of any letter or email you send, and any responses from the landlord. Keep receipts for any payments you make, that are signed and dated. If you make a payment plan or rent agreement, make sure to get it in writing.
  • Keep proof of COVID-19’s impact on you: Collect documents about your COVID-19-related employment problems, health care issues, or other issues that affect your ability to pay rent. This includes letters from your employer, doctor, insurance provider, child care provider, schools, etc.

Can my landlord evict me during the emergency in Kansas?

Landlords may be able to evict you, since most emergency protections have expired in Kansas.

If you are a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking in the past 12 months, you may have special eviction and housing protections. Reach out to legal aid to find out more.

If you receive a notice to quit from your landlord, or an eviction lawsuit, reach out for legal help.

Can my utilities be shut off during the emergency in Kansas?

The Governor's Executive Order had prohibited Kansas companies from shutting off utilities during the state of emergency through May 28, 2021. After this period, shutoffs may resume.

If you need financial assistance for utility costs, you may be able to get help.

Landlords are never allowed to shut off a renter's utilities in an attempt to force the renter out. This is illegal. Reach out to a lawyer for help if this happens to you.

What if I need repairs during COVID-19 in Kansas?

Tell your landlord about any repairs needed, particularly if they affect your health and safety.

The emergency may delay your landlord's ability to make repairs, but if they are urgent you should call your landlord to make the repairs as soon as possible.

Emergency repairs could be for problems with:

  • Running water or hot water
  • Heat
  • Stove, refrigerator, or oven
  • Electricity
  • Bathroom use
  • Missing doors, locks, or windows
  • Pests

If your landlord doesn't make the repairs promptly, send them a written letter or email about the need for emergency repairs and keep a copy of this communication.

Find legal help to get advice for your situation.

Can I break my lease during COVID-19 in Kansas?

You may be able to break your lease if you can come to an agreement with your landlord.

Your lease is still valid despite the emergency period. However, you can talk to your landlord to see if they will agree to let you leave early. If they agree, be sure to get the agreement in writing.

Also, you can review your lease. It may have a part that lets you end the lease early in times of financial difficulty. If your lease has this kind of part, you might be able to break the lease, in some cases penalty-free.

Find legal help to get advice for your situation.

What do I do if my landlord tries to evict me during COVID-19 in Kansas?

Contact a legal help organization to help defend yourself.

It is illegal for your landlord to evict you without first going to court and getting an eviction order. To remove you from your home, a landlord must file an eviction lawsuit against you, win the case, and get an eviction order from the court.

Legal aid groups might be able to provide you with full representation, or other legal organizations can give you information or brief advice.

Find legal help to protect your rights.

Are eviction cases still proceeding through Kansas courts?

Many Kansas court proceedings are still occurring. Contact your local court for more up-to-date information.

Did I have eviction protections under the CARES Act?

Renters in 3 categories have special national protections against being evicted during the Emergency Period of March 27, 2020 to July 24 or 25, 2020. These national protections add onto any state and local protections you have.

Do you fit in any of these 3 categories?

Your home’s owner has a federally backed mortgage loan or other guarantee (like through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae). Search if your home is covered.
You pay rent through a federal assistance program like the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Rural Development Voucher, or other 'covered housing' program.
You live in Public Housing, where the government is your landlord.

If you are a renter in one of these 3 categories, the federal CARES Act section 4024 gives you these protections. (Remember, these protections add onto any state and local protections you have)

  • Your landlord cannot file a new eviction lawsuit against you for not paying your rent during the Emergency Period. They can still evict you for other behavior, like drug abuse, other criminal activities, or other lease violations.
  • Your landlord cannot charge you new fees or penalties for not paying your rent during the Emergency Period.
  • After the Emergency Period ends, your landlord may not be able to evict you immediately.(Different states interpret the protections ending on July 24 or 25. Check with local lawyers to see about your state). If you have not paid your rent in full during the Emergency Period, your landlord must wait until the period ends before giving you a notice to vacate. For example, they may give you a notice on July 26, and you must be allowed until at least August 25 to leave the property.

For more help on these national protections, reach out for legal and financial help here. Also, use this tool to write a letter to your landlord if you are having issues with rent or eviction.

Received a Warning Notice about Eviction?

Received a Warning Notice about Eviction?


My landlord gave me a notice to "pay or quit" my rental home in Kansas. What should I do?

You do not have to leave your home yet.

In Kansas, your landlord must give you an official notice that they may bring you to court to evict you for not paying your rent, a lease violation, or other reasons. The notice should give you time to either pay your rent, move out, or prepare defenses against eviction.

This official notice must follow some rules to be valid. If the landlord doesn't follow these rules, then you can challenge it and stop an eviction.

These are the Kansas requirements for an eviction notice:

  1. The notice must be written down.
  2. The notice must explain why you may be evicted -- whether it is for non-payment of rent, a lease violation, or other reason, this may affect how long you have to make changes or fix the situation.
  3. If it is a 3-day notice for nonpayment of rent, it has to say exactly how much rent you owe (rent in Kansas is all money owed to the landlord under the lease except for the security deposit).
  4. The notice needs to include a statement that if you fail to pay your overdue rent or cure the lease violation your tenancy will be terminated and you must leave/quit the property.
  5. If the landlord is not renewing your lease or terminating your month-to-month tenancy, then the notice must say that.

The notice may, but is not required to, state the following:

  1. Your full name and address.
  2. If it is a 3-day notice for nonpayment of rent, then it should state which dates your unpaid rent was due.
  3. It also should be signed and dated by the landlord.
  4. That if you don’t leave, the landlord will file an eviction case against you.

Reach out for legal help if you think the notice isn't correct, or if you need assistance in defending yourself against the eviction.

Find local legal help in Kansas here.

What if the landlord has just told me, face-to-face or over the phone, that I need to leave my home in Kansas?

A verbal conversation doesn't count as an "eviction notice". To be legal, the notice must be written down and given to you in the correct way.

Reach out for legal help if your landlord is trying to make you leave without going through the court process. This is illegal and a lawyer may be able to help you protect yourself.

Find local legal help in Kansas here.

Do I have to leave my home in Kansas by the time of the eviction notice's expiration date?

No, you do not have to leave (or 'quit') your home by the date listed on the eviction notice.

You do not have to leave your home until you have been brought to court, and a judge has ordered that your landlord can make you leave.

After the date on the eviction notice passes, then your landlord may file an eviction lawsuit in court against you. You will be able to go to court and present defenses to protect yourself.

Find local legal help in Kansas here.

My eviction notice says that I will be evicted unless I pay back-rent I owe in Kansas. What if I can't afford to pay it?

You still have time to reach out for rental assistance, and stop the eviction from moving forward.

Be sure to let the local group know that you have received an eviction notice and what its deadline is. They may be able to help you pay the rent you owe, or work with your landlord to reduce the amount or put you on a payment plan.

Find local financial help in Kansas here.

How long do I have after I receive an eviction notice in Kansas to pay back the rent to stop the eviction?

In Kansas, you generally have a minimum of 3 days (three 24-hour periods) between your landlord giving you a notice, and the landlord filing a lawsuit against you in court to evict you. The first step of this lawsuit is an “answer hearing” usually set for the following week. After you have received an eviction notice, or a summons, you should immediately contact your county court to determine whether or not a case has been filed and the time and date of the answer hearing. If you have received an eviction notice check with the court regularly to confirm whether or not a case has been filed.

If you make any payment to the landlord after receiving an eviction notice, you must get a receipt or have proof that you paid. Simply paying the landlord is not enough if a case has been filed against you. Take the proof that you paid to the court and inform them that you do not owe the money, as it has already been paid.

The notice should tell you how many days the landlord is giving you. If they are giving you less than 3 days, then you may be able to challenge it as illegal.

Reach out for legal help if you think the notice isn't giving you the required time to make your payment.

Find local legal help in Kansas here.

Facing an Eviction Lawsuit?

Facing an Eviction Lawsuit?


My landlord has filed an eviction lawsuit against me in court in Kansas. What should I do?

You should make sure that the landlord properly 'served' you with the lawsuit. If they didn't give it to you in the correct way, you can challenge the eviction lawsuit. In Kansas, a landlord must follow certain rules to let you know about the lawsuit:

  1. Only certain people can give you the lawsuit's Summons and Petition. The landlord can not give you these papers - it has to be a person not involved in the case. This can be the sheriff, a deputy, a clerk of the court, an attorney licensed in Kansas, a licensed private detective, or by some other person appointed by the court as a process server.
  2. One of these people can deliver the papers to you personally, leave a copy with a member of your household, or mail you the papers.
  3. They can also post a copy in an obvious place (usually the door) but if they do, they must also mail you a notice to let you know they left it at your unit.

The Summons will set out an answer date, you must appear at the answer hearing, if you are unsure as to when the answer date for your eviction is, immediately contact the court to confirm the day of the hearing. You cannot appear on behalf of anyone else. You must file an answer with the court. If you have any counterclaims you must file them with your answer, this can be done prior to the answer hearing. If you do not file an answer before your answer hearing, then you must do so within 14 days from the answer hearing date or before your trial, whichever is earlier.

You should also reach out to local lawyers who can help you prepare for your court hearing so you can protect yourself against the eviction.

Find local legal help in Kansas here.

Do I have to do anything after I get an eviction Summons and Complaint in Kansas?

You will have an eviction hearing automatically scheduled at court. You must appear there if you want to defend yourself against the eviction. But you do not have to submit anything to the court or your landlord before this hearing.

At the hearing you will be asked whether or not you owe the money, if you do not think you owe the money, or you are seeking to contest the eviction for any reason, you MUST respond with “No”.

The Summons will set out an answer date, you must appear at the answer hearing. If you are unsure as to when the answer date for your eviction is, immediately contact the court to confirm the day of the hearing. You cannot appear on behalf of anyone else. You must file an answer with the court. If you have any counterclaims you must file them with your answer, this can be done prior to the answer hearing. If you do not file an answer before your answer hearing, then you must do so within 14 days from the answer hearing date or before your trial, whichever is earlier.

Reach out to legal help to learn what your rights and defenses are in your eviction case. These organizations can help you deal with this lawsuit.

Find local legal help in Kansas here.

Can I settle my eviction case without going to court in Kansas?

You can come to an agreement, but you should still go to court to make sure your case is closed.

You can work with your landlord to work out an agreement before the date of the court hearing. This might be a payment plan or other agreement on what needs to happen for you to stay in your home.

Be sure to get this agreement in writing, so that you can prove it exists and that your landlord follows through on it. If there is an agreement, you should take it to court with you. If your landlord fails to accept payment, take the money to court and make an offer on the record to provide the payment to the landlord.

Also, you should still go to court for your hearing date, to make sure the court knows about the agreement and closes the lawsuit. If you do not go to court, the lawsuit might still continue and the judge might rule that the landlord can remove you. Go to court yourself to make sure this doesn't happen. In many cases the court will ask if you owe the money or not, if you have an agreement, money to pay, or the landlord owes you more money for repairs than the cost of your rent, you should always answer that “No” you do not owe the money.

You can reach out for legal help to get assistance in negotiating an agreement with your landlord, and making sure this agreement is being followed.

Find local legal help in Kansas here.

Behind on Rent?

Behind on Rent?


Who can help me with rent that I owe?

If you are behind on rent, you can get help from your local Rental Assistance program. This is a government service to help people who owe rent or utility bills.

Especially if you are behind on rent because of COVID-19 hardships, your local Rental Assistance (or Rent Relief) program can help you.

Find your local Rental Assistance program at your Get Help page here.

Am I eligible for rent relief?

Local governments set the rules about who is eligible for rent relief. Most programs focus on people who have suffered COVID-19 hardships.

You can talk to your local Rental Assistance program to learn their eligibility rules.

You may have to show your household income, or if you are on other benefits programs like SNAP.

You may also have to show that you are at risk of homelessness or eviction if you don't get rental assistance.

Check with your local Rental Assistance program to see if you are eligible.

Does immigration status matter for rent relief?

Many local Rental Assistance programs are open to everyone, regardless of immigration status. Many programs do not even ask about immigration status.

Check with your local Rental Assistance program to make sure about eligibility rules and immigration.

Can a landlord apply for their renter, to get rental assistance?

Most Rental Assistance programs let landlords apply.

Either a renter or a landlord can start the application.

The landlord will have to fill in as much information they have about the amount of money needed, and the eligibility for the program. The tenant may have to fill in the rest of the information.

Check with your local Rental Assistance program about the steps to follow to apply for rent relief.

Get Help From Local Groups

State information is taken from these sources:Kansas Legal Services FAQGovernor’s Executive Order on utilitiesGovernor's eviction orderPrinceton Eviction Lab's COVID Policy ScorecardsColumbia Law School COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria analysisEnergy and Policy Institute Utility Disconnect TrackerGovernor eviction order extension

Don’t see your question here?

Ask it using this form, and we may add it to our FAQ list.

Did this page help?

Copyright © 2022 The Leland Stanford Junior University (Stanford University). All Rights Reserved.