This case presents the issue of whether Alaska’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act (UTPA) applies to residential leases. Southwood Manor Associates, LLC (Southwood) filed a complaint against tenant Diane Roberson seeking eviction, back rent, late charges, and other damages. Roberson filed an answer and class action counterclaims alleging in part that the late charges violated the UTPA. The trial court held that the UTPA does not apply to residential leases. The Supreme Court granted Roberson’s petition for review.
The Supreme Court first reviewed its past cases where it held that the UTPA did not apply to real estate transactions involving mortgages and the sale of standing timber. Some legislative history was reviewed including the legislature’s adding some mortgage practices within the UTPA following the Supreme Court’s holding that the UTPA did not apply to Mortgages. It also pointed out that the legislature’s adoption of the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act was consistent with the conclusion that the UTPA did not apply to residential leases. It affirmed the decision that the UTPA does not apply to residential leases.