(a) Except as provided in (c) and (d) of this section, a landlord may not retaliate by increasing rent or decreasing services or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession after the tenant has
(1) complained to the landlord of a violation of AS 34.03.100 ;
(2) sought to enforce rights and remedies granted the tenant under this chapter;
(3) organized or become a member of a tenant's union or similar organization; or
(4) complained to a governmental agency responsible for enforcement of governmental housing, wage, price, or rent controls.
(b) If the landlord acts in violation of (a) of this section, the tenant is entitled to the remedies provided in AS 34.03.210 and has a defense in an action against the tenant for possession.
(1) the tenant is in default in rent;
(2) compliance with the applicable building or housing code requires alteration, remodeling, or demolition that would effectively deprive the tenant of use of the dwelling unit;
(3) the tenant is committing waste or a nuisance, or is using the dwelling unit for an illegal purpose or for other than living or dwelling purposes in violation of the rental agreement;
(4) the landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the dwelling unit for personal purposes;
(5) the landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the dwelling unit for the purpose of substantially altering, remodeling, or demolishing the premises;
(6) the landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the dwelling unit for the purpose of immediately terminating for at least six months use of the dwelling unit as a dwelling unit; or
(7) the landlord has in good faith contracted to sell the property, and the contract of sale contains a representation by the purchaser corresponding to (4), (5) or (6) of this subsection.
(d) Notwithstanding (a) of this section, the landlord may increase the rent if the landlord
(1) has become liable for a substantial increase in property taxes, or a substantial increase in other maintenance or operating costs not associated with compliance with the complaint or request, not less than four months before the demand for an increase in rent; and the increase in rent bears a reasonable relationship to the net increase in taxes or costs;
(2) has completed a capital improvement of the dwelling unit or the property of which it is a part and the increase in rent does not exceed the amount that may be claimed for federal income tax purposes as a straight-line depreciation of the improvement, prorated among the dwelling units benefited by the improvement;
(3) can establish by competent evidence that the rent now demanded of the tenant does not exceed the rent charged other tenants of similar dwelling units in the building or, in the case of a single-family residence or if there is no similar dwelling unit in the building, does not exceed the fair rental value of the dwelling unit.
(e) Maintenance of the action under (c) of this section does not release the landlord from liability under AS 34.03.160(b) .
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