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Alabama Rental Agreement Laws

The Alabama Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act addresses the use of a rental agreement and a few situations that may be encountered between both parties of a rental relationship.

Terms and Conditions

A landlord and a tenant may include in a rental agreement terms and conditions not prohibited by any Alabama law, including rent, term of the agreement, and other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the parties.

Rent Fair Market Value

In the absence of an agreement, the tenant shall pay as rent the fair rental value for the use and occupancy of the dwelling unit.

Paying Rent

Rent is payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the dwelling unit and periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one month or less and otherwise in equal monthly installments at the beginning of each month. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is uniformly apportionable from day-to-day.

Length of Term

Unless the rental agreement fixes a definite term, the tenancy is week-to-week in case of a tenant who pays weekly rent, and in all other cases month-to-month

Landlord Unsigned Rental Agreement

If a landlord does not sign and deliver a written rental agreement signed and delivered to the landlord by the tenant, acceptance of rent without reservation by the landlord gives the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed and delivered by the landlord.*

Tenant Unsigned Rental Agreement

If a tenant does not sign and deliver a written rental agreement signed and delivered to the tenant by the landlord, acceptance of possession and payment of rent without reservation gives the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed and delivered by the tenant.*

*If an unsigned rental agreement is given effect under these conditions and happens to provide for a term longer than one year, it will be effective for only one year under the law.

Prohibited Provisions

A rental agreement may not provide that the tenant:

  • Agree to waive or forego rights or remedies established under the law, or requirements of security deposits or unlawful detainer established under the law;
  • Authorize any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement;
  • Agree to pay the landlord’s attorney’s fees or cost of collection; or
  • Agree to the exculpation or limitation of any liability of the landlord arising under law or to indemnify the landlord for that liability or the costs connected therewith.

If a landlord seeks to enforce a provision in a rental agreement containing provisions known by the landlord to be prohibited, the tenant may recover in addition to actual damages an amount up to one month’s periodic rent and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Return to Alabama Landlord-Tenant Laws.