A summary of Alabama Landlord Tenant Laws based on state law statutes as they apply to residential lease agreements executed between landlords and tenants.
Required Disclosures (by the Landlord)
Landlord must disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy the name and address of the person authorized to manage the premises, and an owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving notices and demands. Exception: does not apply to resident purchaser under a contract of sale (but does apply to a resident who has an option buy), nor to the continuation of occupancy by the seller or a member of the seller’s family for a period of months after the sale of a dwelling unit or the property of which it is a part. (Ala. Code § 35-9A-202)
Security Deposit Limit
A landlord may charge a tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent for the security deposit – this does not include special deposits like ones for pets.
Deadline for Returning Security Deposit
A landlord must return a security deposit, with an itemized statement of deductions, within 60 days after tenancy has ended and the tenant has moved out.
Small Claims Lawsuits
Tenants can sue landlords in small claims court for up to $3,000. This may include security deposit and other leasing disagreements.
Landlords must give at least 30 days notice to raise rent in Alabama (unless your lease states differently). A tenant has to pay rent or move before a landlord can file for eviction. For details, see Alabama Termination for Nonpayment of Rent, and Other Rent Rules.
Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent
A tenant may not withhold rent or “repair and deduct” if a landlord fails to take care of repairs, even when the air conditioning breaks downs.
Terminating Tenancy and Eviction
A tenant has a right to pay rent or move within seven days after the rent’s due date before a landlord can file an eviction. However, there are exceptions landlords can exercise for refusing rent when tenants commit illegal behavior (drugs, violence, etc.). In such instances, an unconditional quit notice gives the tenant seven days to move out (before an eviction can be filed). For lease violations, 14 calendar days must be given to correct the violation before the landlord can file for eviction.
Landlord Access to the Property
A two day notice of entry must be provided
Court may exclude defendant from residence of the plaintiff, regardless of ownership of residence.
Alabama Lease Agreement
Alabama Landlord-Tenant Law Statutes
Alabama Code §§ 35-9-1 to 35-9-100; 35-9A-101 to 35-9A-603.