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Alabama Landlord Responsibility to Maintain Premises

Under the Alabama Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, a landlord has the following list of responsibilities with regard to maintaining a rental property. A few exceptions have been referenced herein where a tenant may agree to assume some of them:

Building Code Compliance

Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;

Habitable Premises

Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a habitable condition;

Common Areas

Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition;

Landlord Provided Items

Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord;

Waste Management

Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal; and

Hot and Cold Water

Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection.

Single Family Residence Exceptions

A landlord and tenant of a single family residence may agree in writing that the tenant perform the landlord’s duties specified in subdivisions “Waste Management” and “Hot and Cold Water.” and also specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, and remodeling.

Other Dwelling Exceptions

The landlord and tenant of any dwelling unit other than a single family residence may agree that the tenant is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, or remodeling only if:

  • The agreement of the parties is set forth in a separate writing signed by the parties and supported by adequate consideration;
  • The work is not necessary to cure the landlord’s noncompliance with building codes affecting health and safety; and
  • The agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the landlord to other tenants in the premises.

Note: The landlord may not treat performance of the separate agreement described in this subsection as a condition to any obligation or performance of any rental agreement.

When Tenant Rights Do Not Apply

Rights of the tenant under the “Landlord’s Responsibility to Maintain Premises” do not apply if the condition was caused by the willful or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenant’s family, a licensee, or other person on the premises with the tenant’s consent.

Limitation of Landlord’s Liability

Unless it is otherwise agreed, a landlord who conveys premises that include a dwelling unit subject to a rental agreement in a good faith sale to a bona fide purchaser is relieved of liability under the rental agreement and these laws as to events occurring after written notice to the tenant of the conveyance.

Note: The landlord still remains liable to the tenant for the security deposit recoverable by the tenant and all prepaid rent.

Limitation of Property Manager’s Liability

Unless otherwise agreed, the manager of premises that include a dwelling unit is relieved of liability under the rental agreement and these laws as to events occurring after written notice to the tenant of the termination of management by the manager.

Section 35-9A-204 (Act 2006-316, p. 668, §1.)

Return to Alabama Landlord-Tenant Laws.