Menu Close

Alabama Tenant Responsibility to Maintain Dwelling Unit

When it comes to maintaining a rental property, the Alabama Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act outlines the following list of responsibilities a tenant must follow in order to be compliant under the law:

Building Code Compliance

Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;

Condition of Premises

Keep that part of the premises that the tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit;

Waste Removal

Dispose from the dwelling unit all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste in a clean and safe manner;

Plumbing Fixtures

Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clear as their condition permits;

Facilities and Appliances

Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises;

Deliberate or Negligent Destruction

Do not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises; or knowingly, recklessly, or negligently permit any person to do so; and


Conduct himself or herself and require other persons on the premises with the tenant’s consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.

Rules and Regulations

(For the purposes of this subsection, “Rules” or “regulations” pertaining to a residential lease are defined as policies of the landlord affecting the maintenance, operation, or governance of the common areas of the premises, or concerning the general conduct of tenants in their use and enjoyment of the leased premises.)

A landlord, from time to time, may adopt a rule or regulation. It is enforceable against the tenant only if:

  • Its purpose is to promote the convenience, safety, or welfare of the tenants in the premises, preserve the landlord’s property from abusive use, or make a fair distribution of services and facilities held out for the tenants generally;
  • It is reasonably related to the purpose of which it is adopted;
  • It applies to all tenants in the premises in a fair manner;
  • It is sufficiently explicit in its prohibition, direction, or limitation of the tenant’s conduct to fairly inform the tenant of what the tenant must or must not do to comply;
  • It is not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord; and
  • The tenant has notice of it at the time the tenant enters into the rental agreement, or when it is adopted.

Note: If a rule or regulation is adopted after the tenant enters into the rental agreement that works a substantial modification of the tenant’s use of the leased premises, it is not valid unless the tenant consents to it in writing. In the case of any variance between the lease and a rule or regulation, the lease prevails.

Access to Property

A tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors. See Alabama Landlord and Tenant Abuse of Access Remedies.

Intended Use

Unless otherwise agreed, a tenant shall occupy the dwelling unit only as a dwelling unit.

Extended Absence

The rental agreement may require that the tenant notify the landlord of any anticipated extended absence from the premises in excess of 14 days no later than the fifth day of the extended absence. See Alabama Tenant Absence, Nonuse, and Abandonment.

Section 35-9A-301 (Act 2006-316, p. 668, §1.)

Return to Alabama Landlord-Tenant Laws.