Reasons for Terminating Tenancy in Alabama
The first step in the Alabama eviction process requires a landlord to have a lawful reason to terminate the lease agreement or tenancy. The state of Alabama has essentially outlined the following as lawful reasons to end a relationship with a tenant:
- Failure to pay rent,
- Violation of the lease or rental agreement (including falsifying information on a rental application), and
- Certain illegal acts on the premises.
Once the reason has been determined, the applicable notice must be provided to the tenant.
Alabama Eviction Notices
Alabama 7 Day Notice to Pay or Quit: If the tenant fails to pay rent when it is due, the landlord can give the tenant a seven day notice to bring the outstanding rent current. The notice informs the tenant that rent must either be paid or they must move out within seven days. If they don’t comply, the notice terminates the tenancy and the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit. If the tenant pays the rent in time, the landlord will not be able to file a lawsuit because the court would dismiss it. (Ala. Code § 35-9A-421(b).)
Alabama 7 Day Notice to Cure or Quit: If the tenant violates the lease agreement or tenancy other than for nonpayment of rent (unauthorized pets, abandoned vehicles, etc.), the landlord can give the tenant a seven day notice to correct the violation. This notice informs the tenant that they must remedy the violation or move out. If the tenant does neither, the notice terminates the tenancy and the landlord may then file an eviction lawsuit to have the tenant forcibly removed. If the tenant corrects the violation in time, the landlord will not be able to proceed with the eviction. (Ala. Code 35-9A-421(a).)
Alabama 7 Day Notice to Quit: If the tenant violates the lease agreement or tenancy in a manner that Alabama law does not provide for a chance to fix or correct the problem, the landlord has the right to terminate tenancy with a 7 day notice to quit. This type of notice informs the tenant of the incurable violation and demands that the tenant surrender the premises and move out within 7 days. If the tenant does not move, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit to have them forcibly removed. Here is a list of common incurable violations (Ala. Code § 35-9A-421.):
- Tenant intentionally misrepresented facts on the rental application
- Tenant possessed or used illegal drugs on the premises
- Tenant discharged a firearm on the premises (not including for self-defense)
- Tenant criminally assaulted another tenant or guest on the premises (not including for self-defense)
Serving an Eviction Notice
After the landlord has selected the proper eviction notice, they must deliver the notice to the tenant using one of the following methods:
- Hand it to the tenant personally
- Visit the rental property and give the notice to an adult occupant or guest, or
- Affix the notice to a conspicuous place on the premises (such as the font door).
The landlord should retain a copy of the notice and record the date and delivery method used when serving the notice. If the landlord served the notice to an adult occupant or guest, the name of the person who received the notice should be documented. It’s important to record the service of process because this information will be needed the landlord needs to file an eviction lawsuit with the local court.
Terminating Tenancy in Alabama Without a Violation
If a landlord does not have a lawful reason to terminate tenancy early, the landlord must wait until the lease or rental agreement term has expired. For month-to-month rental agreements, the landlord may use the following form to terminate before the next monthly payment is due:
This Alabama 30 Day Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Tenancy is not intended for any particular violation, it is used to inform the tenant that the landlord does not wish to renew for the following 30 days.