If you’re a rental property owner in Alabama, being aware of the Alabama Landlord-Tenant laws will protect you as a landlord. You’ll be able to incorporate a legal due process when dealing with your Alabama renters.
It will also guide you in being compliant with your landlord responsibilities, as outlined by the state of Alabama.
Additionally, you’ll also respect your tenants’ rights by virtue of your awareness of the Alabama Landlord-Tenant laws. It’s a win-win situation to familiarize yourself with these laws as a landlord.
Required Landlord Disclosures in Alabama
Landlords must disclose certain information to tenants in Alabama. The following are the required disclosures:
- Nonrefundable Fees
Unlike other states, Alabama does not have a statute on nonrefundable fees. So, if the leasing agreement stipulates nonrefundable fees, it must be followed.
- Security deposit
In Alabama, the security deposit laws are more relaxed for landlords. They’re not required to furnish a receipt to renters upon receiving the security deposit. They’re also not obliged to place the security deposit in an interest-bearing account. However, should they wish, they can do so and give the interest to the tenant.
For the maximum security deposit limit, Alabama landlords are limited to collecting a month’s rent only. They’re also given a period of 60 days to refund the security deposit once the tenancy expires.
If a landlord isn’t able to accomplish this, they can be liable to pay the tenant double the amount of the security deposit.
Under Alabama law, it’s required for landlords to attach an itemized receipt. This is to inform the tenant of the details of the partial or non-existent security deposit refund. Any damage repairs must be specifically written along with the expense charges.
- Rights of Domestic Violence Victims
Alabama Law does not have any statute regarding tenants who are victims of domestic violence.
- Owner or Agent Identity
In Alabama, the tenant has a right to written disclosure of the agent. Thus, a leasing agreement must contain the complete name and address of the landlord or professional representative. The purpose is to make it easy for tenants in Alabama to submit their notices.
Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
Under the Alabama landlord-tenant laws, each renter is rightfully entitled to:
- Be provided with a notice by the landlord at least 2 days prior to them entering the property
- Give the landlord a written notice to conduct the required repairs of the rental space within a 14-day period. If not, the tenant can terminate the leasing agreement
- Be given possession of the rental unit or end the rental agreement if the landlord is guilty of illegal eviction or retaliatory conduct
- Be refunded the security deposit (if there’s partial or no deductions) within a 60-day period
Under the Alabama landlord-tenant laws, each tenant must fulfill the basic responsibilities such as:
- Paying the rent by the due date
- Keeping the rental space reasonably clean
- Maintaining the rental unit by protecting against property damages and hazards
- Keeping from disturbing fellow tenants
- Staying away from illegal activities in the rental property
Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
The following are the basic landlord rights in the state of Alabama. Landlords must:
- Deduct charges from the security deposit when a tenant has not paid the rent. The landlord also has the right to withdraw the cost of repair from property damages a tenant has caused out of neglect and abuse. This does not include “normal wear and tear.”
- Be paid the remaining rental charges and other fees when a tenant legally breaks the tenancy. An exception would be if the landlord accepts a new renter.
The following are the basic landlord responsibilities in the state of Alabama. Landlords must:
- Keep the premises safe, habitable and clean
- Schedule property repairs to keep up with the rental maintenance
- Provide the renter with a 2-day notice prior to entering the rental unit, except in cases of emergency
- Return the tenant’s security deposit within a 60-day period and provide an itemized list of deductions in the case of repairs
An Overview of Alabama Landlord-Tenant Law
1. Tenant Privacy and Alabama Landlord’s Right to Enter the Dwelling
In Alabama, landlords are expected to provide a 2-day notice to the tenants before entering the rental space. Exceptions to this requirement are during:
- Emergency situations
- Court order
2. The Condition, Maintenance and Repairs
According to the Alabama Landlord-Tenant laws, landlords are responsible for maintaining the rental unit properly and keeping it habitable. These are some of the landlords’ obligations:
- Providing both hot and cold water to the renters
- Installing functioning smoke detectors
- Making sure a trash receptacle is available for sanitary purpose
3. Alabama’s Housing Discrimination Laws
In Alabama, the Fair Housing Act is observed. A tenant must not experience any housing discrimination pertaining to one’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status.
4. Security Deposits
A security deposit is required by the landlord from a tenant to be utilized for:
- Paying the landlord for covered losses owing to property damage due to tenant’s neglect/abuse
- Paying any missing rent of the renter
5. Required Landlord Disclosures
This should be in the form of writing, usually printed in the lease agreement.
The disclosures are as follows:
- Landlords must reveal the presence of paint lead for properties built prior to 1878
- Landlords must disclose the name and addresses of professional authorized representatives managing the rental such as a property manager
6. Renters Rights to Withhold Rent
If a landlord fails to perform his responsibility to address property repairs, tenants can:
- Issue a written notice to the landlords to have the property fixed within the required period of 14 days
- End the leasing agreement
- Still be liable to pay the rental dues before the 14 day period of repair is over
7. Small Claims Lawsuits
If conflicts occur between the Alabama landlord and tenant, the latter can file for claims up to $6,000 in a small claims court.
*Disclaimer: be aware that this blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in Alabama. Please contact us for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.