Landlord’s Right To Entry in Alabama

Landlord’s Right To Entry in Alabama

Last Updated: January 20, 2023

Legal Reasons for Entry
  • Inspections
  • Improvements (incl. decoration)
  • Maintenance
  • Property Showings
  • Emergencies
Notice Requirement
  • Usually 2 Days, Written or Verbal
  • None Needed if Emergency
Penalties for Illegal Entry
  • Court Injunction
  • Cost of Damages
  • Breaking the Lease
  • Court + Legal Fees

Does a Landlord Have the Right To Enter a Rental Property in Alabama?

Alabama landlords have the right to enter a rental property for the following reasons:

  • Inspecting the property.
  • Improvements (including decorations).
  • Maintenance and repairs.
  • Showing the property to potential renters and buyers.
  • Emergencies.

Can a Landlord Enter Without Permission in Alabama?

Alabama landlords can legally enter a rental property without the tenant’s permission if:

  • It’s in response to a renter’s maintenance request.
  • There’s an emergency.
  • The property needs protection.
  • The renter has been gone for more than 14 days.
  • The renter got written notice more than seven business days ago about a necessary change to the property.

Can a Landlord Enter Without the Tenant Present in Alabama?

Alabama landlords can enter without the tenant present.

Can a Landlord Show a House While Occupied in Alabama?

Alabama landlords can show an occupied house. The renter can’t unreasonably refuse, as long as the landlord provides two days of notice and shows the property at a reasonable time of day.

How Often Can Landlords Conduct Routine Inspections in Alabama?

Alabama landlords have no specific limit on how often they can enter for inspections. The landlord isn’t allowed to enter unreasonably often, but what’s reasonable gets decided case by case.

How Much Notice Does a Landlord Need To Provide in Alabama?

A landlord in Alabama has to give at least two days’ advance notice before entering, unless:

  • The entry is done on a previously posted schedule, separate from the lease, that relates to repairs, maintenance, pest control, or services relating to health or safety.
  • The renter has been gone more than 14 days.
  • There’s an emergency.
  • The property needs protection.
  • It’s impractical to contact the renter (for example, if the renter is away on vacation for less than a week, but hasn’t given contact information).

Can a Landlord Enter Without Notice in Alabama?

Landlords can enter without notice in Alabama if:

  • The renter has been gone more than 14 days.
  • There’s an emergency.
  • The property needs protection.
  • It’s impractical to contact the renter (for example, if the renter is away on vacation for less than a week, but hasn’t given contact information).

How Can Landlords Notify Tenants of an Intention To Enter in Alabama?

Landlords in Alabama can notify tenants verbally or in writing about an intention to enter. The law specifically allows landlords to post a note on the main door of the rental property giving notice about an intention to enter.

Can a Tenant Refuse Entry to a Landlord in Alabama?

A tenant can refuse entry to a landlord in Alabama if:

  • There’s an invalid reason.
  • The request isn’t reasonable (e.g. not enough advance notice, or at a strange time of day).

A tenant can’t refuse entry to a landlord in Alabama if:

  • It’s for inspection.
  • It’s for making improvements to the property.
  • It’s for maintenance.
  • It’s for showing the property.
  • It’s part of decorating the property.
  • There’s an emergency.

What Happens If the Tenant Illegally Refuses Entry to the Landlord in Alabama?

Alabama landlords can force access through a court order if the tenant illegally refuses entry. Landlords can also cancel the rental agreement after proper notice, which in most cases still requires filing for eviction. In either case, the landlord can recover court costs and attorney fees from the tenant.

Can a Tenant Change the Locks Without Permission in Alabama?

A tenant can change locks without permission in Alabama if the lease doesn’t say otherwise. Note that the landlord still has a right to enter for specific reasons, so it’s recommended that tenants provide copies of current keys.

What Can a Tenant Do If the Landlord Enters Illegally in Alabama?

If a landlord enters illegally in Alabama, a tenant can:

  • Get a court order to ban the landlord from entering.
  • Cancel the rental agreement.
  • Recover court costs and attorney fees from the landlord.

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