Alabama Landlord Responsibilities for Habitability

Alabama Landlord Responsibilities for Habitability

Last Updated: January 20, 2023

Alabama legally requires landlords to meet certain “habitability” requirements for all rental properties. This means that they’re responsible for providing a property that meets specific health and safety standards and for fixing issues that violate them.

Alabama Implied Warranty of Habitability

In Alabama, the implied warranty of habitability means that a landlord must provide and maintain a safe and habitable rental property. “Implied” means the requirement applies whether or not the lease agreement specifically says so and even if the lease tries to waive the obligation.

Examples of clear habitability violations include:

  • Exposed electrical wiring.
  • A pipe leaking human waste.
  • A broken front doorknob that won’t lock.

However, the implied warranty of habitability does not guarantee that anything at the property will be pretty, clean, new or issue-free, so it doesn’t cover things like peeling carpet or dents in a wall. It only guarantees basic health and safety.

Landlord Responsibilities in Alabama

Note: Check local city/county laws and ordinances for additional requirements.

Item Has To Provide? Has To Fix / Replace?
Air Conditioning / Heating Yes Only If Provided
Hot Water Yes Yes
Kitchen Appliances No Only If Provided
Washer & Dryer Not Addressed Only If Provided
Smoke/CO Detectors Smoke Only Yes
Window Coverings Not Addressed Not Addressed
Light Fixtures No Only If Provided
Landscaping Not Addressed Not Addressed
Garbage Removal Yes Yes
Garbage Pickup Yes Yes
Mold N/A Yes
Pest Control No N/A
Pest Infestations N/A Sometimes
Water Leaks N/A Sometimes
Clogs N/A Usually

Landlord Responsibilities for Heating & Air Conditioning in Alabama

Alabama landlords do have to provide heating for rental properties. They don’t have to provide air conditioning. However, landlords must maintain all heating and air conditioning appliances they do provide.

Are Landlords Required to Provide Air Filter Replacements in Alabama?

Alabama landlords don’t have to replace things like air filters, unless heating equipment won’t work otherwise.

Landlord Responsibilities for Plumbing in Alabama

Alabama landlords must provide working plumbing. The specific requirements depend on city and county rules, but in general a property is not considered habitable without:

  • A kitchen sink.
  • A bathroom sink.
  • A bathtub or shower.
  • A toilet.

Are Landlords Required To Provide Hot Water in Alabama?

Alabama landlords must provide and maintain running heated water for rental properties.

Are Landlords Responsible for Fixing Clogged Drains & Toilets in Alabama?

Alabama landlords must fix clogs as well as any other issue that prevents plumbing from being in good and safe working order.

Are Landlords in Alabama Responsible for Fixing Leaks?

Alabama landlords only have to fix leaks that could negatively affect health or safety on the property. Minor leaks that cause annoyance or cosmetic water damage don’t count.

Landlord Responsibilities for Kitchen Appliances in Alabama

Alabama landlords don’t have to provide kitchen appliances such as a dishwasher, stove, oven, microwave, or refrigerator. However, landlords must maintainall provided appliances.

Landlord Responsibilities for Electrical Issues in Alabama

Alabama landlords must make electrical service available in properties they rent. It’s also the landlord’s responsibility to maintain provided electrical appliances.

Are Landlords Responsible for Replacing Light Bulbs in Alabama?

Alabama landlords don’t have to provide light bulbs or particular light fixtures. However, landlords must maintain provided electrical appliances. This means it’s the landlord’s responsibility to replace provided bulbs unless they were damaged by the renter.

Landlord Responsibilities for Garbage Removal in Alabama

Alabama landlords must provide and maintain garbage containers and garbage removal services.

Landlord Responsibilities for Landscaping in Alabama

Alabama landlords don’t have any specific obligation to provide landscaping or maintain it with actions like cutting grass. They only have to deal with issues like fallen trees if they create a hazard to health and safety on the property.

Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Mold in Alabama

Alabama landlords are responsible for most mold issues. There’s no state requirement for regular testing, but a landlord must investigate and fix mold problems since they threaten health and safety. If the renter created the mold issue, a landlord can make the renter fix it, or pay for repairs.

Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Pests in Alabama

Alabama landlords have to exterminate pest infestations that could affect health or safety on the property – such as roaches, mice, bed bugs, or ants – unless the renter’s lack of cleanliness created the issue. There isn’t a regular testing requirement.

Landlord Responsibilities for Windows & Window Coverings in Alabama

Alabama landlords have no specific responsibility to provide or maintain windows and coverings, including blinds and screens, except as local building codes or basic health and safety require. Since they affect health and safety, the landlord has to fixbroken windows unless the renter’s actions broke them.

Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Safety Devices in Alabama

Alabama landlords have to provide required smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. The rules are complex, but there generally should be at least one smoke alarm per bedroom and one outside sleeping areas, plus a CO detector covering any areas near enclosed garages or appliances that burn fossil fuels.

Are Landlords Responsible for Replacing Batteries of Safety Devices in Alabama?

Alabama landlords are responsible for maintenance like battery replacement for appliances like smoke alarms and CO detectors, since they’re required to provide these appliances for every rental property.

Landlord Responsibilities for Washers and Dryers in Alabama

Landlords in Alabama are not required to furnish their rental properties with a working washer and dryer. However, if they are provided, the landlord is responsible for fixing them if they stop working properly.

Renter’s Rights for Repairs in Alabama

Renters in Alabama have the right to repairs for issues that affect health and safety, unless they caused the issue themselves. To exercise this right, the renter must start by requesting repairs from the landlord in writing. After receiving written notice, the landlord gets 14 days to fix the issue.

If the issue isn’t fixed, the renter can end the rental agreement, or ask a court to order repairs or compensation. Ending the rental agreement after proper notice is the renter’s only option out of court. The renter isn’t allowed to repair and deduct, or withhold rent.

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