An Alabama rental agreement is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a rental property and a tenant who wishes to use it. Alabama landlord-tenant law governs these agreements; rental terms must be within the limits allowed by law.
Alabama Rental Agreement Types
An Alabama roommate agreement is a legal contract between two or more people (“co-tenants”) who share a rental property according to rules they set, including for things like splitting the rent. This agreement binds the co-tenants living together, and doesn’t include the landlord.
Alabama Required Residential Lease Disclosures
- Landlord’s Name and Address (required for all leases) – Alabama leases must contain the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. This enables smooth communication of any important legal notice.
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosures (required for some leases) – For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that an Alabama residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure with an EPA informational pamphlet, plus notice of any lead hazards on the property.
To learn more about required disclosures in Alabama, click here.
Alabama Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – Alabama landlords can only rent out habitable property, which means providing certain features essential to basic health and safety. This includes things like heat, plumbing, electricity, and sound structural elements. Landlords must repair any issues within 14 days after proper notice from the tenant. Failure to repair lets a tenant sue the landlord or terminate the lease. Tenants in Alabama aren’t allowed to repair and deduct, or withhold rent.
- Eviction Process – Alabama landlords may evict for rent default, lease violations, code violations, providing false information on a rental agreement/application, or engaging in an illegal act. In most cases, a landlord must only provide seven days of advance notice to quit before eviction.
- Security Deposits – Alabama caps security deposits at a maximum of one month’s rent. Upon lease termination, a landlord must return any unused portion of a tenant’s security deposit within 60 days.
- Lease Termination – Alabama lets tenants terminate a month-to-month lease with 30 days of advance notice. A fixed-term lease usually can’t be terminated early without active military duty, landlord harassment, uninhabitable property, or domestic abuse.
- Rent Increases and Fees – Alabama does not limit the amount or frequency of a rent increase. The state likewise does not cap any fees, except for returned check fees, which are capped at $30 per instance.
- Landlord Entry – Alabama landlords may enter rental property for purposes reasonably related to the tenancy, like maintenance, inspections, and property showings. Before entering, they must provide 2 days of advance notice, except in emergency situations.
- Settling Legal Disputes – Alabama lets its small claims courts hear landlord-tenant disputes, as long as the amount in controversy is under $6,000. For most landlord-tenant issues, the statute of limitations in Alabama is six years.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Alabama, click here.