The Alabama residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a binding contract that describes the terms and conditions of the residential use of real estate in exchange for rent payments. This contract may require an additional fee (“security deposit”) payable on or before the move-in date.
Alabama Lease Agreement Disclosures
The below disclosures are required for some or all residential lease agreements in Alabama.
Landlord’s Name & Address
Applicable to all rental units in Alabama.
The name and business address of the landlord, owner, or the individual(s) authorized to act on the owner/landlord’s behalf must be disclosed in writing before or at the beginning of tenancy. This is to ensure that any future legal notices or demands that are sent by the tenant can be properly delivered to the landlord. Typically, this information is written in the lease agreement.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to rental units built before 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Alabama to:
- Fill out and attach this lead-based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead-based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are optional. It can reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
|Optional Disclosure||How the Disclosure is Helpful|
|Asbestos||This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.|
|Bed Bugs||If the rental unit has a history of a bed bug infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle the infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.|
|Late/Returned Check Fees||Landlords should disclose if they will charge a late fee or a returned check fee in the lease agreement. In Alabama there are no restrictions on late fees and a $30 limit on bounced checks.|
|Medical Marijuana Use||Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
|Mold Disclosure||Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.|
|Move-in Checklist||A move-in checklist holds the tenant accountable for future damages that they may cause.|
|Non-Refundable Fees||A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.|
|Shared Utilities Arrangements||For rental units with shared utilities, a landlord should disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated. Providing this information to tenants will give them a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.|
|Smoking||Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures
Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.
If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)
It’s best to check with your local laws on which disclosures are required to provide to your tenant.