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Alabama Residential
Lease Agreement for
Rental Properties

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Overview

Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.

In Alabama, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by Alabama landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.

This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a lease agreement Alabama considers compliant, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free Alabama residential lease agreement template for download!

An Alabama lease is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease adheres to Alabama’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.

The following components should be included in every Alabama lease agreement. Note that these components primarily apply to residential leases; an Alabama commercial lease agreement will necessarily have different requirements.

Lease Term

This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.

Rent

Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. There are no statewide rent control laws in Alabama, meaning that landlords can generally choose their own rental rates based on the current market. However, be aware that individual cities or municipalities in Alabama may pass laws that regulate or restrict the price of rent. Be sure you know which laws apply where your property is located and that your rates and rent increase policies are compliant with any local or municipal laws.

Late Fees

The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. In Alabama, there are no statutory limits on late fees, nor is there a mandatory grace period. This means landlords in Alabama can create and enforce their own late fee policies. However, late fee policies should be clearly explained in every Alabama lease agreement so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they are late to pay rent.

Security Deposit

This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.

The maximum or limit for security deposits in Alabama is one month’s rent (this limit does not include pet deposits or funds collected for the purposes of reversing tenant alterations or for tenant activities with increased liability risk) (Ala. Code § 35-9A-201(a)).

Additionally, Alabama law requires that landlords return all security deposits (minus any deductions) to tenants within 60 days after the lease’s termination (Ala. Code § 35-9A-201(b)).

Be sure that your security deposit policy is carefully explained in all Alabama lease agreements, including the amount of the deposit, how/when it will be returned, and the conditions under which funds may be withheld from it.

Required Disclosures

This section encompasses crucial required disclosures, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property. These required disclosures must be included in a lease agreement Alabama considers compliant, or else provided in a separate written notice to the tenant.

In Alabama, the required disclosures are:

  • Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
  • Landlord/agent identification – Landlords in Alabama must disclose the name and business address of the person authorized to manage the premises/receive notices.

Landlord Right to Entry

In Alabama, there are specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. Landlords must give at least two days’ notice before entering an occupied unit for a non-emergency reason (Ala. Code § 35-9A-303(c)). Additionally, landlords in Alabama may only enter at reasonable times. Be sure to include the landlord’s right of entry in your Alabama lease agreement.

Repairs & Maintenance

The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every Alabama residential lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.

Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures

This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, your Alabama rental lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.

An Alabama residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in Alabama, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: a seven-day notice to pay or quit for nonpayment, a seven-day notice to cure or quit for lease violations, or a seven-day unconditional notice to quit for non-curable breaches. These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.

Community Rules

Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include an Alabama sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.

Joint and Severability Clause

This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease agreement isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.

Signatures

Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.

Alabama Lease Agreement Download

To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable Alabama lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of Alabama state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.

Conclusion

Understanding the nuances of an Alabama residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of an Alabama lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free Alabama lease template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.