Alabama Rental Lease Agreements
The Alabama Rental Lease Agreements are documents signed between a landlord and tenant for the renting of residential or commercial space. In simple terms, the agreement outlines each party’s obligations, including, but not limited to:
- Start and End Dates (unless month-to-month);
- Rent Amount ($);
- Utilities and Services;
- Appliances; and
- Maximum Number of Guests.
Once an agreement is signed by the landlord and tenant it becomes a legally binding contract.
What is an Alabama Lease Agreement?
An Alabama Lease Agreement helps solidify and make legal an arrangement for a tenant to occupy space in exchange for money paid on a monthly basis. Before an agreement is signed, it’s highly recommended to have the tenant complete a rental application to verify employment, income, and credit history.
State Definition (Section 35-91-141(13)) – “means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under Section 35-9A-302 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises”.
Types of Agreements
College Roommate Agreement – A non-binding agreement between students that sets general rules regarding the dorm room, such as quiet hours and cleaning schedules.
Commercial Lease Agreement – Used to rent a property that will be operated for business purposes.
Lease to Own Agreement – The “combination” of a lease and purchase agreement. Gives a tenant the option to purchase the rented property after a given amount of time.
Month-to-Month Lease – Very similar to a normal Residential Lease, with the difference being the contract has no set end date (although 30-day notice is required).
Roommate Agreement – For renting out a single room or apartment. Is between tenants, whereas a lease agreement is between a landlord and tenant.
Standard Residential Lease Agreement – For a fixed period usually lasting for one (1) year.
Sublease Agreement – For renting out an already-rented property. Typically requires landlord permission.
When is Rent Due?
In Alabama, rent is due on the date stated in the agreement. There is no grace period (Section 35-9A-161(c)).
Emergency (§ 35-9A-303(b)(1)) – Landlord may enter the residence, without the tenant’s consent, in the case of an emergency.
Non-Emergency (§ 35-9A-303(c) – Landlord may enter the residence with two (2) days’ notice by posting a note on the door of entry. The note must state the day and time the landlord intends on entering the property and is required that it be during reasonable times.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – Required under federal law if the residence was constructed prior to 1978.
Names and Addresses – Landlord must write the contact information in the lease of either their name and address or the person authorized to manage the premises (Section 35-9A-202).
Security Deposit Laws
Maximum Amount: One (1) month’s rent (Section 35-9A-201(a))
Returning to Tenant: Sixty (60) days. If the landlord does not return within the time-frame then tenant shall be owed double. If the landlord is to make deductions from the tenant’s deposit, such amounts must be (Section 35-9A-201).