All states are required by Federal law to incorporate certain uniform elements in their lease and rental agreements. For example, all state lease agreements must include:
- Landlord and tenant personal information,
- The address and legal description of the property being leased,
- Whether pets are prohibited or allowed,
- Health, safety, and other occupational hazards,
- Whether a security deposit is due and the amount,
- How rent will be paid and an agreed upon schedule of payment.
States usually differ on key leasing and rental agreement issues. For example, some states may grant landlords a right of entry to the premises without first giving a tenant notice, while others may require landlords give forty-eight (48) hours notice before entering.
To best protect your legal and financial rights, make sure you acquaint yourself with Alabama’s specific leasing requirements. Doing so could save you from entering into a potentially one-sided lease, and save you from hassle or future litigation.
1. Alabama Residential Lease Agreement Sample
The sample lease agreement below describes a contract between “Landlord” Kevin Lee and “Tenant” Olivia Graham. She agrees to rent a duplex in Columbia for $1,000 per month for a fixed term. The tenant agrees to pay for all utilities and services for the Premises. This is a good example of what provisions a simple lease agreement might contain, and how one should look in its final form.
2. Alabama Landlord and Tenant Laws
Free Required Lease Documents:
Disclosure of Lead-Based Hazards – All Alabama landlords of any building constructed before 1978 must notify all tenants of the potential existence of lead-based hazards. (Title 42 U.S. Code § 4852(d)) | PDF Download
- Alabama landlords are allowed to request up to one (1) month’s rent as a security deposit from tenants. (Alabama Code § 35-9A-201)
- Pet deposits and other additional fees are allowed as well. (Alabama Code § 35-9A-201)
- Alabama landlords are required to return a tenant’s security deposit within sixty (60) days of termination of the lease. (Alabama Code § 35-9A-201)
Landlord Right of Entry
- Alabama law requires landlords give at minimum two (2) days notice before entering the property for maintenance and repair purposes. (Ala. Code § § 35-9A-303)
- Emergency entry without notice is permitted. Emergency entry includes if there is a fire, serious water leak, or another serious health or safety issue. (Ala. Code § § 35-9A-303)
Small Claims Court
- Alabama tenants may sue their landlord in small claims court for up to $6,000 after a landlord fails to return a deposit. (Guide to Alabama Small Claims Courts)
If you are looking to further acquaint yourself with Alabama landlord and tenant obligations, check out The Alabama Tenant’s Handbook, which will help clarify any outstanding rental questions you may have.