An Alabama Rental Application helps landlords or property managers review prospective tenants. This form is effective in screening applicants and finding reliable tenants before drafting and signing a lease agreement.
In Alabama, there is no law regarding the amount of the fee that the landlord can charge. The fee should be proportional to the costs of processing the application, such as running the background check.
Landlords must provide information regarding the deposit amount, the cases in which it may be withheld, and the return timeframe. The deposit must be returned to the tenant within 60 days of vacating the property.
If you decide to charge a pet or other additional deposit besides a security deposit, you should separate the amount from the security deposit. For instance, “Security deposit: $800. Pet deposit: $100.”
- A rental application cannot contain questions about a tenant’s race, religion, national origin, familial status, disability, or sex (gender identity and sexual orientation) per the federal and state Fair Housing Act. 
- If you have concerns about a potential or current tenant, the Alabama Sex Offender Registry is available for public use.
- The Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) assists homeowners and renters with everything from emergency assistance to federal aid. 
How to Conduct an Eviction Record Search
Court records are public so that any public member can access them. However, you will likely have to register with a website and pay a nominal fee to obtain the records, as follows:
- One such site is Just One Look. This site allows you to access Alabama civil, criminal, and domestic relations records.
- Create an account and access the Name Search page.
- Enter the potential renter’s name and choose “CIVIL” or “BOTH” to access civil court documents. If you know the city or county where the renter previously lived, you can narrow your search by entering that information.
- A name search is $9.99 at the time of this writing. “No Matching Records” is considered a valid search result. Each name is a separate search, and each search has a fee. (In other words, “Smith, John” and “John Smith” are two different searches, and each one will cost $9.99.)