An Alabama lease agreement is a legal document made between the landlord and the tenant. The landlord agrees to assign his property to the tenant for use. The tenant agrees to pay a certain amount of money to the landlord in return.
If you are renting the property in Alabama for a period longer than one year, the lease agreement is mandatory. In cases where the lease period is shorter than one year, the lease agreement is not mandatory.
However, it is always better to have a lease agreement, regardless of the lease duration. A lease agreement will secure your rights and make your obligations clear. This will prevent any future misunderstandings or disputes between the landlord and the tenant.
Alabama Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
If you are planning to rent out a property, you must include the following disclosures in your lease agreement:
Lead-based paint disclosure. This disclosure is mandatory by federal law for any structure built before 1978. A landlord must disclose to a tenant any information related to a lead-based paint hazard.
Identification of manager and owner. According to the Alabama Code § 35-9A-202, landlords must disclose the following:
Name and address of the rental manager
Name and address of the rental owner or person acting on their behalf
Alabama Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
Apart from the mandatory disclosures, you should also include the optional ones, including:
Asbestos addendum. Although not explicitly required by Alabama laws, it is definitely a health risk which you should address to prevent any future disputes. This addendum should disclose the presence of any asbestos in the construction of the leased property.
Carbon monoxide and smoke detector addendum. This optional disclosure provides guidelines around carbon monoxide and smoke detector usage on the property.
Pet addendum. States whether pets are allowed or not on the property.
Smoking addendum. Provides smoking rules on the property, including its individual units, buildings, common areas, and adjoining grounds.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
If you fail to include a lead-based paint disclosure in your lease agreement as a landlord, you can:
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
Face civil or criminal penalties.
Be sued by the tenant and pay damages up to three times what the tenant suffered.
The person who discloses the manager's or owner’s information will become an agent of the landlord. That will make him responsible for receiving all the notices and complaints from the tenant and receiving the rent.
Alabama Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
Alabama provides that the largest security deposit cannot exceed one month’s rent under Alabama Code § 35-9A-201(a). This does not include extra charges for:
Changes to premises
Increased liability for landlord or property
Security Deposit Return
After the end of the lease, the landlord must return the security deposit within 60 days.
The landlord can deduct unpaid rent or any damages the tenant has caused by non-complying with Section 35-9A-301.
A landlord shall also provide a list of items based on which he withheld a part or a whole security deposit. He should deliver that list, with any remaining amount, no later than 60 days from the lease termination.
Suppose the landlord fails to send the rest of the security deposit or list of items back to the tenant within 60 days of the lease termination. In that case, they should pay the tenant double the amount of the security deposit.
When is Rent Due in Alabama? (Grace Period)
Rent is due on the day mutually agreed upon in the lease agreement.
The Alabama state law doesn’t provide any grace period for paying the rent. That means the landlord can charge the late fee as soon as the due date has passed. However, the parties are free to include a grace period in the lease agreement if they wish.
Alabama Rent Late Fees
A landlord can charge the tenant a late fee as soon as the rent is due. They should define any late fee in the lease agreement. Note that the landlord cannot charge any late fee that is not included in the lease agreement.
Alabama state law does not set a cap on the late fee. That means that the landlord may charge any amount they deem reasonable.
Alabama NSF Checks
According to Section 12-17-224 of the Alabama Code, if the tenant uses a bad check to pay the rent, they must pay a 30 USD penalty.
Alabama Landlord’s Right to Enter
A landlord can enter the leased property only with the tenants' consent, and they must leave a two-day notice before entering the property.
Consent should not be withheld in case the landlord wants to inspect the property, make repairs, supply necessary or agreed services, or show the property to a prospective tenant or purchaser.
The landlord can enter the property without the tenants' consent:
In case of emergency
Due to the court order
When the tenant has abandoned the premises
When the tenant is absent from the unit for longer than 14 days
Alabama Lease Agreement FAQ
Yes, a lease agreement is binding in Alabama. Parties can make it binding by signing the lease agreement. However, even if a lease agreement is not signed, it will be binding if the tenant pays the rent and the landlord accepts the payment without any objections.
Alabama lease agreement should provide the following:
Details about the landlord and the tenant
Details about the leased property
Duration of the lease
Rent amount and payment method
Details about deposits and fees
Rules about maintenance and repairs
Rules about smoking and pets
Rules about the landlord’s right to access the property
You can find a template of the Alabama lease agreement on our website.
If you are planning a month-to-month lease, a long-term lease, a residential or commercial lease, a room rental, or a sublease, simply download the template you need!
Once you create an Alabama lease agreement, you should:
Make at least one copy for each party to the contract and sign the lease agreement.
Notarize the signatures for extra security. (optional)
Inspection of the property before moving in.
If everything is in good condition and clean, sign the handover report.
Pay the rent and deposit.
Move into the property.