A lease agreement in Alabama is a legal rental contract between a property owner and a potential tenant. The contract is used to state the terms and conditions of the agreement between the tenant and landlord.
The contract will ensure that the landlord receives payment from the tenant on the agreed dates. The tenant, in turn, will be granted the legal right to use the property. The two parties need to sign the contract before the landlord can rent the property.
In addition, the lease period and the rules of the tenancy can also be included. A tenant must meet the required qualifications to live on or use the property. This implies that the landlord should first inquire about the tenant’s background. Before agreeing to any real estate contract, the landlord may also request information about the tenant’s employment. The reason is to ensure that the rental payment will always be on time.
As a landlord, you can make a rental contract when leasing a residential or commercial property. Whatever the case may be, you must own the right to lease the property. This article explains everything you need to know about preparing a lease contract. It explains the requirements, laws, and disclosures regarding a lease contract in Alabama. It will help you understand how you can complete the entire process without any problems.
Laws Associated with Alabama Lease Agreement
To prepare a lease agreement in Alabama, landlords must adhere to specific laws and regulations:
Rent Due Date
According to Alabama law, the rent due date is specified in the lease agreement, typically on the 1st of the month. If a tenant fails to pay rent on the specified date, the landlord can initiate eviction proceedings, provided they give a 7-day notice to evict first (§ 35-9A-161).
Late Fees and Charges
There is no legal limit on the amount a landlord can charge as a late fee for overdue rent payments in Alabama. However, late fees must be clearly stated in the lease agreement. For non-sufficient funds or bounced checks, landlords can take legal action against the tenant (§ 12-17-224).
Small Claims Court
If a landlord does not return a security deposit, tenants have the right to sue in small claims court under Alabama law. Tenants can seek damages up to $6,000.
For additional information on landlord and tenant responsibilities in Alabama, consult the Alabama Tenant’s Handbook. This resource can help landlords address any questions or concerns related to rental contracts in the state.
Disclosures Required by Alabama Landlord-Tenant Law
Some disclosures and addenda are necessary for a lease contract in Alabama. They are the following:
Disclosure of lead-based hazards
In Alabama, a disclosure about lead-based hazards has to be made about any buildings that were constructed before 1978. The landlord should provide this information before leasing the house. The agreement should contain any history of toxic paint in the rental unit (Title 42 U.S. Code § 4852d).
The Alabama state law requires the lease agreement to mention details of the landlord or property manager. This includes the landlord’s personal information or the name and address of anybody managing the property on behalf of the landlord ( § 35-9A-202).
Landlord’s right to entry
The landlord must give the tenant at least two days’ notice before entering the rental property. This applies to any reason for entry that is not an emergency, such as maintenance or repairs. (§ 35-9A-303).
Alabama Rental Lease Agreements
There are several types of lease agreements that are applicable in various situations. The types of lease agreements that are required in Alabama include the following:
Association of Realtors
This contract binds a landlord and a tenant for a period of twelve months. This agreement has 10 sections in addition to the introduction of the agreement. To complete the document, all sections must be included.
Commercial lease agreement
This agreement is between a landlord and a tenant for the non-residential use of a property. The property can be an office, restaurant, or any other business-related function. In such cases, the potential tenant needs to complete a rental application. This is to verify their business, credit history, and finances.
Month-to-month lease agreement
A month-to-month lease is a short-term rental contract between a landlord and a tenant. This contract has no end date as it renews at the beginning of every month. If a contract is canceled, a 30-day notice is required (35-9A-441(b)).
Rent-to-own lease agreement
This rent agreement in Alabama allows a tenant to buy a property during the lease period. They will continue to pay rent and continue the tenancy, following state laws.
Roommate lease agreement
This agreement is for when two tenants rent an apartment together. They agree to share common areas like the dining room, living room, and kitchen. The roommates will agree to share the costs of rent, services, repairs, and others.
Standard lease agreement
This is the standard agreement that binds both parties together when renting a residential property. Tenants will have to complete a rental application. This is done to verify the tenants before both parties agree to the terms of an agreement.
The tenant gets access to the property after signing the agreement. The tenant will also pay the first month’s rent and a security deposit (Title 35, Ch. 9A).
A sublease agreement allows a tenant to sublet the rental unit. The tenant must get permission from the landlord before subletting the rented property. The tenant must complete a consent form to obtain permission. The landlord will sign the sublease and attach it to the original lease.
You must have a written contract that binds you and the tenant if you are a landlord in Alabama. Unfortunately, drafting a property rental contract in Alabama may not be so easy. Therefore, you can use templates for any type of lease agreement described above. Using a template does not only make the work easier; it also saves you time, especially in times of emergency. Any template you require can be downloaded, customized, and edited to meet your needs.
Security Deposit Laws in Alabama
Security deposits are a form of compensation for the landlord. This is in the event of any loss that the tenant is responsible for.
The landlord can ask their tenant to pay a maximum deposit. This deposit is the same amount as a month’s rent. The deposit amount does not include any extra fees the tenant incurs (§ 35-9A-201(a)). If the tenant cancels the agreement, the landlord must return the deposit. This should happen within the next sixty days after the termination of the lease (§ 35-9A-201(b)).
In cases of nonpayment of rent and tenant damages, the landlord can withhold the maximum deposit. This is only applicable if the damages are beyond regular wear and tear.
In Alabama, a rental agreement is legally binding on both the landlord and the tenant. There are different types of lease agreements you can use in different situations. Laws and disclosures that are part of these lease agreements must be followed in order to avoid penalties. In order to save time and effort, you can easily download and customize lease agreement templates.