An summary of the eviction regulations, paperwork, and processes in Alabama.
A landlord trying to evict a tenant in Alabama must strictly adhere to all state regulations and procedures regulating the eviction process; otherwise, the eviction may be invalid. This essay will go through the fundamentals of Alabama eviction law.
Table of Contents
Termination With Cause Notice
In most cases, the first step in the eviction procedure is for the landlord to cancel the lease or rental agreement. This is only possible if the landlord has legal grounds to evict the renter. Legal cause in Alabama is described as failure to pay rent, breach of the lease or rental agreement (including lying during the application process), and participation in specific unlawful behavior. The landlord must first give the renter notice before terminating the lease. In any of these cases, the landlord must provide a seven-day notice in Alabama. However, the tenant’s alternatives will differ based on the grounds for the notice.
Rent notice of seven days: If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord may issue the renter a seven-day notice to pay rent. The notice must warn the tenant that if rent is not paid or the tenant does not vacate within seven days, the landlord will terminate the lease or rental agreement and file an eviction action against the renter. If the tenant pays the rent, the landlord is not required to continue with the eviction. (Alabama Code 35-9A-421(b).)
If the tenant breaks the lease or rental agreement, the landlord may issue the renter a seven-day notice to rectify. This notice must advise the renter that he or she has seven days to correct the infraction or vacate the premises. If the renter fails to complete one of these things, the landlord will launch an eviction action against the tenant. The landlord cannot continue with the eviction if the tenant corrects the infraction. (Alabama Code 35-9A-421(a).)
Unconditional seven-day notice: In certain instances, the landlord is not required to provide the tenant a chance to correct a violation or poor conduct. In some instances, the landlord may send the tenant a seven-day notice advising the tenant that the lease is being terminated due to the tenant’s conduct, and the tenant has seven days to get out. If the renter does not vacate the premises, the landlord may initiate an eviction action against the tenant. This form of notice may be served on the renter in the following circumstances:
The renter purposefully falsified information in the rental agreement or application, and the tenant had or used illicit narcotics on the rental unit’s grounds.
the renter shot a handgun on the rental unit’s premises (with few limitations, such as self-defense), or the tenant criminally attacked another tenant or visitor on the rental unit’s premises (with some exceptions, such as self-defense)
(Alabama Code 35-9A-421.)
Termination Without Cause Notice
When a landlord lacks legal grounds to evict a tenant, the landlord must wait until the lease or rental agreement expires before expecting the tenant to go. In certain situations, the landlord may still be required to provide the renter formal notice to vacate.
When a landlord intends to terminate a month-to-month rental but lacks legal grounds to evict the tenant, the landlord may issue the tenant a 30-day written notice to quit. This notice must notify the tenant that the lease will end in 30 days and that the tenant must vacate the rented unit by that time. (Alabama Code 35-9A-441.)
When a landlord wishes to terminate a fixed-term lease but lacks legal grounds to evict the tenant, the landlord must wait until the contract has ended before expecting the tenant to go. Unless the contract expressly states otherwise, the landlord is not compelled to provide the tenant with written notice to vacate before the lease expires. The landlord may anticipate the renter to go when the lease expires.
Tenant Defenses to Eviction
Even if a landlord has a good legal reason to evict a tenant, the tenant may choose to resist the eviction. The renter may also have a viable legal defense to the eviction, such as the landlord acting in retribution or discriminating against the tenant. If the tenant chooses to resist the eviction, the expenses of the case may rise, giving the renter extra time to stay in the rented property.
eviction of the tenant
A landlord may only evict a tenant from a rental property by winning an eviction case against the renter. Even so, the landlord is not permitted to remove the renter. Only a law enforcement officer with a court order may do so. It is unlawful for the landlord to forcibly remove the tenant from the rented unit, and the renter may sue the landlord for an illegal eviction.
If a tenant leaves personal items in the rental unit after being evicted, the landlord is required to keep the personal property for up to 14 days. If the renter does not claim the property within this period, the landlord may dispose of it without further responsibility to the tenant. (Alabama Code 35-9A-423(d).)
Justification for the Rules
When evicting a tenant, landlords must carefully follow all of the regulations and processes required by Alabama law; otherwise, the eviction may be invalid. Although these regulations and processes may seem cumbersome to the landlord, they serve a purpose. Evictions are often swift, with major consequences: the renter has lost a place to live. The guidelines guarantee that the eviction is legitimate and that the renter has ample time to locate another place to live.