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What Is an Alabama Lease Agreement?

An Alabama lease agreement is a legally binding real estate contract between the landlord or property management company and the tenant or tenants. After it is signed and dated by the parties, the tenant may then take legal possession of the property. An Alabama lease agreement may be used for either residential or commercial property.

Most Commonly Used Alabama Lease Agreements

The most commonly used Alabama lease agreements are:

  • Alabama commercial lease agreements
  • Lease with an option to buy (commonly referred to as a lease to own agreement)
  • A month-to-month lease agreement 
  • A roommate agreement
  • A residential lease agreement (sometimes referred to as a standard lease agreement).

Alabama sublease agreements are sometimes used, but tenants must have written permission of the owner to sublet the property.

While all of the most commonly used Alabama rental lease agreements share many of the same elements, there are some distinct differences.

  • For example, a roommate agreement may outline which areas in the rental unit or apartment are for the exclusive use of the roommate and which areas are considered common use for all residents.
  • A standard residential lease agreement may be for a year. Upon termination of that year, switch to a month-to-month or it may automatically renew. However, it may require a 30 day written notice to move out at the end of the agreement if the tenant and landlord do not plan to renew their agreement.

How to Write an Alabama Lease Agreement

Alabama lease agreements must follow Alabama laws. If they don’t, they cannot be enforced in court. There are many laws that you must consider. You’ll learn more about many of them under the sections related to disclosures and security deposits. Before you sign an Alabama lease agreement, make sure you read the terms. You also have the right to have an attorney review the agreement before you sign it.

A sample Alabama lease agreement needs:

  • Names of the Parties - The landlord's full name or the property management company's legal business name and the full name of the tenant(s).
  • The Property Address - This is the full address for the leased space or rental property, including the city, state, zip code, and any unit or lot number.
  • Term Information - The type of lease agreement the parties agree to enter into. For example, a month-to-month lease or a fixed term. A fixed term lease means that the parties agree that the tenant will hold possession of the space for a certain amount of time, usually one year. If it is a fixed lease, this section should include the date that the lease will end.
  • Rental Amount - The date that the lease will begin, the amount of the monthly rent, the day of the month that rent is due, and the address where the rent may be paid.
  • Late Fees - List any applicable fee that is due if the rent is not paid by a certain date.
  • Security Deposit - The amount of deposit that must be paid in advance of the tenant taking possession of the property. A security deposit is used to repair damages caused by the tenant.
  • Initial Payment - The total amount of money that the tenant must pay to move into the space. This area should include the amount of the first month's rent, the security deposit, and the total of the two numbers added together.
  • Occupants - The full name of each tenant must be listed even if they are a minor or are not signing the lease for some reason. This part of an Alabama residential lease agreement establishes who will reside in the residential unit. For commercial space leases, it designates those who have permission to use the space. If the presence of additional occupants changes the price of the rent, it should be included in this section.
  • Utilities - Note which utilities or services a tenant does not pay.
  • Parking - Informs the tenant if they will receive a parking space. If a parking space is reserved and there is a designated spot, the spot should be listed in this section.
  • Furnishings - Tells tenants what they are allowed to install (such as a washing machine or dishwasher) or what they may not install. If the tenant is not allowed to bring their own appliances, that should be designated in this section.
  • Notices - Lists the names of both the landlord and tenant (or property manager) along with their proper address. This contact information should be used if the parties need to send out a notice to the other party for some reason.
  • Eviction - Lets prospective tenants know about how eviction proceedings would be carried out in the event of nonpayment or breach of other lease terms.
  • Additional Terms - Lists any other obligations that the parties agreed to that haven't been included in any other section of the lease agreement.
  • Signature and Date - The document should be signed and dated by all parties.

An Alabama residential lease agreement must abide by the provisions of the Alabama Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

Both the landlord and the tenant should keep copies of the executed Alabama lease.

Which Disclosures Belong in an Alabama Lease Agreement?

The landlord or property management company must make certain disclosures in an Alabama lease agreement. Those disclosures include:

  • Under Alabama state law, the landlord or property management company must give two days' notice before entering the property for a non-emergency. This is often referred to as "Access by Landlord."
  • Under Alabama state law, the landlord or property management company must be identified in the lease. This includes identifying any individual or business that has the legal authority to act on behalf of the landlord.
  • Under federal law, the landlord or property management company may be required to give a disclosure of the possibility of lead paint. To learn more, visit the HUD website to learn about the Lead Disclosure Rule.

If an Alabama landlord has any questions about whether a particular item should be included within an Alabama Residential Lease Agreement, he or she should speak to a licensed real estate attorney for legal advice.

What You Need to Know about Alabama Rental Lease Agreement Deposits

Alabama state law places a maximum limit on the amount that can be charged for deposits under lease agreements. The landlord or property management company cannot ask for a security deposit that exceeds the amount of one month's rent. However, they may ask for other deposits such as one for pets, extra liabilities created by the tenant, or changes to the premises on behalf of the tenant.

Download a PDF or Word Template

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