Rent Disclosure and Tenants' Rights in Alabama

From Rent Due Date to Rent Increases

Picture of Rent Disclosure and Alabama Tenants Rights
Rent Disclosure and Alabama Tenants Rights. Caiaimage/Martin Barraud/Getty Images

Alabama tenants pay rent to a landlord in order to live in a rental unit. Under Alabama code, the landlord is responsible for disclosing certain information to the tenant about that rent. Learn eight rent basics an Alabama tenant has the right to know.

Rent Terms

Alabama landlords can include the terms of the rent as a clause in the lease agreement. None of these terms can violate any tenants’ rights that are protected by Alabama’s landlord tenant law.

Examples of rent terms that can be included in the clause are:

  • Amount of Rent Due- The exact amount of money the tenant owes each week or month.​
  • When Rent Is Due- The date the rent will be collected each week or month.
  • Where Rent Will Be Paid- Whether the rent will be collected at the tenant’s unit, the landlord’s office or some other location.
  • Acceptable Forms of Payment - The clause should explain if the landlord will accept cash, certified check, money order or other payment as rent.
  • Length of Grace Period- If the tenant has a certain amount of time after the rent due date to pay the rent without any penalty. For example, the tenant can pay rent up to five days after the first of the month without penalty.
  • Late Fees for Late Payment of Rent- An additional amount the tenant will owe if he or she does not pay rent on time.
  • Consequences for Nonpayment of Rent- The tenant will face eviction.
  • Length of the Lease Agreement- If the agreement is weekly, monthly or yearly.

    Rent Terms if There Is No Specific Lease Clause

    If a landlord does not include specific rent terms in the lease agreement, then the general rent terms written in Alabama code will have to be followed.

    • Amount of Rent- According to Alabama code, the tenant is responsible for paying the fair market value at which the unit could be rented.​
    • Where Rent Will Be Collected- If no other agreement is in place between the landlord and tenant, rent will be collected at the tenant’s unit.
    • When Rent Is Due- Rent will be due at the beginning of each periodic lease term, so for weekly tenants, it is due at the beginning of each week and for monthly tenants, it is due at the beginning of each month.
    • Length of Lease Agreement- Under Alabama law, unless the lease agreement specifies another fixed term, such as a yearly lease, if a tenant is paying rent weekly, they are considered a week to week tenant and if they are paying rent monthly, they are considered a month to month tenant.

    Grace Period

    Alabama landlord tenant code does not have any specific requirements for grace periods. It is up to the landlord to include this as a clause in the lease agreement. The landlord must specify the number of days after the rent due date that the tenant can pay rent without penalty..

    Late Rent Fees

    Alabama code does not have any rules when it comes to charging late rent fees. The landlord, however, cannot charge a late rent fee if it is not an included clause in the lease agreement. For a late rent charge to be binding, the additional amount that the landlord will charge when the rent is late, as well as when the rent is considered late, must be included in the lease agreement.

    Bounced Check Fee

    Alabama tenants will be penalized for bounced checks. Alabama landlords are usually allowed to collect a $30 dollar fee if a tenant pays their rent by check and the check bounces.

    Rent Increase

    Landlords are legally allowed to increase a tenant’s rent in the state of Alabama. However, there are no rules for doing so in Alabama’s landlord tenant act.

    It is generally accepted that a landlord can increase a tenant’s rent at the end of a lease term. So for weekly tenants, the increase could be each week. For monthly tenants, the increase could be each month. For yearly tenants, the increase could be each year.

    The landlord must give the tenant notice of the rent increase. The amount of notice required usually relates to the due date of the rent. So for weekly tenants, the landlord would have to give the tenant notice a week in advance and for monthly and yearly tenants, a month in advance.

    Retaliatory rent increases are never allowed. For example, a landlord cannot increase a tenant's rent because the tenant has complained about a pest problem.

    Withholding Rent in Alabama

    Alabama tenants are not allowed to withhold rent until a necessary repair has been completed.

    Termination for Nonpayment of Rent

    If a tenant has not paid their rent, a landlord must send a notice to the tenant to pay rent or quit. This notice will give the tenant seven days to pay their rent, plus any applicable late fees. If the tenant has not paid the amount due within seven days of receiving the notice, the lease will terminate.  

    In court, the landlord can be awarded actual damages, as well as reasonable attorney’s fees. The landlord may also be granted injunctive relief by the court to recover possession of the rental unit.

    Alabama’s Law on Rent Disclosure

    To view the state of Alabama’s code on rent disclosure, please see Alabama’s Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act §§ Section 35-9A-161-164 and Section 35-9A-421.