Alabama Landlord-Tenant Laws
Tenant Screening in Alabama
Regarding Security Deposit
The law limits the amount of security deposit a landlord can charge—up to or equal to one month’s rent. Additional amounts for pet deposits or uninstalling alterations to accommodate tenants are also allowed by law.
Alabama law does not require landlords to put a tenant’s security deposit in a separate bank account, nor pay interest on the deposit.
Tenant security deposits must be returned within 60 days days after a tenant moves out. This is based on a new laws that came into effect July 2014.
The deposit must be returned in full or with an itemized statement of deductions.
Alabama laws concerning security deposits can be found in the Alabama Code § 35-9A-201.
Regarding Application Fees
Alabama has no limits in place for what a landlord can charge as an application fee.
Regarding Tenant Bad Checks
Civil Penalties: $10 or actual bank charges, whichever is greater
Criminal Penalties: If the amount owed is $500 or greater, then there is a fine of $500 to $5,000, imprisonment up to 10 years, or both punishments. If the amount owed is less than $500, the fine allowed depends on the amount and the offense. The court will also order restitution to the landlord, and the tenant will be required to pay court costs if convicted.
Allowable Fees: $30
Regarding Notice of Termination for Nonpayment
Landlords must give tenants seven days in which to pay the rent or move out of the rental property. After seven days with no payment, the landlord can start the eviction process, according to Alabama Code § 35-9A-421