Landlord and Tenant Lawyers in Muscle Shoals

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Muscle Shoals Landlord & Tenant Lawyers, AL

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Landlord and Tenant Law in Alabama

The relationship between a landlord and tenant in Muscle Shoals, Alabama can sometimes be a touchy one. Landlords and tenants are not always clear on their respective rights and responsibilities.

Tenants and landlords have many legal rights and responsibilities. In general, these rights don't conflict with one another, as long as both parties are clear about what they are, and act accordingly.

Landlord's Rights in Muscle Shoals, AL

Most obviously, landlords have a right to collect rent from their tenants. When a tenant agrees to pay a landlord a specific amount of money for the right to occupy the landlord's property, a contract is formed. Tenants have to hold up their end of the deal.

Landlords also have a right to be free from damage to the rented unit. Tenants are expected not to damage their dwellings, intentionally or negligently. Landlords can deduct the cost of repairs from the tenant's security deposit. In general, tenants are not responsible for damage resulting from ordinary wear and tear.

Tenant's Rights in Muscle Shoals, AL

At the most basic level, tenants have a basic right to what they're paying for: a habitable living environment. Consequently, landlords in Muscle Shoals, Alabama must ensure that the units they rent to tenants meet some basic standards for human habitation. These requirements vary from state to state, but are often fairly easy to meet. There are no legal criteria that rented units be pretty, particularly spacious, or luxurious. They simply have to be fit for human beings to live in them. To be considered "habitable," rented units must have water, electricity, some form of heating (if the local climate necessitates it), and adequate protection from the elements (proper insulation, no roof leaks, windows that close, etc.).

Additionally, tenants have rights to common areas that are free of physical obstructions, as well as serious health and safety hazards. Common areas are the places in apartment buildings and other residential complexes which every tenant can access, and include hallways, stairwells, and fire escapes. In Muscle Shoals, Alabama, these areas must be kept in a safe condition, at the landlord's expense.

In the United States, and most likely under the statutes of Alabama, it is unlawful for renters or sellers of real estate to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, color, or religion. Doing so can subject a landlord to harsh civil penalties. Additionally, they cannot discriminate based on physical disabilities, either. Tenants with physical disabilities, who are otherwise qualified to rent an apartment (they are able to pay, have good credit, etc.) are entitled to make reasonable modifications to the apartment to make it more accessible to them, and the landlord generally can't bar a tenant from doing this, as long as the modifications are not too extensive, and are reversible. The landlord can, however, require the tenant to remove the modifications, at the tenant's expense, when they move out.

Finally, tenants in most states have a right to be free from unfair eviction. Usually, lease agreements last for a set period of time, and both parties are bound by that contract. Landlords cannot arbitrarily evict clients while the lease is still in effect.

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Can a Muscle Shoals, Alabama Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Landlords and tenants almost always prefer to avoid conflict. In a perfect world, tenants would pay rent on time, and landlords would always provide the services that they're being paid for. As we know, the world isn't perfect. When cases demonstrate the world's imperfection, a Muscle Shoals, Alabama real estate attorney can help, whether you're a landlord or a tenant.

8 Real Estate, Housing & Property Law cases posted to LegalMatch lawyers in Muscle Shoals

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