Tenant Law in Alabama

The relationship between a landlord and tenant in Russellville, Alabama can occasionally be a touchy one. Landlords and tenants are not always clear on their respective rights and obligations.

Tenants and landlords have various 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 Russellville, 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 Russellville, AL

The most basic right of a tenant is the right to a living space that's fit for human habitation. This is, after all, what they're paying the landlord to present. Landlords in Russellville, Alabama are under a legal duty to make sure that their apartments are habitable. There are various factors that are considered in deciding if a unit is habitable or not, but, generally, a unit will not be deemed habitable if it lacks any of the following: running water, electricity, heat, and protection from the elements (such as proper insulation, and windows that close).

Moreover, tenants are entitled to common areas which are reasonably safe and clean, and free of physical obstacles. Areas such as lobbies, hallways, stairwells, and fire escapes must comply with the building codes of Russellville, Alabama. Moreover, any other unreasonable safety hazard, even if it doesn't violate a specific provision of a building code, can create liability for the landlord if it injures a tenant.

Under the laws of Alabama, and the United States, discrimination in housing on the basis of race, religion, or gender is strictly prohibited. Moreover, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, landlords must not discriminate against renters on the basis of any physical disability. They also have to permit the renter to make reasonable modifications to their apartment, to make it more accessible. Generally, landlords are only required to allow relatively minor and reversible modifications, and tenants cannot compel them to remodel the building, for example. Also, once the tenant leaves, the landlord can bill the tenant for the costs of restoring the apartment to its original condition.

Lastly, 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.

Can a Russellville, Alabama Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Tenants and landlords always want to avoid getting into any serious disputes - these disputes interfere with the tenant's living arrangement, and the landlord's business. In short, they help nobody. While a good Russellville, Alabama attorney can definately help his or her client prevail in such a dispute, they may be more essential for their ability to help prevent such disputes from escalating in the first place.