Alabama Residential Lease Agreement

Model Residential Leases from the Alabama Association of REALTORS
®
The Alabama Association of REALTORS
®
offers two model leases to assist you in complying with the
2006 Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act. You are encouraged to consult with your own legal
counsel in evaluating how to comply with this new law, which takes effect on January 1
st
of 2007.
The “Short” Lease. This lease contains the necessary provisions for a basic lease while avoiding any
language prohibited by the new law. You will not find many common clauses you have in your current
leases in this lease. The “Short Lease” attempts to avoid redundancy by leaving out traditional lease
language that is contained in the new Landlord-Tenant law. For example, this lease does not discuss the
handling of security deposits in depth, because that information can be found in the new law.
The “Long” Lease. This lease more closely resembles the traditional residential rental agreement in
Alabama. Much of this lease duplicates or reiterates what is found on the new Landlord-Tenant law.
This lease more fully apprises landlords and tenants of their respective rights, yet merely in many cases
repeats language that as of January 1
st
is law, whether in the lease or not. This lease explains more
thoroughly to the tenant the consequences of the tenant’s behavior if the tenant violates provisions of the
new law.
Writing Your Own Leases. You are strongly encouraged to consult your own legal counsel before
writing your own lease, or substantially modifying one of the above leases. Realize that the new law
requires very little to be in a lease, but does prohibit some material from being in a lease. Your tenants
may take you to court for such prohibited material beginning January 1
st
of 2008.
The new Residential Landlord and Tenant Act in §35-9A-163 prohibits the following provisions in a
residential lease:
language stating that the tenant agrees to waive rights or remedies concerning the landlord's
obligations to maintain the premises, the Landlord's non-compliance with the Act, and the
Landlord's wrongful failure to make available, heat, water, hot water, or essential services.
language authorizing any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the lease.
that the tenant will agree to pay Landlord's attorney fees or cost of collection
that the tenant agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any liability of the Landlord under the
law or to indemnify the Landlord for that liability or the costs connected therewith.
ANY PROVISION PROHIBITED BY LAW WHICH IS INCLUDED IN A LEASE IS
UNENFORCEABLE, AND CAN RESULT IN THE TENANT HAVING A CAUSE OF ACTION
AGAINST ANY LANDLORD WHO USED SUCH LANGUAGE KNOWINGLY ON OR AFTER
JANUARY 1, 2008.
Page 1/4
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