Landlord-Friendly Changes to Landlord Tenant Law

The recent legislative session passed some changes to the Alabama Residential Landlord Tenant Act.  They go into effect on July 1, 2014. This is what the changes are:

  • Security deposits must be refunded within 60 days of lease termination, instead of the former law requiring refund in 35 days.  If the money is not refunded, the itemized accounting of deductions must be provided within 60 days of lease termination.
  • Unclaimed security deposits (such as refund checks that don’t get cashed, for example) are forfeited after 90 days, instead of the former law requiring 180 days.
  • Non-rent default and opportunity to cure period shortened from 14 days to 7 days.
  • If a tenant breaches their lease 4 times in any 12 month period, they cannot automatically just cure their breach the next time and avoid eviction. The landlord must consent to the cure. If the landlord doesn’t consent, the tenant can be evicted.

    • From the wording of  the amendment, I think this must be the same type of default each time. Not, for example, two rent defaults, one parking your car on the grass default and one unauthorized pet default. I could be wrong, though. Please ask your lawyers. This is the exact language:   “(d) Notwithstanding Section 35-9A-141, no breach of any of the terms or obligations of the lease may be cured by a tenant more than four times in any 12-month period except by the express written consent of the landlord.”

    • Property can be considered abandoned if the power has been off for seven consecutive days.