Tenant Abandonment of Premises


In the residential landlord/tenant area, Alabama Code Section 35-9A-423(e) says that you may consider rental property abandoned if the power has been disconnected for seven consecutive days.  If property has been abandoned, you can re-enter and attempt to lease it to someone else.

How do you know if the power has been disconnected for seven consecutive days? You have the tenant sign an authorization form when he or she signs the other paperwork in the lease package. It gives the power company permission to communicate with you about the account, including interruption of service, and length of time it has been disconnected.  If You suspect abandonment, call the power company, find out the person to whom you should send the signed form, and then ask your questions. Also obtain written confirmation.

Isn’t that a lot easier than driving out to the premises every day, taking a video of a meter not moving, re-renting the property, and then having to listen to your tenant tell the judge that he turned off the master circuit breaker while he was out of town?  These days, you cannot even rely on the red “disconnected” tag on the meter, because a large number of meters are turned off remotely, via satellite.

Remember, I have free downloadable “cheat sheets” on my website for landlord issues. If you have not visited lately, you might want to take a look at the offerings, HERE.