Break a Lease in Alabama Easily in 3 Steps
When signing a rental lease in Alabama, most tenants plan to stay the entire term of the lease, usually a minimum of one year. However, unforeseen circumstances may force you to break your Alabama rental lease before it expires.
Breaking a lease in Alabama means leaving before a lease expires while trying to avoid an early termination fee. While there are several personal reasons why you may need to break a lease, in some instances, it might be due to the negligence of a landlord.
How do you go about breaking a lease in Alabama in the easiest and most convenient way? Read on to learn how you can leverage DoNotPay as a super-easy way to break your Alabama rental lease.
Tenant Rights and Responsibilities When Signing a Lease in Alabama
The state of Alabama has put in place the Alabama Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act which deals with the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. The act outlines what's lawfully expected of the landlords and tenants. Here are the fundamental rights of tenants in Alabama:
- Freedom from discrimination in housing-related activities as outlined in the Federal Fair Housing Act
- Be charged a security deposit of not more than one month's rent with the law requiring the landlord to return a portion of the security deposit within 35 days of moving out under Section 35-9A-201
- Right to provide a written notice to the landlord to make necessary repairs within 14 days or terminate the lease agreement
- Alabama tenants have a right to receive notice before a landlord can enter their rental units as contained in sections 35-9A-144, 35-9A-303, and 35-9A-442.
- Right against landlord retaliation where a tenant can be awarded a maximum of three months' rent or actual damages, plus reasonable attorney's fees after an illegal eviction.
- The landlord must provide you with seven days' notice to pay rent or leave.
When Breaking a Lease Is Justified in Alabama
There are several scenarios when a tenant can legally break a lease in Alabama without being penalized. These include:
- Starting active military duty: Upon entering active military service after signing a lease, you have a right to break a lease legally under federal law. You must provide a written notice to the landlord of your intent to terminate your tenancy for military reasons. After mailing or delivering your notice, your tenancy will terminate after 30 days when rent is next due.
- Landlord harassment: you have the right to break your lease when your landlord harasses you. Common landlord harassment scenarios include refusal to make necessary repairs, entering a rental unit without proper notice, making illegal rent increases, or violating habitability by shutting off utilities.
- Warranty of habitability: like any other state, Alabama has specific health and safety codes that every landlord must fulfill, including adequate heating, water, and electricity, free from infestation, adequate trash receptacles. If the landlord doesn't provide these, you have the right to move out without further responsibility under the rental lease.
- Privacy violation: Alabama law has a provision where tenants can break their leases due to landlord violation of privacy. This might be when the landlord unlawfully enters your rental unit or creates situations that cause unreasonable and ongoing noise.
Lease Termination Notice Requirement in Alabama
Tenants in Alabama are not required to provide notice for fixed end date leases, the rental lease expires on the last day of the lease. However, there are lease terms that need Alabama tenants to provide a written notice:
- Notice to terminate a week-to-week lease - 7 days written notice from either the tenant or landlord (Ala. Code § 35-9A-441(a))
- Notice to terminate a month-to-month lease - 30 days written notice from either the tenant or landlord (Ala. Code § 35-9A-441(b))
If you want to terminate your lease in Alabama, you must provide the following notices:
|Rent Payment||Notice Time||Statute|
|Week-to-week||7 days||Ala. Code § 35-9A-441(a)|
|Month-to-month||30 days||Ala. Code § 35-9A-441(b)|
|Year-to-year||No statute||No statute|
Consequences of Illegally Breaking a Lease in Alabama
A lease is a binding legal contract between a landlord and a tenant. If a tenant illegally breaks the contract, they could face serious legal consequences, including:
- A landlord can sue you for breach of contract and damages
- The landlord can sue you for rent owed
- You could have an eviction on record
- Judgments and eviction notices will negatively impact your credit score
- It can be challenging to find a new apartment due to poor credit and eviction notice
Reasons That Can't Be Used to Break a Lease
While you can legally break the lease for specific reasons, some reasons, despite how sincere they may sound, aren't enough to break a lease. These include:
- Moving to upgrade or downgrade
- Moving to a new place of work
- Moving to get closer to family
- Moving in with a partner
- Relocating to a newly purchased home
How to Break a Lease on Your Own
Now that you know the conditions and requirements of breaking a lease in Alabama, how do you do it yourself? Here are the steps to follow:
- Read your lease agreement to understand your lease obligations. Check whether it had an early termination or subletting clause.
- Review your lease termination rights and month-to-month tenancies requirement for notice. You may need to give a 30 days' written notice if you are a month-to-month tenant.
- Calculate the fee for breaking the lease. This is usually one full month's rent or more.
- Put your notice in writing. Draft a letter stating the reason for the early termination and the effective date of moving out.
- Mail or hand-deliver the notice to your landlord. Make sure you have proof of mailing or delivery.
- Wait for a response from your landlord.
Next Steps for Breaking Your Lease if You Can't Do It Yourself
While you can break a lease independently, the process is lengthy and can leave you frustrated. You need to write a notice and mail it to your landlord. What if there was an easier way out? A process where you only need to provide a few details and the rest is taken care of without doing any leg work? DoNotPay offers a convenient way to help you break a lease in Alabama with ease. You won't even lift a finger and will do it all at the comfort of your home.
How to Break Your Lease with the Help of DoNotPay
With DoNotPay, you can easily break a lease in Alabama without having to do hardly any work. Provide a few details, and we shall take care of the rest.
Here's how you can get started in 3 easy steps:
- Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.
- Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference, and enter the state the lease was signed in.
- Let us guide you through the 4 potential options.
Here’s what DoNotPay will do next to help you break your lease:
- If you're a uniformed service member breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
- If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, we'll write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
- If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law, but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
- If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection, but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.
Why Use DoNotPay to Break Your Lease
Some of the benefits of leveraging DoNotPay to break your Alabama lease include:
- Fast. You don't have to spend hours on end trying to break the lease on your own. You can save time and money by letting us do everything for you.
- Easy. There is no need to struggle filling out paperwork or keeping track of the steps involved. All you have to do is provide a few details, and we'll handle the rest for you.
- Successful. With a high success rate and huge customer base, rest assured that we will help break your lease.
Have More Questions About Breaking Your Lease? DoNotPay Has Answers
If you still have more questions about breaking your lease in Alabama, here are some answers for you:
- Learn what happens if you break a lease
- Explore what breaking a lease may do to your credit
- Check out legal reasons to break a lease
- Discover how you can break your lease without penalty
- Consider how much it may cost to break a lease
More Solutions From DoNotPay
Breaking a lease in Alabama is just one of the many things DoNotPay can help you with. Other problems DoNotPay can help you solve include:
- Reducing property taxes
- Change mailing address
- Breach of contract
- Create a power of attorney
- Cancel any service or subscription
Explore our other services to see what else we can solve for you!