Worried that your landlord is snooping around your apartment when you’re not around, especially if you’re on vacation? Wondering if the property manager can just enter your place any time to make a repair that you haven’t requested? What are your rights when it comes to your landlord showing your apartment to prospective tenants when you’re moving out?
Read on to learn tenant rights when it comes to landlord access to your rental unit in Alabama.
When Landlords May Enter a Rental Unit in Alabama
Tenants have a basic right to privacy in their rental homes. That doesn’t mean that landlords always need an invitation to enter. Under Alabama state law (Ala. Code §§ 35-9A-303), landlords can enter rented premise in the following circumstances:
- in case of emergency, such as a fire or serious water leak
- to make needed inspections and repairs
- to remedy a serious health or safety issue that the tenant has not taken care of after seven days written notice (see Ala. Code § 35-9A-422)
- pursuant to a court order
- if the landlord has reasonable cause to believe the tenant has abandoned the premises
- when reasonably necessary during a tenant’s extended absence, defined as a period of time in excess of 14 days (see Ala. Code § 35-9A-423(b)), or
- to show the property to prospective new tenants or purchasers, if the tenant has agreed in writing to provide access for this purpose within four months of the expiration of the rental agreement, and only in the company of a prospective tenant or purchaser.
Notice Required to Enter Rental Property in Alabama
Except in cases of emergency, landlords who want to enter rental property in Alabama for the above reasons must give tenants at least two days’ notice of their intent to enter (unless the tenant agrees to a shorter time), and must enter only at reasonable times.
Your Legal Rights if Your Landlord Violates Your Privacy in Alabama
Depending on the circumstances, it’s usually best to start by discussing your concerns with your landlord, and follow up with a firm letter asking for the invasive behavior to stop. (See the Nolo article, Tenants’ Rights to Privacy, for advice on the subject.)
If your conciliatory efforts don’t work, and your landlord continues to violate your privacy without notice or legitimate reason, you may be able to sue your landlord in small claims court for money damages, on legal grounds, such as infliction of emotional distress or trespass. For advice on dealing with landlord invasions of privacy, see the Nolo article, Can I Sue my Landlord for Entering my Home Without Notice or Otherwise Invading My Privacy?
More on Tenant Rights in Alabama
For more state-specific information, see the Alabama Renters’ Rights Information section of Nolo. com.