Last Updated: January 27, 2023.

Procedures for Ending a Lease and Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent in Alabama

The notice and procedure requirements for terminating a lease in Alabama are provided in the Alabama Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act § 35-9A-421. The landlord should follow these steps:

  1. Review the lease agreement. Before proceeding with the termination of the lease, the landlord must first review the lease agreement to determine the specific number of days allowed following nonpayment of rent. The lease may provide a longer grace period for the tenant to pay rent than the minimum of seven (7) days required by Alabama law.

  2. Confirm the rent remains unpaid, and the allowed period has elapsed. Confirm that the tenant has failed to pay rent within seven (7) days of the due date required under Alabama law (or longer if the lease requires it). If the rent remains unpaid, the landlord may proceed with delivering notice to the tenant.

  3. Serve the tenant with written notice. Provide written notice of nonpayment and the landlord's intention to terminate the rental agreement if the overdue rent and late fees are not paid in full within the period stated in the lease or the minimum of seven (7) days required under state law, whichever period is longer. This notice should be in writing and can be delivered personally or by mail to the tenant's last known address. (The notice available for purchase on this page satisfies the requirements under Alabama law.)

  4. Wait for the notice period to expire. The landlord can terminate the rental agreement if the tenant does not pay the rent within the timeframe specified in the notice. (If the tenant pays all past due rent, including all applicable late fees, then the tenant must be permitted to remain; however, the landlord should keep in mind that no breach of any of the terms or obligations of the lease may be cured by a tenant more than two times in any 12-month period except by the express written consent of the landlord.)

  5. File for eviction. If the tenant does not vacate the property after the landlord has terminated the lease agreement, the landlord must file for eviction with the appropriate court in Alabama.

  6. Attend the hearing. The landlord must attend the court hearing and provide satisfactory evidence establishing nonpayment of rent and proper notice to the tenant.

  7. Coordinate with the Sheriff to execute the eviction. If the court issues judgment in favor of the landlord, the tenant must vacate the property. If the tenant does not vacate the property, the landlord can seek the assistance of the Sheriff's office to enforce the court's order to evict the tenant.