In Alabama, you may terminate a lease for any reason or no reason when the lease expires. Otherwise, there must be a material breach of the lease, such as non-payment of rent, for the landlord to terminate it before expiration. Eviction notices in Alabama are called Unlawful Detainers. Here is the eviction process in Alabama.
The property owner must notify the tenant in writing of his or her lease violation. For failures to pay rent, the tenant has seven days to pay, or else the owner may issue the 7 day eviction notice. Tenants have 14 days to resolve other types of lease violations or else the owner may issue the fourteen day eviction notice.
If the tenant fails to resolve the issue in the notice, the owner can file an Unlawful Detainer (Complaint) with the county court. You must attempt to serve a complaint for repossession of property in person, and a process server or the Sheriff’s Office will mail it to the tenant as well. If the complaint is for repossession, the tenant has seven days to file an answer. If it is for monetary damages, the tenant has 14 days to answer.
If the tenant files an answer to the complaint, there will be a court hearing where you will have to ask the judge to evict the tenant. Here, you will need to present a copy of the notice and the unlawful detainer to show you followed the proper legal procedure.
Usually, non-payment of rent is the reason for eviction. The judge will consider whether the tenant has paid the back rent yet, and whether the property owner followed the proper procedure.
If the tenant fails to answer, you may have the Sheriff physically remove the tenant from your property.
If the landlord wins, the tenant has seven days to appeal the decision, and the appeal would be heard within 60 days of filing for the appeal.
The landlord may file for a Writ of Restitution or Possession if the tenant does not appeal within seven days. The Sheriff’s Office will serve the writ to the tenant, and usually give the tenant a short time to vacate the premises before the Sheriff forcibly removes the tenant.