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Landlord's Lease Termination

Authored By: Legal Services Alabama LSC Funded

Information

Sometimes, landlords want to make you move. This article tells you when your landlord can end your lease. It also tells you what you can do about it.

How can my landlord end my lease?

  • If you have a 30-day lease, your landlord can end it by giving you 30 days notice to move.
  • If you break your lease, your landlord can end it more quickly. If you do not pay your rent or you break some other part of your lease, then:
    • Your landlord usually can say your lease is over and demand you move within seven (7) days.
    • If you fail to pay your rent or break your lease for some reason other than not paying the rent, you have the right to stay if you fix the problem or pay the rent within seven (7) days.
    • For some types of lease violations, you do not have the right to fix the problem and stay. These are:
      • Possession or use of illegal drugs
      • Illegal discharge of a firearm
      • Criminal assault of a tenant or guest
    • A tenant only has the right to cure a problem and stay four times a year.
    • The way most leases are written, you still owe your landlord rent even for the time after your lease is terminated. You may have to pay all the rent due on the remaining portion of the lease, at least until the time the landlord re-rents the property.
  • Even where a lease does not charge a late payment until the fifth day of the month, a landlord may be able to say you broke your lease if you do not try to pay on the first day of the month.

What if my landlord tells me to pay up or move out?

  • This means that your landlord will probably try to evict you if you do not pay.
  • If the landlord's notice fails to say the amount that you have to pay in rent to avoid eviction, you can get an eviction dismissed.

What happens if I don't move after my landlord ends my lease?

  • In order to evict you, the law makes your landlord follow certain steps.
  • Your landlord cannot simply remove your possessions or change the locks.
  • Instead, your landlord must file papers in Court, which the Sheriff will then bring to you.
  • Read about Evictions.

Reviewed October 2015


AlabamaLegalHelp.org offers legal information, not legal advice. We try hard to make sure this website accurately explains your rights and options. However, the site does not apply the law to your personal facts. For this sort of legal advice, you should call a lawyer. To apply for free legal services in Alabama, call the Legal Services Alabama office that is closest to where you live OR call toll-free 1-866-456-4995. You can also Apply Online.

Last Review and Update: Oct 27, 2015