Thursday, March 5, 2009

Alabama House Bill 680 - Amendment to Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

This bill aims...
"Existing law prohibits a resolution or ordinance relative to landlords, rental housing codes, or the rights and obligations of landlord and tenant relationships from being enacted by any county or municipality that contravenes the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

This bill would instead specify that no such resolution or ordinance relative to residential landlord and tenant relationships could be enacted or enforced by any county or municipality but a county or municipality could enact and enforce building codes, health codes, and other general laws that affect rental property if such codes equally affect similarly-situated owner-occupied residential property.

This bill would further define eviction.

This bill would permit a landlord to enter a dwelling without the consent of the tenant at reasonable times and with proper notice to show the premises to a prospective tenant or purchaser, if the rental agreement provides for the right of access within four months of the expiration of the rental agreement and such entry is only in the company of the prospective tenant or purchaser.

This bill would permit the landlord, in regard to access to the premises, to provide separate from the lease a general notice, rather than a specific time, or an advance schedule in excess of two days, for repairs, maintenance, pest control, or for services relating to health or safety, and would permit a tenant to provide a landlord with access to the premises with less than two days' notice.

This bill would provide that if the rent is unpaid when due, the landlord may deliver a written notice to terminate the lease to the tenant specifying the amount of rent and any late fees owed to remedy the breach. If the breach is not remedied within seven days, the rental agreement must terminate.

This bill would specify that certain acts by a tenant or resident constitute a non-curable default of the rental agreement and the tenant would have no right to remedy the default unless the landlord consents. Such acts include possession or use of illegal drugs in the dwelling unit or common areas, the discharge of a firearm on the premises except in the case of self-defense or the defense of a third party as provided by law, and criminal assault of a tenant or guest, except in the case of self-defense or the defense of a third party as provided by law. (Bold case mine)

This bill would provide further for appeal.

This bill would provide that if an eviction judgment enters in favor of a landlord, a writ of possession would issue upon application by the landlord in accordance with the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure.

This bill would in specified instances permit the circuit court to award a writ of restitution or possession to restore the tenant to possession as against the landlord, but not as against a third party, the issuance of the writ would rest in the discretion of the appellate court, and the circuit court could direct such writ to be issued by the trail court when proper or necessary.

This bill would specify an effective date of August 1, 2009." - excerpted from the Alabama Legislative Information System Online website regarding HB 680 by Representatives McLaughlin, Hall & Ward - House Commerce Committee.

The importance of this one lies in that landlords won't be allowed to evict persons who have used a firearm in self-defense or the defense of others. It appears that this is not currently the case.

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