Evicting Non-Paying Tenants and Customers: What Residential and Commercial Landlords Need to Know in
As a landlord, you rely on tenants and customers to pay their leases on time to keep your business running smoothly. However, a tenant or customer failing to pay rent can create financial difficulties for you and your business. In Alabama, there are specific laws governing the eviction process that landlords must follow to legally evict non-paying tenants and customers. Here is what you need to know:
Legal Grounds for Eviction
In Alabama, a landlord can only evict a tenant for specific reasons, such as failure to pay rent, breach of lease terms, or creating a nuisance. For commercial tenants, the lease agreement may provide additional grounds for eviction. Therefore, it is essential to review the lease agreement and follow the specific terms outlined in the contract.
Before a landlord can file an eviction lawsuit, they must provide the tenant or customer with notice of the default and an opportunity to cure it. In Alabama, the notice must be in writing. It must provide the tenant or customer with a specific deadline to cure the default. If the default is not cured within the specified deadline, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.
Filing the Eviction Lawsuit
To file an eviction lawsuit in Alabama, a landlord must file a complaint with the court and pay a filing fee. The court will then issue a summons, which must be served on the tenant or customer. The tenant or customer has a specified period to respond to the lawsuit. The landlord may be granted a default judgment if they do not respond.
Writ of Possession
Suppose the landlord is successful in the eviction lawsuit. In that case, they can obtain a writ of possession, which allows them to remove the tenant or customer from the property. It is important to note that landlords cannot engage in self-help evictions, such as changing the locks or removing the tenant or customer's property from the premises.
At the Law Offices of Elliott Lipinsky, we understand the complexities of evicting non-paying tenants and customers in Alabama. We can provide the guidance and advocacy you need to protect your rights as a landlord. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options for evicting non-paying tenants and customers.