How to Evict Someone in Alabama Without a Lease
Evicting someone without a lease in Alabama can be a challenging and complicated process. However, with the right knowledge and understanding of the law, you can navigate the eviction process successfully. This article will guide you through the steps you need to take to evict someone without a lease in Alabama, along with answering some frequently asked questions.
1. Determine the legal relationship: First, you need to establish the legal relationship between you and the occupant. If the occupant is a tenant who has stopped paying rent or violated terms of an oral agreement, they are considered a holdover tenant.
2. Provide written notice: Before proceeding with the eviction, you must provide the occupant with written notice. Alabama law requires a 7-day written notice for non-payment of rent and a 14-day written notice for other lease violations. Make sure to send the notice via certified mail or hand-deliver it to ensure proof of delivery.
3. File an eviction lawsuit: If the occupant fails to comply or vacate the premises, you will need to file an eviction lawsuit in the appropriate Alabama court. You can typically find the necessary forms on the court’s website or by visiting the courthouse in person. Make sure to accurately complete the forms and include all relevant information.
4. Serve the eviction lawsuit: After filing the lawsuit, you will need to serve the occupant with a copy of the eviction lawsuit. Alabama law requires personal service, meaning the lawsuit must be delivered directly to the occupant. You may need to hire a professional process server or request assistance from the local sheriff’s office to ensure proper service.
5. Attend the eviction hearing: Once the occupant has been served, a court date will be set for the eviction hearing. Both parties must attend the hearing and present their case before a judge. Bring any relevant documentation, such as the written notice, lease agreement (if any), and proof of non-compliance or non-payment.
6. Obtain a judgment of possession: If the judge rules in your favor, you will receive a judgment of possession, granting you the legal right to regain possession of the property. The occupant will be given a specific timeframe to vacate the premises voluntarily.
7. Enforce the judgment: If the occupant refuses to leave after the specified timeframe, you may need to involve law enforcement to enforce the judgment of possession. Contact your local sheriff’s office and provide them with a copy of the judgment. They will assist you in physically removing the occupant from the property.
Q1. Can I evict someone without a lease in Alabama?
A1. Yes, even without a lease, you can still evict someone in Alabama if they violate the terms of an oral agreement or fail to pay rent.
Q2. How long does the eviction process typically take?
A2. The eviction process can vary, but it usually takes around 30 days from the day you provide written notice to the occupant until you regain possession of the property.
Q3. Can I change the locks or remove the occupant’s belongings without going through the eviction process?
A3. No, self-help evictions are illegal in Alabama. You must follow the proper legal procedures to evict someone, even without a lease.
Q4. Can I withhold the occupant’s security deposit for unpaid rent?
A4. Yes, you can deduct unpaid rent from the occupant’s security deposit, but you must provide an itemized list of deductions within 60 days of the lease termination.
Q5. Can I increase the rent during the eviction process?
A5. No, you cannot increase the rent during the eviction process unless stated in the original oral agreement.
Q6. Can I evict someone for engaging in illegal activities on the property?
A6. Yes, if the occupant is engaging in illegal activities on the property, you can evict them by providing a 14-day written notice.
Q7. What if the occupant claims to have a lease but fails to provide one?
A7. If the occupant claims to have a lease but fails to provide one, you can proceed with the eviction process as if there is no lease. The burden of proof lies with the occupant to provide a valid lease agreement.
Remember, it is essential to consult with an attorney to ensure you are following all the legal requirements and procedures when evicting someone without a lease in Alabama. Laws can vary, and a professional can provide guidance specific to your situation.