Broken AC? Moldy unit? A guide to renters' rights in Alabama - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Broken AC? Moldy unit? A guide to renters' rights in Alabama

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Here at WAFF 48 News, we receive daily phone calls about landlords allegedly refusing to keep up with tenants' maintenance requests. Viewers call us about their landlords not acknowledging broken air conditioning units, ignoring mold inside units, you name it.

We sat down with an attorney about what renters can do when these situations arise. Farah Majid is an attorney for Legal Services Alabama and said first and foremost, tenants and renters must stay current on rent.

“A lot of tenants think, ‘Well, I’m not going to pay for this house anymore because it's so terrible.' But unfortunately, Alabama laws are not very friendly towards tenants,” Majid said.

But that doesn’t mean tenants don’t have rights.

More than 50,000 Alabama households live in rental housing. According to the Alabama landlord-tenant law, tenants have a right to a decent place to live. That means housing codes have to be up to par, there must be working be heat and AC, hot and cold water, etc.

If something is broken, Majid suggests tenants contact their landlord and let them know. If the landlord is unresponsive, tell them in writing that you'll terminate the lease if the repairs aren't made within 14 days.

“Unfortunately in Alabama, you are not allowed to withhold rent for a landlord's failure to make repairs. So once you've given that 14-day notice, or even if you haven't, you have to stay current on your rent,” Majid said.

Take pictures for your records. If the landlord doesn’t make repairs within that 14-day period, call a lawyer. They could help you break the lease, get your security deposit back and any rent you’ve prepaid.

Copyright 2017 WAFF. All rights reserved.

Report an Error | Submit a Tip to WAFF 48

  • NewsMore>>

  • Thousands of chickens roam free in Lauderdale County

    Thousands of chickens roam free in Lauderdale County

    Saturday, June 24 2017 9:00 PM EDT2017-06-25 01:00:14 GMT
    (Source: Patricia J. Weaver)(Source: Patricia J. Weaver)

    Thousands of free range chickens are irritating some neighbors in Lauderdale County. They say they’re running wild, posing a threat to drivers and creating a healthy concern for other animals.

    More >>

    Thousands of free range chickens are irritating some neighbors in Lauderdale County. They say they’re running wild, posing a threat to drivers and creating a healthy concern for other animals.

    More >>
  • High levels of E. coli detected in Coosa River

    High levels of E. coli detected in Coosa River

    Saturday, June 24 2017 2:18 PM EDT2017-06-24 18:18:19 GMT
    (Source: Coosa Riverkeeper)(Source: Coosa Riverkeeper)

    According to Coosa Riverkeeper, high levels of E. coli were detected along the Coosa RIver.

    More >>

    According to Coosa Riverkeeper, high levels of E. coli were detected along the Coosa RIver.

    More >>
  • Dramatic Alabama water rescue in Muscle Shoals

    Dramatic Alabama water rescue in Muscle Shoals

    Saturday, June 24 2017 12:00 AM EDT2017-06-24 04:00:58 GMT
    (Source: Kaycee Brooks Karcher)(Source: Kaycee Brooks Karcher)

    As heavy rain moved into Muscle Shoals today, a dramatic rescue played out near the Chick-fil-A restaurant on Avalon Ave. 

    More >>

    As heavy rain moved into Muscle Shoals today, a dramatic rescue played out near the Chick-fil-A restaurant on Avalon Ave. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly