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Real Estate



Alabama Homestead Statutes

Alabama’s homestead statute, like other state homestead laws, places a limit on acreage and value that can be designated as a homestead. However, the limits differ between Alabama’s constitution (limiting homesteads to 80 acres and $2,000) and its statutory code (limiting homesteads to 160 acres and $5,000).

Even with these homestead protections in place, it is possible to be forced to sell or forfeit property under four general exceptions:

  • If there was a pre-existing lien on the property before the establishment of homestead;
  • If the homestead property was specifically pledged as credit for a mortgage;
  • If you owe past due taxes to the State of Alabama and Alabama counties or municipalities; or
  • If you owe money to mechanics, contractors, or builders for work performed in repairing or improving the property.

real-estate-litigationAdditionally, the Yellowhammer State’s homestead protections are confined to state law, meaning federal law can override it subject to the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. For example, if you have any federal income tax liens, those could be superior to Alabama’s homestead exemptions. That being said, the Internal Revenue Service has been reluctant to foreclose on a citizen’s home in order to collect on a tax debt and normally only gets involved if the homestead property is mortgaged or sold off before the tax lien expires.

Leases and Rental Agreement Law

State lease and rental agreement laws can vary depending on where you live, but are generally similar in the ways they regulate the landlord-tenant relationship. These laws standardize the time limits for leases, lay out what to do when a lease runs out, and protect against housing discrimination. Some states tend to have stricter tenant rights laws that pertain to altering the premises, notices for termination, and evictions.

Leases and Rental Agreements in Alabama

Alabama’s code regarding leases and rental agreement presumes that rents are set monthly, or by the length of time used to estimate the rental amount, but does not regulate the amounts landlords may charge for deposits or whether interest can accrue on deposit amounts.rental-lease

Once an Alabama lease expires, the holdover tenancy likely becomes a month-to-month lease, unless it was originally on a shorter, week-to-week basis. If the tenancy is for a specific time period, no notice is necessary for the tenant to surrender possession.
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