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How To Sublet Legally In Alabama

Alabama landlord-tenant laws don't provide any specific guidance on subletting. Your best bet will be to ask your landlord for approval.

The Bottom Line: There are no explicit state laws regarding subletting, but Alabama courts have ruled that landlords may not unreasonably refuse a potential subletter.

1. Check your lease

If your lease does not mention or prohibit subletting then you are in the clear and free to do so. But, most likely, your lease contains a clause that requires you to obtain your landlord’s approval prior to subletting.

2. Mail a Letter.

You should send a letter to your landlord via certified mail, return receipt requested, and save a copy of the document for your own records. Certified mail is the only proof of delivery that most courts will accept and thus is the best way to protect yourself. The letter should clearly outline the terms of the agreement and include the following information:

  • The term (starting and end dates) of the sublet or the date of the proposed assignment (30 days from when you sent the letter)
  • The name of the proposed subtenant or assignee
  • The permanent home address of the proposed subtenant or assignee
  • Your reason for subletting or leaving permanently
  • Your new address during the sublease if applicable
  • The written consent of any co‑tenant
  • A copy of the proposed sublease

3. Wait for approval

Within thirty days of mailing the initial notice, your landlord must respond to your inquiry. If the landlord doesn’t respond then their consent is assumed and you are free to sublet.

If your landlord rejects your request, know that he can only refuse proposed subtenants based on legitimate factors. He cannot reject a sublessee based on personal taste, sensibility, or convenience.

According to past court cases in Alabama, a landlord can't unreasonably refuse a potential subletter—meaning that there must be a commercially viable reason for rejecting them.

Legal grounds for refusal may include:

  • The financial responsibility of the proposed assignee or subtenant.
  • Whether the new tenant’s use requires alteration of the premises.
  • The legality of the proposed use.
  • The nature of the occupancy.
  • The compatibility of the tenant’s use with the uses of the other tenants.

5. Collect and store a security deposit

Hooray - you're approved!

To protect yourself against damages to the apartment or any belongings that you leave in the space, you should take a security deposit from your subtenant. Follow Alabama laws for accepting and holding security deposits as best you can. The most important thing to do is agree on the state of the apartment with your subtenant so that you don't get charged for damages caused by them.

6. Set up rent payments

You don't want to spend the first day of every month pestering someone for rent so that you can pay your landlord. You don't want to have to think about it at all.

Agree on a process for rent payments before they move in. Put this process in writing in the sublet agreement that you both sign.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.