Thank you for the information.
Unfortunately, even if the Landlord has been non-compliant with the rental agreement, the Tenant must pay rent due in order to go after the Landlord for not making needed repairs. The Tenant's remedy for Landlord's non-compliance is to give the Landlord 14-day notice to cure or the rental agreement is terminated. The Tenant is not allowed to withhold rent for non-compliance. See Code of Alabama Title 35 Chapter 9A Article 4 Division 2 Section 35-9A-401.
Landlord can evict the Tenant for non-payment even if the Landlord has outstanding repairs. The Landlord however is prohibited from using self-remedy to accomplish the eviction. This means that if the Tenant does not pay rent and does not move out at the expiration date of the notice, the Landlord cannot change the locks or shut off the Tenant's utilities in order to force the Tenant out. The Landlord must use the Court system to accomplish the eviction. If the Tenant is illegally locked out, the Tenant can file lawsuit against the Landlord to regain possession of the premises and to recover damages for the illegal lockout. See Code of Alabama Title 35 Chapter 9A Article 4 Division 1 Section 35-9A-407. The lawsuit would be at the local Courthouse, where the property is located. The forms for filing the lawsuit are available at the Courthouse in the Clerk’s Office. You can use this link to find your local Courthouse.
Code of Alabama
Tenant's remedies for landlord's unlawful ouster, exclusion, or diminution of service.
If a landlord unlawfully removes or excludes the tenant from the premises or willfully diminishes services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of heat, running water, hot water, electric, gas, or other essential service, the tenant may recover possession or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover an amount equal to not more than three months' periodic rent or the actual damages sustained by the tenant, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney's fees. If the rental agreement is terminated under this section, the landlord shall return all security recoverable under Section 35-9A-201 and all unearned prepaid rent.
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