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The following is intended to be a guideline for the eviction process and does not necessarily apply in every situation or cover every detail. The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (House Bill 287) can be read in its entirety on-line at: http://ali.state.al.us/legislation/landlord_ tenant.pdf.
Also note that (35-9A-407) states that, "If a landlord...willfully diminishes services by interrupting or causing the interruption of heat, running water, hot water, electric, gas, or other essential service, the tenant may 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."
Step 1 - Landlord must deliver a written notice giving the tenant seven (7) calendar days "the right to cure" or an opportunity to settle the debt, or to vacate.
If payment is received during this period, the landlord shall accept payment and end the eviction process.
If payment is not received, continue with Step 2.
Any breach of lease (other than non-payment): If termination is for any other breach of lease (i.e. not maintaing the lawn, being too loud,etc.), Landloard must deliver a written notice giving the tenant 14 calendar days to correct the casuse of the breach, or to vacate.
Step 2 - Landlord must file for "Unlawful Detainer" with the Circuit Clerk's Office.
If money is being claimed in the Detainer (i.e. past due rent, damages, court fees), a Deputy must make personal service and send a return of service to the Circuit Clerk's Office. The landloard still has a right to negotiate settlement and accept payment while process is still ongoing.
If money is not claimed and simply seeking possession of the property, a Deputy may post notice to the door and send a return of service to the Circuit Clerk's Office.
***If termination of lease is for non-payment, the tenant has seven (7) business days to file a response to the court. If termination is for any other breach of lease (i.e. not maintaining the lawn, being too loud, etc.), the tenant has fourteen (14) business days to file a response to the court.
If no response is filed by the tenant within the appropriate times, continue with Step 3. If tenant files a response, all parties will be notified by mail of a court date.
Step 3 - Landlord must file an Application for "Default Judgment" with the Circuit Clerk's Office.
A District Court Judge will review each case and render a judgment based on his findings. The Judge may then issue a "Writ of Possession" or Writ of Restitution" in favor of the Landlord with an order for the Sheriff to assist while removing the tenant and his belongings. A Sheriff's Deputy will schedule a date and time with the landloard to conduct the set-out. ****It is the Policy of the Lee County Sheriff's Office to NOT provide the man-power to remove the belongings.
It is recommended that the landlord changes locks once possession is returned.
The Sheriff's Office does not set or regulate the fees associated with Unlawful Detainers. Any questions concerning this should be directed to the Circuit Clerk's Office @ 334-737-3500.