2021 Code of Alabama
Title 24 - Housing.
Chapter 8 - Alabama Fair Housing Law.
Section 24-8-7 - Exemptions.

Universal Citation: AL Code § 24-8-7 (2021)

Section 24-8-7

Exemptions.

(a) Except for subdivision (3) of Section 24-8-4, Sections 24-8-4 and 24-8-6 do not apply to rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of the living quarters as his or her residence.

(b) Sections 24-8-4 and 24-8-6 do not apply to any single-family house sold or rented by an owner when:

(1) The private individual owner does not own more than three single-family houses at any one time; and

(2) In the sale of any single-family house by a private individual owner not residing in the house at the time of the sale or who was not the most recent resident of the house before the sale, the exemption granted by this subsection shall apply only with respect to one sale within a 24-month period; and

(3) A bona fide private individual owner does not own an interest in, nor is there owned or reserved on the owner's behalf, under any express or voluntary agreement, title to or a right to all or a portion of the proceeds from the sale or rental of more than three single-family houses at any one time.

(c) After August 8, 1991, the sale or rental of a single-family house is excepted from the application of this subsection only if the house is sold or rented without both of the following:

(1) The use in any manner of the sales or rental facilities or the sales or rental services of a real estate broker, agent, or salesperson, or of the facilities or services of a person in the business of selling or renting dwellings, or of an employee or agent of a broker, agent, salesperson, or person.

(2) The publication, posting, or mailing, after notice, of an advertisement or written notice in violation of this chapter. Nothing in this subsection prohibits the use of attorneys, escrow agents, abstractors, title companies, and other professional assistance as necessary to perfect or transfer this title.

(d) For the purposes of this section, a person is considered to be in the business of selling or renting dwellings under any of the following circumstances:

(1) The person has, within the preceding 12 months, participated as principal in three or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest in it.

(2) The person has, within the preceding 12 months, participated as agent, other than in the sale of his or her personal residence, in providing sales or rental facilities or services in two or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest in it.

(3) The person is the owner of any dwelling designed or intended for occupancy by, or occupied by, five or more families.

(e) This chapter shall not prohibit a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from limiting the sale, rental, or occupancy of any dwelling which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion or from giving preference to those persons, unless membership in the religion is restricted because of race, color, or national origin. This chapter shall not prohibit a private club not in fact open to the public, which as an incident to its primary purpose provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of the lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members.

(f) This chapter shall not prohibit conduct against a person because the person has been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance as defined by law.

(g) For purposes of subdivision (6) of Section 24-8-4, the term "discrimination" includes any of the following conduct:

(1) A refusal to permit, at the expense of the handicapped person, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by the person if the modifications are necessary to afford that person full enjoyment of the premises, except that in the case of a rental, the landlord, where it is reasonable to do so, may condition permission for a modification on the renter agreeing to restore the interior of the premises to the condition that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted.

(2) A refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when accommodations may be necessary to afford the person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.

(3) In connection with the design and construction of covered multifamily dwellings for first occupancy after the date that is 30 months after the date of enactment of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, a failure to design and construct those dwellings in such a manner that:

a. The public use and common use portions of the dwelling are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;

b. The dwelling has at least one building entrance on an accessible route unless it is impracticable to do so because of the terrain or unusual characteristics of the site;

c. All the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within the dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and

d. All premises within these dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design:

1. An accessible route into and through the dwelling;

2. Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;

3. Reinforcements in the bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and

4. Usable kitchens and bathrooms that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

(h) Compliance with the appropriate requirements of the American National Standard for Buildings and Facilities Providing Accessibility and Usability for Physically Handicapped People (commonly cited as "ANSI A117.1") suffices to satisfy the requirements of subsection (g)(3)d.

(1) If a unit of local government has incorporated into its laws the requirements in subsection (g)(3), compliance with these laws is considered to satisfy the requirements.

(2) A unit of local government may review and approve newly constructed covered multifamily dwellings for the purpose of making determinations as to whether the design and construction requirements of subsection (g)(3) are met.

(3) The office shall encourage, but may not require, units of local government to include in their existing procedures for the review and approval of newly constructed covered multifamily dwellings, determinations as to whether the design and construction of these dwellings are consistent with subsection (g)(3), and shall provide technical assistance to units of local government and other persons to implement the requirements of subsection (g)(3).

(4) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require the office to review or approve the plans, designs, or construction of all covered multifamily dwellings, to determine whether the design and construction of these dwellings are consistent with the requirements of subsection (g)(3).

(i)(1) Nothing in subsection (h) shall be construed to affect the authority and responsibility of the Attorney General to receive and process complaints or otherwise engage in enforcement activities under this chapter.

(2) Determinations by the unit of local government under subsection (h) are not conclusive in enforcement proceedings under this chapter.

(j) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to invalidate or limit any rule, regulation, resolution, or ordinance of a political subdivision of the state that requires dwellings to be designed and constructed in a manner that affords handicapped persons greater access than is required by this chapter.

(k) Nothing in this chapter with respect to discrimination based on handicap requires that a dwelling be made available to an individual whose occupancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose occupancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others.

(l) Nothing in this chapter limits the applicability of any reasonable local, state, or federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling. Owners and managers of dwellings may develop and implement reasonable occupancy and safety standards based on factors such as the number and size of sleeping areas or bedrooms and the overall size of a dwelling unit so long as the standards do not violate local, state, or federal restrictions. The provisions in this chapter regarding familial status shall not apply to housing for older persons. This chapter shall not prohibit the lease application or similar document from requiring information concerning the number, age, sex, and familial relationship of the applicants and the dwellings' intended occupants. The owner or manager may consider these factors in determining payment of utilities. The application also may require disclosure by the applicant of the conviction of any intended occupant for violating any laws pertaining to the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance as defined in Title 22.

(m) Section 24-8-4 with respect to discrimination based on sex does not apply to the rental or leasing of dwellings in a single-sex dormitory property.

(Acts 1991, No. 91-659, p. 1248, §7; Acts 1995, No. 95-676, p. 1472, §1; Acts 1996, No. 96-261, p. 307, §1.)

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