(c) A rental agreement may include a provision in which the tenant agrees to pay the landlord's reasonable attorney's fees when the landlord prevails in an action against the tenant and is a corporation or other entity required under Alabama state law to be represented by an attorney in a legal proceeding. "You'll notice a couple of questions raised by this:
- Is it only corporation landlords (and similar entities) who are allowed to have the clause in their lease, or does it mean anyone can have the clause, but only corporate landlords can collect?
- If only corporate landlords can have the clause, what happens when this clause is in a lease and the corporate landlord sells the property to an individual landlord? Is the lease clause now illegal and the individual landlord liable for statutory penalties for having an illegal clause?
- If the clause is in a lease for a corporate landlord, and then an individual investor buys the property, does the existence of the clause mean the individual landlord can't collect any legal fees at all, even if the court wanted to award them?
- Does this strip away the current right of an individual landlord to collect legal fees when granted by a court?
- Why does it make any difference about corporate landlords vs. individual landlords?
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