Arizona Landlord Tenant Law
Just like in other states, the relationship between landlords and tenants in Arizona is governed by The Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. This Act clearly stipulates the responsibilities and obligations as well as the rights of both landlords and tenants. If you’re moving or taking up residence in Arizona, you might want to know some of the key Landlord-Tenant laws in the Act.
Security Deposit Rules
Arizona statutes limit the amount of money that a landlord can ask as security deposit. Landlords cannot take more than 11⁄2 of the monthly rent as security deposit or any rent paid in advance. However, this does not prevent a tenant from paying deposit that’s equivalent to 11⁄2 of the monthly rent in advance. Under Arizona Tenant Landlord Law, it’s allowed but must be written expressly in the lease agreement. Landlords can demand pet deposits plus additional fees but this should not exceed the limit of 11⁄2 of the monthly rent as well.
Should the Landlord fail to comply with statute on Security deposit, the tenant is allowed to recover the money due along with damages equal to twice the amount of deposit wrongfully held. As of now, there is no statute that requires tenants to make security deposit via bank account or landlords to record keeping of deposits. Landlords are required to return deposits within 14 days and to send a written description or itemized list of charges and damages to tenants last known address.
Lease, Rent and Fee Rules
Tenants are required to pay rent without demand or notice as and when agreed by both parties. Unless agreed otherwise, rent should be paid at the start of the month within the dwelling unit or in equal monthly installments. Rent that is charged on tenants should be proportionate from month to month. While there is no statute for residential units, mobile homes have a grace period of 5 days. There’s no statute on late fees for residential units but for mobile homes, it should not exceed $5 per day.
At any given, the Landlord cannot take more than 11⁄2 of the monthly rent as deposit or any prepaid rent but the tenant is not prohibited from making voluntary payments in advance. Tenants are permitted to withhold rent should the landlord fail to provide essential services such as heating and water to occupants of residential dwellings. Tenants are allowed to conduct repairs and deduct the cost incurred from rent after submitting a proper notice and waiting for a period of 10 days ( for non-emergency repairs)
Landlords must not withhold more than $300 of the monthly rent. The act also requires landlords in Arizona to ensure they take reasonable effort to mitigate damages to lessee. Where attorney or court fees are incurred, the landlord is allowed to recover it from the tenant.
Notice and Entry Rules
Unless there is an emergency, Arizona landlords are required to provide two days notice of entry. Tenants cannot withhold consent of entry unreasonably where the landlord wants to enter a premise to inspect the conditions or undertake repairs. And where the Landlord wants to make entry, he or she can only do so at reasonable times. The landlord is allowed to issue three kinds of notice to terminate tenancy lease: fixed end date, month to month, and week to week. Fixed end date requires no notice as it expires. Month to month requires 30 days notice while the week to week lease requires a 10-day notice from the day of lease expiration. Where the tenant remains in a dwelling unit without the express permission or consent of the landlord ( after expiration of lease), the landlord can take action to hold the tenant’s possession. If the tenant’s holdover is not in good faith, the landlord may additionally recover the due amount that should be equivalent to 2 months rents or twice the cost of damages sustained.
After receiving a tenant’s request of vacating a dwelling unit, the landlord is required to perform a move-out inspection. Where the tenant is being evicted for an irreparable breach and the landlord is concerned about the possibility of violence or physical harm by the tenant, the landlord is not required to conduct a move-out inspection. However, the landlord must issue a written notification to the tenant that he or she can be present during the inspection,
Lease Termination for non-payment should be given 5 days for the tenant to quit or remedy. Similarly, notice of termination for lease violation should be made 10 days for the occupant to remedy or quit and 5 days for noncompliance where health and safety concerns. Where the tenants have falsified information regarding criminal activity or previous eviction record, the landlord can make issue a 10 days notice for termination of lease.
The landlord is allowed to issue an immediate lease termination if the tenant is liable for the illegal discharge of a weapon, homicide, criminal activity, prostitution, or unlawful manufacturing, possession, storing, and selling of controlled substances. Equally, the landlord can issue termination where the tenant issues threatens or intimidation or assaults other tenants, or becomes a nuisance, or breaches an agreement that can otherwise pose significant safety, health, and welfare risks to the landlord, authorized agent or other tenants.
Landlords are allowed to create new rules and regulations for tenants and give them a notice of 30 days before they can into effect. Before making an entry into a premise, a landlord is required to issue notice 2 days in advance. The landlord can only make entry to dwelling units without notice in the event or emergency repairs. There’s no statute that allows the landlord to make entry where tenants are absent for extended periods. Where a landlord shuts off utility or fails to comply with the agreement for utility, the tenant is allowed to recover an amount that should not exceed two months of rent or twice the loss incurred.
Required Disclosures and Notes
Under Arizona law, all landlords are required to disclose certain information to tenants (usually through the lease/rental agreement). Tenants are supposed to be informed about the purpose of nonrefundable fee(if any), identity of any person who is authorized to act on the behalf of the landlord, and helpful materials on bedbug. It is the responsibility of the landlord to maintain a fit and safe premises as well. Equally, tenants must maintain the premises or dwelling units in good condition and not knowingly or negligently impair, deface, or damage any part of the premise.
Landlords or owners of residential property are required to register their properties with county assessor within their city or location. In addition, the landlord is required to disclose the valid name and address of the owner as well as any person who oversees or manages the property. Before a tenant occupies a premises, the landlord shall duly inform the tenant in writing that the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is available at Arizona’s housing department website.
As a landlord, you are required to provide your tenants with a signed copy of the lease agreement or a move-in form that specifies what damages exist and a written notification to invite the tenant to inspect the dwelling during move-out inspection. Bedbugs is a cause of concern for many tenants. The landlord is required to provide tenants( both new and existing) with educational materials about bedbugs. Pursuant to that, the landlord must not enter into a lease agreement with any tenant should any dwelling unit have bedbug infestation.
Arizona law allows landlords to verify claims of domestic violence within their property. Where there’s proof of domestic violence, the tenant can terminate the lease without being penalized. The landlord must change locks or keys if they are requested b victims of domestic violence at the expense of the tenant. Where losses are incurred because of early lease termination, the landlord can hold the offender in a Domestic Violence situation liable.
Landlords must not terminate or deny a tenant lease renewal, or withhold services to any tenant who has filed an official complaint with a local government authority, or who has been actively involved in tenant’s association in the last 6 months. The landlord is entitled to hold the tenant’s personal possession for a period not exceeding 10 days after writing and issue a declaration of abandonment. During this time, the landlord shall take reasonable care while holding tenant’s property or possession. Thereafter, the landlord can sell the property so as to settle outstanding debts. Any extra amount shall be emailed to the tenant’s last known address. Record of sale should be kept for a period of 12 months.
Small Claims court limit
Justice Courts in Arizona handle tenant-landlord disputes and small claims cases. The least you can ask for a small claims case in Arizona is $3,500 while the most you can ask is $10,000. Often, small claims case are informal then typical courtroom proceeding and don’t always involve lawyers. Once a ruling is issued on small claims case, there is no appeal.
Arizona Landlord- Tenant Laws are subject to change from time to time and may even vary from one county or city to another. You are solely responsible for conducting research and complying to laws applicable to your personal situation. Should you have questions or concerns about your situation, we strongly recommend that you consult with the relevant government agencies or a property attorney or lawyer in your city or area.
links to relevant courts:
Other Useful Arizona Links