A hub for retirees, snow birds, golfers, hiking lovers and anyone who hates the cold, Arizona has plenty of landlord-tenant law quirks. Here’s a quick reference guide for AZ landlord-tenant laws.
At a Glance:
Security Deposit Limit: 1.5 months’ rent unless the tenant volunteers more.
Late Fee Limit: There is no statute regarding the high limit of a late charge or fee.
Returned Payment Fee Limit: There is no statutes regarding the fees for bad checks.
Notice to End Lease: In a fixed term lease, no notice is strictly required; for month-to-month leases, 30 days’ notice is required; for week-to-week leases, 10 days’ notice is required to terminate a lease.
Notice to Enter: At least two days’ notice (except for emergencies, where no advance notice is needed).
Late Fees/Returned Check Fees:
Even though in Arizona there are no written stipulations or limits in the statutes for a permitted late charge amount, it is important to use “fair and reasonable” assessment in the charge of late fees. Judges will throw out any fees they deem unreasonable, and may penalize the landlord for attempting to charge them.
Returned checks for insufficient funds also do not have any limits, or stipulations written in the statutes. However, there are many steps to take from sending out proper “Notice of Dishonored Check” which gives the payer twelve days (plus five days if mailing) to make good on the amount of the check plus any fees. Several counties set up bad check programs in order to simplify legal enforcement of returned checks.
All fees should be outlined in the written lease agreement.
Security deposits are considered refundable. If any non-refundable fees are collected by the landlord at the time of lease signing, their amount and use must be in writing. The total deposits including prepaid rents, pet deposits, etc. may not exceed an amount equal to one and a half months rent.
Once the tenant vacates the property, in accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 33-1321(D), the landlord must return to the tenant the security deposit in full, a partial refund along with an itemized statement or if no deposit is due, a full itemized statement to the last known address of the tenant. This must happen within fourteen days of the date the tenant vacates the rental unit.
When a tenant does not pay the rent on time, the landlord may provide that tenant with a five (5) day notice to remedy (pay) or quit (move-out). If the tenant violates the lease contract in another way, the amount of days’ notice would then be ten (10). Where criminal activity or serious intentional property damage is concerned, immediate lease termination is permitted.
*Important: There are specific procedures to follow with regards to providing notice in a situation where domestic violence is involved. These can be found in Arizona Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 33-1318(A).
Delivery of Notice:
In Arizona a notice may be provided either via personal delivery, or mailed using registered or certified mail.
All owners of residential rental properties must register the property with the county assessor in the county of where the property is located.
In Arizona, the landlord must provide bedbug education materials to a tenant except when the rental property is a single family residence.
Landlords must disclose to tenants before the commencement of the tenancy that the Landlord and Tenant Act is available on the Arizona’s Department of Housing’s website.
Questions? Ask an Attorney!
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