Knowing your rights and responsibilities as a renter is vital if you want to keep a healthy relationship with your tenant throughout the duration of rental agreements. Arizona landlord-tenant laws may vary depending on the county, but there are some general guidelines that landlords should always follow and include in their lease agreement.
In this case, we're going to go over the Arizona residential landlord-tenant law, explaining both landlords' and tenants' rights and responsibilities at the time of renting a unit. Keep in mind that if you need any specific information regarding Arizona law, make sure to seek legal advice.
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Now, let’s dive in.
What is a Rental Agreement According to the Arizona Landlord and Tenant Act?
A rental agreement is a document that provides all the guidelines that a tenant and landlord must follow to keep a healthy and safe renting environment for everyone. These documents usually come with general clauses that apply to every renting case. However, landlords may adjust some clauses to fit their renting requirements.
These documents in Arizona are required for tenancies that go for 12 months or longer. Most landlords in this state draft lease agreements regardless of the duration of the tenancy.
Lease agreements in Arizona follow the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, which explains most of the clauses and the laws that all parties have to follow.
Is Arizona a Landlord-Friendly State?
Yes! Arizona is considered a landlord-friendly state because of its low property taxes, which is one of the lowest in the country at 0.72%.
Another reason why Arizona laws benefit landlords is that there's a lot of flexibility when it comes to written notices and eviction laws. For example, a landlord may choose to evict a tenant for late payments; in these cases, the landlord must provide at least a five-day written notice to the tenant.
What Are Landlords and Tenants' Rights and Obligations in Arizona?
As stated before, a lease agreement provides information on the rights and responsibilities that all parties have to follow to comply with Arizona laws. If the tenant or landlord fails to comply with these requirements, one of the parties may be eligible to seek legal help.
Rights and Obligations that a Landlord Must Follow
According to the Arizona Department of Housing, landlords must provide a rental unit that complies with standard health and safety requirements. Otherwise, the rental unit may not be fit for the tenant, and they may seek legal help if the landlord doesn't provide the required help.
Landlords' obligations require them to provide essential services, such as reasonable amounts of hot water, gas, heat, air conditioning, and other appliances. If the unit needs any big repairs, tenants must give at least 10 days' notice for the landlord to fix the problem.
However, if the landlord doesn't offer this fix, and the repair cost is lower than $300, tenants are legally allowed to deduct the repairs from their monthly rent. Read more about landlords' responsibilities.
Alternatively, landlords are allowed to collect rent, charge late fees, or evict their tenants for serious violations of the rental agreement.
Rights and Obligations that a Tenant Must Follow
Tenants in Arizona have the right to ask for habitable housing, appliances in running condition (such as running water), and a safe environment. If the property is deemed unsafe for the tenant, they may seek the Repair and Deduct Law, which states that a tenant may make repairs and deduct the costs from their rent if the landlord doesn't provide essential repairs within 10 days of notice.
On the other hand, a tenant must keep the rented property in good condition for the amount of time they're planning to be in there; this includes regular cleaning, maintenance, and not disturbing neighbors or other tenants.
Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Clauses
Rent Payments and Late Fees
According to Arizona laws, a landlord may charge any rent amount that they consider appropriate; this is because Arizona doesn't have any rent control measures. In most cases, a landlord may ask their tenants to pay upfront before moving in (Usually a security deposit of one-half of the first month of rent).
Keep in mind that a tenant might withhold rent if the landlord cannot provide essential services. However, if the tenant chooses to withhold rent without reason, the landlord might file a lawsuit.
While Arizona doesn't legally require a landlord to charge these rental fees, most of them charge them to get the tenant to pay on time. However, this is different for a mobile home, in which a landlord may not charge a late fee higher than five dollars for each late day.
There aren't any grace periods required for residential properties, so a landlord may or may not choose to include them in their rental agreement.
Security deposits are not required for a rental agreement, according to Arizona landlord-tenant law. However, if the landlord wants to charge security deposits, they have to follow certain guidelines.
The security deposit should not be higher than one and one-half months of rent. A landlord can mix a security deposit with other personal assets, but it's not the general case.
If the tenant decides to terminate the lease, the landlord has 14 days to return the security deposit to them. Landlords who fail to return the security deposit might be exposed to a lawsuit from the tenant. In these cases, Tenant rights allow them to charge the landlord for damages equal to two times the value of the security deposit.
The landlord can withhold part or all of the security deposit amount in cases of extreme wear and tear of their property, unpaid rent, or violation of the agreement.
Early Termination and Eviction
According to the Arizona Landlord and Tenant Act (§33-1318), a tenant can terminate the lease early in the following cases:
- Domestic violence.
- Unhabitable housing conditions.
- Access Refusal.
Regardless of the case, the tenant has to give written notice to the landlord some days before leaving the property.
On the other hand, a landlord in Arizona has the right to evict a tenant from their property for many reasons; these can be one of the following:
- Violation of the agreement.
- Criminal activity.
- The tenant fails to pay rent.
In cases of eviction with cause, the landlord must give at least five days of notice to the tenant. However, if the landlord gives the tenant an unconditional quit notice, the former might seek legal advice for the tenant to leave.
On the other hand, a landlord who wants to terminate without cause in a monthly lease has to give 30 days notice (One month) to the tenant. If the tenant fails to leave the property after these 30 days, the landlord can file a lawsuit.
It's important to note that a landlord can't evict a tenant without a court order, meaning that a landlord can't attempt to change the locks or force the tenant to move out in any way; this is known in Arizona law as a "Self Help" eviction.
See our full guide on the eviction process and laws for Arizona.
Mobile Homes Clauses
Mobile homes have a slightly different approach when it comes to rent payments in a lease. According to Arizona landlord-tenant laws, a late rent fee must not exceed five dollars per day.
On the other hand, there is a grace period for late rent payments in a mobile home lease. In these cases, the landlord has to wait five days until they can give the tenant a pay or quit warning. You can read more about related clauses in the Arizona Mobile Homes Landlord and Tenant Act.
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
If the tenant was a domestic violence victim, they could terminate the lease early with a written notice. However, the tenant must provide proof of these violent acts.
Alternatively, a tenant may ask the landlord to change the property locks for safety. If the landlord agrees with this requirement, they can get a copy of the new keys.
It's vital to know these landlord and tenant laws regardless of the case you're involved in. Overall, the landlord has to make sure that their property is habitable for their tenant, and the tenant has to take the necessary measures to keep the property in good shape and pay rent on time. For additional queries, make sure to call a real estate manager.
Which rental disclosures are required in Arizona?
Regardless of the renting conditions, the landlord must always disclose the following data to their tenant.
- Lead-Based Paint
- Disclosure of the Landlord-Tenant Act in Arizona
- Contact Information of the Parties Involved
- Copy of the Lease Documents
In the case of Lead-based paint, the landlord must get the tenant an EPA-approved pamphlet, in which the hazards of lead paint are thoroughly explained.
Are there any pet laws in Arizona?
There are no currently known pet laws in Arizona landlord-tenant law, meaning that the landlord can choose their own requirements for pets in their property. However, a tenant with disabilities is legally allowed to take their service pets to public accommodations. You can read more about it in the Federal Americans With Disabilities Act.
How are tenants protected from discrimination in Arizona?
Federal landlord-tenant laws in Arizona protect tenants from any type of discrimination from their landlord. This includes discrimination for the tenant's race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, color, etc.
Can the landlord enter the property in Arizona?
If the landlord wants to enter the rental property, they need to give the tenant at least two days' notice. This is in cases of non-emergency cases.
A landlord can legally enter the property without any written notice during emergencies.