Arizona Landlord Tenant Law

Looking for clear and concise information on Arizona landlord tenant law? Get all your answers from this plain English guide to the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act.

AZ Landlord Tenant Law

  • Arizona Revised Statutes Title 33, Chapter 3 - Landlord and Tenant

Tenant Application

Application Fees

The landlord can ask prospective tenants for application fees to cover the costs of background and credit checks. The fee amount should be reasonable - We recommend charging around $30 per applicant. If the landlord did not run any tenant screening checks, the fees should be refunded.

Background and Credit Check

You can screen tenant applicants with a background check or full credit report from RentPrep.

A background check will show a person's history of addresses, evictions, bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

A full credit report comes with a basic background check, credit check plus criminal check. A basic background check shows a person's history of addresses, evictions and bankruptcies.

Landlords do not need the tenant or applicant's consent to run background and credit checks.  Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)

Avoiding Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from discriminating against prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, sex, *familial status, national origin or physical/mental handicap.  42 U.S.C. § 3604

*Familial status - pregnant women and families with person(s) under 18.

If the landlord discriminates a prospective tenant just because the person is living with (one or more) children, he or she can sue the landlord for actual damages, attorney fees and court costs. If the rejection is deemed to be intentional, the prospective tenant can sue the landlord for three month's rent as well. In addition, the prospective tenant can obtain a court order that demands the landlord to rent to him or her.  A.R.S. § 33-1317.(E)

Arizona landlord tenant law prohibits landlords from renting to tenants living with one or more children IF the property is *housing for older persons.  A.R.S. § 33-1317.(A), A.R.S. § 41-1491.04

*Under AZ landlord tenant law A.R.S. § 41-1491.04.(D), a property is housing for older persons if it meets any of the following conditions:

  • Property is intended to assist elderly people under a federal or state program.
  • Property is intended for and solely occupied by people who are at least 62 years old.
  • Each unit of the property is intended for and occupied by at least one person who is at least 55 years old.

However if the dwelling has four or less rental units and the landlord lives in one of them, then he or she won't have to follow the above Fair Housing laws.  42 U.S.C. § 3603(b)

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Tenancy Agreement

(also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement)

Whether you're a landlord or tenant, it's important to have a written lease agreement with terms and conditions that favors you and follows your state laws.

To save time and avoid mistakes, you can customize your own lease agreement at LawDepot. This site will ask you a set of questions related to your tenancy and create a state-specific agreement based on your answers.

Arizona landlord tenant law requires the landlord to register the property with the county assessor before he or she is allowed to rent it out.  A.R.S. § 33-1902.(a)

If the rental agreement is in writing, the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act requires the landlord and tenant to sign and deliver a copy of it to each other (within a reasonable time). All blank spaces must be completed.  A.R.S. § 33-1322.(E)

Once the tenant moves in, the landlord has to give the tenant the following:

  • signed copy of the lease agreement
  • move-in form stating all existing property damages
  • notice stating that the tenant may be present during the move-out inspection  A.R.S. § 33-1321.(C)

Unless the tenancy agreement specifies a fixed term lease, the landlord and tenant will enter into a month to month tenancy by default. If the tenant is paying rent weekly (instead of monthly), then the tenancy will be week to week.  A.R.S. § 33-1314.(D)

Arizona landlord tenant law disallows the landlord from renting out a property with an ongoing bedbug infestation.  A.R.S. § 33-1319.(A)(2)

Required for Tenancy Agreement

Arizona landlord tenant law A.R.S. § 33-1322 requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:

  • Name and address of person authorized to manage the property
  • The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is available on the Arizona Department of Housing website
  • Both details 1. and 2. above are to be updated and provided to the tenant when requested
  • Purpose of all refundable fees and deposits  A.R.S. § 33-1321.(B)
  • Disclosure and information of lead-based paint in the property (for housing built before 1978)

In addition, the landlord has to give the tenant a move-in form that points out all existing property damages and informs the tenant that he or she may be present during the move-out inspection.  A.R.S. § 33-1321.(C)

Recommended for Tenancy Agreement

  • Name and address of tenant(s)
  • Number of people (occupants) staying on the property
  • Type of tenancy: month to month tenancy or fixed term lease
  • How much is the rent
  • When, how and where the rent is to be paid
  • When is rent is considered late and the penalties for late rent payment
  • How much is the security deposit and pet deposit (if any)
  • Who holds the deposit(s) and where will it be held
  • What utilities and services are provided and who pays for them
  • What are the landlord's and tenant's duties for property maintenance
  • Can the tenant sublet the property or assign the lease
  • When to inform the landlord if tenant will be away for a long time
  • Prohibited activities and items

Disallowed for Tenancy Agreement

According to Arizona landlord tenant law A.R.S. § 33-1315.(A), your lease agreement CANNOT:

  • make the landlord or tenant give up any legal rights or remedies under the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act
  • make the tenant pay for the landlord's attorney fees (unless the lease agreement states that the losing party shall pay for the winning party's attorney fees in a court case
  • limit the landlord or tenant's liability when they have failed in their duties
  • limit or restrict the tenant (or any other person) from calling for help in an emergency
  • penalize or charge the tenant (or any other person) if they called for help in an emergency

If a landlord knowingly includes prohibited terms and conditions in the lease agreement, the tenant can sue the landlord for actual damages (up to a maximum of two month's rent).  A.R.S. § 33-1315.(B)

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Security Deposit

Arizona landlord tenant law allows the landlord to ask for up to 1.5 month's rent as security deposit. The tenant can volunteer to pay more than 1.5 month's rent as security deposit.  A.R.S. § 33-1321.(A)

Deductions and Returns

Arizona landlord tenant law requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.

Valid reasons for security deposit deductions include:

  • Rent owed
  • Property damage due to negligence, misuse or abuse by tenant, occupants or tenant's guests
  • Costs and losses incurred by landlord due to the tenant failing in his or her duties - See Tenant Duties and Responsibilities below  A.R.S. § 33-1341

Once the lease terminates and the tenant returns the property, the landlord must send the tenant a list of deposit deductions and refund any remaining deposit within 14 working days (not counting Saturday, Sunday and public holidays). This list has to individually account for all damages and rent owed in writing.

The landlord shall send this itemized list and remaining deposits (after deductions) to the tenant's last known address by first class mail.  A.R.S. § 33-1321.(D)

If the landlord fails to follow AZ landlord tenant law for deducting and returning deposits, the tenant can recover two times the amount of deposits that was wrongfully withheld.  A.R.S. § 33-1321.(E)

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Phoenix, Arizona AZ

Arizona Landlord Tenant Law

Rent

Arizona landlord tenant law requires the tenant to pay the rent without demand or reminders. As long as the landlord and tenant are agreeable, they can choose the time, place and method of rent payment.

By default, rent is payable once the tenancy begins and shall be paid on the same day of every month. Rent is to be collected at the rental property.  A.R.S. § 33-1314.(C)

The landlord can choose NOT to accept partial rent payments. If the landlord accepts a partial rent payment, then he or she cannot terminate the rental agreement for rent-related reasons.  A.R.S. § 33-1371

Late Rent

There are no Arizona landlord tenant statutes on imposing charges for late rent payments.

If the landlord wants to impose late rent charges, it has to be specified in the tenancy agreement. While there are no state laws on late fees, landlords cannot overcharge or impose unfair terms. Otherwise the tenant can refuse to pay and challenge the late fees in court.

Most states consider reasonable late fees to be around 3 to 5% of the rent amount. In addition, landlords should wait until rent payment is at least three days late before charging late fees.

Raising Rent

There are no specific Arizona landlord tenant statutes on raising rent.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:

  • When can the landlord raise the rent?
  • How many days notice does the landlord have to give before raising the rent?
  • How many days notice does the tenant have to give if he or she is moving out due to the rent increase?
  • Maximum amount or percentage of rent increase (optional)

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Property Maintenance

Landlord Duties and Responsibilities

The Arizona Landlord Tenant Act A.R.S. § 33-1324 requires the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition:

  • Compliance: Obey all building and housing codes that affect health and safety
  • Repairs: Make all repairs to keep the property safe and habitable
  • Common Areas: Keep all common areas clean and safe
  • Waste Disposal: Provide outlets for waste disposal and arrange for waste removal
  • Maintenance: Maintain all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning in safe working condition
  • Heating: Supply running water, hot water and heating (as far as conditions allow)
  • Bedbug Control: Provide educational materials on bedbugs to new and existing tenants  A.R.S. § 33-1319.(A)(1)

Tenant Duties and Responsibilities

Arizona landlord tenant law A.R.S. § 33-1341 also requires the tenant to keep the property in a clean and safe condition:

  • Compliance: Obey all building and housing codes that affect health and safety
  • Cleanliness: Keep the property clean and safe (as far as conditions will allow)
  • Proper Usage: Use all facilities and appliances properly. This includes all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, kitchen and common area facilities. (e.g. elevators)
  • Waste Disposal: Dispose all waste from the property in a clean and safe manner
  • Property Damage: Avoid property damage due to negligence, misuse or abuse by the tenant, occupants or tenant's guests
  • Neighbors: Avoid disturbing neighbors and also disallow others from disturbing neighbors
  • Maintenance: Inform the landlord promptly in writing if any maintenance or repair is required
  • Bedbug control: Inform the landlord of any bedbug infestation and avoid moving items into a property with bedbugs  A.R.S. § 33-1319.(B)

If Landlord Fails to Maintain Property

According to Arizona landlord tenant law, the tenant has three choices if the landlord fails in his or her responsibilities:

1. The tenant can move out (if it affects the tenant's health and safety)

The tenant must give the landlord a written notice stating the problem and giving the landlord five days to fix it, or else the tenant will move out. If the problem is fixed within five days (of the landlord receiving this notice), the tenancy will continue.  A.R.S. § 33-1361.(A)

2. The tenant can make repairs and deduct the cost from rent

The tenant has to inform the landlord that he or she intends to fix the problem at the landlord's expense. If the landlord fails to make repairs within 10 days (or as soon as possible in an emergency), the tenant can hire a licensed contractor to make repairs and deduct the costs from his or her rent.

The maximum amount that can be deducted for repairs is half month's rent. If the monthly rent is $600 or less, then the tenant can deduct up to $300.  A.R.S. § 33-1363.(A)

3. The tenant can sue the landlord

If the landlord violates the lease agreement or Arizona landlord tenant law, the tenant can sue the landlord in court for damages or to obtain a court order (that requires the landlord to do, or stop doing something).  A.R.S. § 33-1361.(B)

If Landlords Fails to Provide Essential Services

If the landlord fails to provide an essential service (such as gas, heat, water, electricity, plumbing or sanitation), the tenant should inform the landlord first. In this case, the tenant has three choices:

1. The tenant can pay for utilities and deduct the cost from rent

The tenant has to inform the landlord in writing that he or she intends to pay the utility bill(s) and deduct the cost from the rent. The tenant should keep the receipts for all related costs.  A.R.S. § 33-1364.(A)(1)

2. The tenant can sue the landlord for damages

The tenant can recover damages based on how much property's rental value has diminished.  A.R.S. § 33-1364.(A)(2)

3. The tenant can move to substitute housing for the time being

The tenant can give the landlord written notice that he or she is moving into substitute housing. The tenant doesn't have to pay rent until the problem is fixed. If the substitute housing costs more, the tenant can ask the landlord to pay for the difference (up to 25% of the rent amount).  A.R.S. § 33-1364.(A)(3)

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Property Access

When Tenant's Permission is Required

According to Arizona landlord tenant law A.R.S. § 33-1343.(A), the landlord is only allowed to enter the property for the following reasons:

  • Performing property maintenance or repairs
  • Supplying essential (or mutually agreed) services and utilities
  • Inspecting property for damages
  • Showing property to prospective buyers, tenants or contractors

In the above situations, the landlord must inform the tenant at least 48 hours in advance before entering the property. The landlord can only enter the property with the tenant's consent and during reasonable hours.  A.R.S. § 33-1343.(D)

When Tenant's Permission is NOT Required

According to Arizona landlord tenant law, the landlord may enter the property without permission in the following situations:

  • Emergencies such as smoke, fire, flooding or explosion  A.R.S. § 33-1343.(C)
  • Court order grants the landlord property access  A.R.S. § 33-1343.(E)
  • Tenant has abandoned or surrendered the property  A.R.S. § 33-1343.(E)

If Tenant Refuses Landlord's Valid Request to Enter Property

The tenant cannot deny access if the landlord has a valid reason to enter the property. Otherwise the landlord can EITHER

  1. obtain a court order that requires the tenant to let the landlord in OR
  2. terminate the lease agreement.

In addition, the landlord may also sue the tenant for actual damages.  A.R.S. § 33-1376.(A)

If Landlord Enters Property Illegally

The landlord must have a valid reason and obtain the tenant's permission (whenever required) to enter the property. If the landlord fails to do so or harasses the tenant, the tenant can EITHER

  1. obtain a court order that stops the landlord from entering the property illegally or harassing the tenant OR
  2. terminate the lease agreement.

In addition, the tenant may also sue the landlord for one month's rent.  A.R.S. § 33-1376.(B)

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Subletting

There are no specific Arizona landlord tenant laws on subletting.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:

  • Is the tenant allowed to sublet the property? If yes, is the landlord's written consent required before the tenant can sublet?
  • Is the landlord allowed to screen and reject every prospective subtenant?
  • Can the landlord ask for additional rent and security deposit if the tenant sublets?

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Tucson, Arizona AZ

Tucson, Arizona AZ

Termination of Tenancy

Number of Days for Notice to Quit

Arizona landlord tenant law requires you to give the other party a written notice to quit before terminating a tenancy.  A.R.S. § 33-1375
   
For a week to week tenancy, you must give this notice at least 10 days before the termination date.

For a month to month tenancy, you have to give this notice at least 30 days in advance.

If the tenant wants to be present during the move-out inspection, the landlord has to conduct it together with the tenant.  A.R.S. § 33-1321.(C)

However if the tenant is being evicted due to a severe breach of the rental agreement, the landlord doesn't have to conduct a joint move-out inspection if he or she has reason(s) to fear violence or intimidation from the tenant.

TENANT

If you are the tenant, the following are the minimum number of days for giving your landlord a notice to quit:

Landlord failed to maintain property

5 days

Landlord entered property illegally

Not specified

Tenant is a victim of domestic violence

30 days

Property damage due to fire, disaster or unavoidable accident

14 days

Tenant is a Victim of Domestic Violence

If the tenant is a victim of domestic violence, he or she may terminate the rental agreement early without penalties by submitting the following documents to the landlord:

  • Notice to release the tenant from the rental agreement within 30 days
  • Copy of any protective order issued to the tenant as a victim of domestic violence
  • Copy of (law enforcement agency) report stating that tenant has informed the agency that he or she is a victim of domestic violence  A.R.S. § 33-1318.(A)

If the tenant is a victim of domestic violence, he or she may request the landlord to install a new lock at the property (as long as the tenant agrees to pay for it).  A.R.S. § 33-1318.(E)

If the tenant is convicted of filing a false domestic violence report, the tenant will have to pay the landlord triple damages for early termination of lease.  A.R.S. § 33-1318.(H)

Property Damage Due to Fire, Disaster or Unavoidable Accident

If the property is badly damaged by fire, disasters or (unavoidable) accidents, the tenant can move out immediately THEN notify the landlord within 14 days that he or she intends to terminate the tenancy. This notice must be in writing and the tenancy will terminate once the tenant moves out.  A.R.S. § 33-1366.(A)(1)

After the tenant moves out, the landlord has to return all security deposits and prepaid rents (after deductions) to the tenant. According to Arizona landlord tenant law, the tenant shall not be charged for rent once the tenant moves out.  A.R.S. § 33-1366.(B)

If the property is still habitable, the tenant shall stay out of any damaged area. The rent amount shall be reduced based on the extent of property damage.  A.R.S. § 33-1366.(A)(2)

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Eviction

According to Arizona landlord tenant law, the following are valid reasons for evicting tenants and the minimum number of days for giving them a notice to quit:

Tenant gave false information in application or tenancy agreement

10 days

Tenant did not pay rent

5 days

Tenant violated tenancy agreement

10 days

Tenant failed to maintain property and it affects health and safety

5 days

Tenant or related person was involved in illegal activities on property

Immediate

Whether you are a landlord evicting someone or a tenant facing eviction, it's important that you handle matters correctly according to your state laws.

If you have any questions or doubts on eviction, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.

Tenant Gave False Information in Application Form or Tenancy Agreement

If the tenant provided false information in the rental application or tenancy agreement, the landlord can send the tenant a ten day written notice to terminate the tenancy.  A.R.S. § 33-1368.(A)

  1. False information involving the tenant's income, current employment, social security number, number of occupants or pets: The tenant may stay if he or she corrects the false information within ten days.
  2. False information involving the tenant's criminal record, criminal activity or eviction record: The tenancy will terminate after ten days.

Tenant Did Not Pay Rent

If the tenant did not pay rent on time, the landlord can send the tenant a five day written notice to terminate the tenancy. If the rent isn't paid within five days, the landlord may proceed to file a special detainer action to terminate the tenancy.

If the rent and late fees are paid within five days OR before the landlord files a special detainer action, the tenant may stay. After a special detainer action is filed, the tenant can stay ONLY IF he or she pays the rent owed, late fees, attorney fees plus court costs.  A.R.S. § 33-1368.(B)

Tenant Violated Tenancy Agreement

If the tenant violated the rental agreement, the landlord can send the tenant a ten day written notice to terminate the tenancy. This written notice has to state how the tenant has violated the rental agreement. If the tenant corrects the problem within ten days, the tenant may stay.  A.R.S. § 33-1368.(A)

If there is a severe violation that threatens the health and safety of the landlord, landlord's agent or another tenant, the landlord can send the tenant a written notice to terminate the tenancy immediately.

Tenant Failed to Maintain Property and It Affects Health and Safety

If the tenant failed to maintain the property (in a manner that affects health and safety), the landlord can send the tenant a five day written notice to terminate the tenancy.  A.R.S. 33-1341

This written notice has to state what is the tenant's violation or failure in duty. If the tenant corrects the problem within five days, the tenant may stay.  A.R.S. § 33-1368.(A)

Tenant or Related Person was Involved in Illegal Activities on Property

If the tenant (or tenant's occupant or tenant's guest) engaged in illegal activity on the property, the landlord can send the tenant a written notice to terminate the tenancy immediately.

Arizona landlord tenant law A.R.S. § 33-1368.(A) lists the following as examples of illegal activities: illegal discharge of weapon, prostitution, criminal street activity, unlawful manufacture/possession/selling of controlled substances, intimidation, assault.

Tenant Overstayed After Tenancy is Over

If the tenant continues staying on the property (without the landlord's consent) after the rental agreement expires or is terminated, the landlord can sue to evict the tenant.

If the tenant overstayed on purpose with the intention to deceive, the landlord can also sue the tenant for two month's rent or two times the amount of actual damages (whichever is more).  A.R.S. § 33-1375.(C)

Dealing with Belongings of Evicted Tenants

See Arizona Landlord Tenant Act § 33-1368.(E) and § 33-1368.(F) for information on the following:

  • How long shall the landlord hold on to the tenant's belongings
  • How and where shall the landlord store the tenant's belongings
  • How can an evicted tenant recover his or her belongings

Unlawful Eviction

According to Arizona landlord tenant law, the landlord CANNOT force the tenant to move out by shutting off utilities (electricity, water, gas, sanitation) or taking possession of the property by force.

If the landlord forces the tenant to move out with (the unlawful methods above) or shuts off utilities, the tenant can EITHER

  1. regain possession of the property OR
  2. terminate the tenancy agreement

In addition, the tenant may also sue the landlord for two month's rent or two times the amount of actual damages (whichever is more).  A.R.S. § 33-1367

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Abandonment

When is it Abandonment?

According to Arizona landlord tenant law A.R.S. § 33-1370.(H), the tenant has abandoned the property when ANY of the following conditions are met:

  • Tenant did not inform the landlord that he or she will be away from the property for more than seven days
  • Tenant is late in paying rent for at least ten days AND there is no proof (other than the tenant's belongings) that the tenant has been staying in the property for at least five days
  • Tenant is late in paying rent for at least five days AND none of the tenant's belongings are in the property

Once the property is abandoned, the landlord shall send a notice of abandonment to the tenant's last known address (and any alternate addresses) by certified mail. Arizona landlord tenant law also requires the landlord to post a notice of abandonment on the property's main door for five days.  A.R.S. § 33-1370.(A)

After the notice of abandonment has been mailed and posted for five days, the landlord may retake the property and re-rent it at a fair rate. The security deposit shall be forfeited and used to pay off any rent owed and costs incurred due to the tenant's abandonment.  A.R.S. § 33-1370.(B)

As long as the landlord makes a proper effort to re-rent the property at a fair rate, the abandoning tenant will be responsible for paying rent until the tenancy ends. If a new tenant is moving in before the tenancy ends, then the abandoning tenant can stop paying rent once the new tenant moves in.  A.R.S. § 33-1370.(C)

Dealing with Abandoned Belongings

If the tenant abandoned the property and left his or her personal belongings behind, the landlord must inform the tenant where the belongings are stored AND give the tenant at least ten days to retrieve them.  A.R.S. § 33-1370.(D)

If the tenant doesn't retrieve his or her belongings after ten days, the landlord can sell them in a public sale to pay for the following:

  • Moving and storage cost of the abandoned belongings
  • Cost of holding the public sale
  • Any remaining rent owed or damages that the tenant is responsible for (after deducting from the security deposit first)

According to Arizona landlord tenant law, any remaining revenue from the public sale shall be mailed to the tenant's last known address.

The landlord has to keep records of the public sale and rent owed by the tenant AND hold any remaining sales revenue (that couldn't be delivered to the tenant) for 12 months after the sale.  A.R.S § 33-1370.(F)

If the abandoned belongings are of little or no value, the landlord can destroy or dispose them if the rental agreement allows it.  A.R.S. § 33-1370.(E)

To retrieve his or her belongings, the tenant has to inform the landlord in writing (before the ten day deadline) AND pay the landlord for the cost of removing and storing the belongings. After informing the landlord, the tenant has to remove his or her belongings within five days.  A.R.S. § 33-1370.(G)

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Resources

Arizona Landlord Tenant Law: Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.

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