Arizona Landlord Tenant Rights

State laws give both tenants and landlords rights and responsibilities when leasing a premises. The laws vary widely from state to state and can have a huge financial and practical impact on both parties.

Below, we take a look at how Arizona law shapes both tenant and landlord duties and rights.

Landlord Responsibilities

The landlord must:

  • Maintain the premises so that it is fit and habitable, including:
    • Dwelling structures
    • Water
    • HVAC
    • Plumbing/sanitation
    • Electrical outlets and wiring
    • Garbage removal
    • Elevators
    • Mold (in certain cases)
    • Bedbug removal
  • Give two days notice before entry, unless in an emergency
  • Inform the tenant in writing that the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is available on the Arizona Department of Housing’s website
  • Provide the tenant with a copy of the signed lease, educational bedbug materials, a move-in form for listing any existing damages and written notification that the tenant may be present for the move-out inspection
  • Not engage in retaliatory conduct
  • Not engage in discriminatory acts
  • Keep records of sale for 12 months

Tenant Responsibilities

The tenant must:
  • Maintain a fit and habitable premises and make small repairs
  • Not intentionally or negligently damage or remove any part of the premises
  • Remove all personal belongings when they leave the premises; otherwise, the landlord may hold the possessions with written notice for 10 days after which they may be sold to satisfy any outstanding debt
  • Not engage in any criminal activity
  • Not disturb other tenants

Security Deposit

Arizona law has several rules regarding the payment of security deposits. Specifically:

  • The maximum allowable security deposit is equal to one and one-half month’s rent
  • The security deposit must be returned in 14 days (excluding weekends and holidays)
  • An itemized list of damages and charges must be sent to the former tenant via first-class mail

If the landlord fails to comply with the statutory requirements for security deposits, the tenant can recover the property plus money due and damages totaling twice the amount withheld.

Rent and Fees

The payment of rent and fees is strictly regulated by Arizona law and is designed to protect both the landlord and the tenant:

  • Rent is due at the time and place agreed upon by the parties
  • If the tenant has failed to pay rent, the landlord may give the tenant a 5-day Notice to Pay that, if not followed, can result in eviction proceedings being started the next day
  • Non-refundable fees are allowed if they are in writing within the lease agreement
    The landlord can charge a pet fee as long as the total deposit doesn’t exceed one and one-half month’s rent
  • Landlords are not limited to how much they can raise the rent and don’t need to give prior notice (they do have to wait until the next rental period before the increase takes effect)
  • There is a 5-day rent grace period for tenants in manufactured homes; maximum late fees are $5 per day
  • Tenant is allowed to withhold rent for failure to provide essential services such as heat and water
  • Tenant is allowed to make necessary repairs and deduct the cost from their rent payment as long as it does not exceed $300 or half one month’s rent, whichever is greater, and gives the landlord 10 days written notice

Evictions

Immediate eviction is allowed if any of the following occur:

  • Illegal discharge of a weapon
  • Homicide
  • Prostitution
  • Criminal street gang activity
  • The unlawful manufacturing, selling, transferring, possessing, using or storing a controlled substance
  • Threatening or intimidating
  • Assault
  • Acts that constitute a nuisance
  • Breach of the lease agreement that jeopardizes the health, safety and welfare of the landlord
  • Breach of the lease agreement that involves imminent or actual serious property damage
If the tenant remains in possession of the residence past the rental agreement term, the landlord can bring an action against the tenant; if the tenancy is not in good faith the landlord can recover an amount equal to two month’s rent or twice the actual damages to the landlord, whichever is greater.

Lease Termination Notice

In some circumstances, the landlord must give the tenant proper notice to terminate the lease.

If the tenancy is for a set term, no notice is needed. For a month-to-month lease, the termination notice must be given 30 days before. If the lease is week-to-week, notice must be given at least 10 days from the lease expiration date.

If the lease termination is for non-payment of rent, the tenant must be given 5 days notice to either pay the rent or leave the home.

If the lease termination is for a lease violation, the tenant must be given 10 days notice to fix the violation or quit the premises, unless the violation breaches health and safety in which case the landlord is only required to give 5 days notice.

If the lease termination is for falsification of information of a criminal record, previous eviction record, or current criminal activity, they should be given 10 days notice.

A tenant is allowed to immediately terminate the lease without penalty in domestic violence situations once proof has been obtained by the landlord. The landlord must change the locks if requested at tenant’s expense. The offender in domestic violence situations may be held liable for all losses incurred by the landlord.

A tenant can also legally break a lease early for the following reasons:

  • Early termination clause
  • Active military duty
  • Uninhabitable unit
  • Landlord harassment

Relevant State Agencies

Arizona Department of Housing

Arizona Small Claims court

City-Specific Links

Phoenix:

City of Phoenix Landlord and Tenant Program

Water

Salt River Project (Electricity)

Arizona Public Service (Electricity)

Gas

Tucson:

Southwest Fair Housing Council

Water

Electricity

Gas

Scottsdale:

City of Scottsdale, Fair Housing

Water

Arizona Public Service (Electricity)

Salt River Project

Southwest Gas

Official Rules and Regulations

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§33-301 – 381

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§12-1171 - 1183

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§33-1301 - 1381

Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act