In Arizona, a rental agreement may be either written or verbal. Pursuant to Arizona law, (Arizona Landlord and Tenant Act) a rental agreement automatically allows certain tenant rights, such as the right to a habitable dwelling unit and the right to take at least one form of alternative action.
Landlords also have rights, for example, the right to collect rent in a timely manner and the right to pursue eviction if the tenant is found to be in violation of the rental agreement or nonpayment of rent.
Note: These rights exist regardless of a rental agreement stating otherwise.
Landlord Responsibilities in Arizona
In Arizona, landlords are required to provide habitable premises for living and must make requested repairs in a timely manner (5 days). If they do not, the tenant is empowered to make the repairs themselves and deduct the costs from future rent payments.
Here is a list of essential amenities that Arizona landlords are or are not responsible for.
|Electrical outlets and wiring||Yes|
|Mold||Depends on the cause|
Landlords are not permitted to evict tenants in retaliation for exercising their housing rights.
Tenant Responsibilities in Arizona
Aside from paying rent on time and promptly, Arizona tenants must:
- Keep the unit in a safe and habitable manner
- Keep fixtures clean and sanitary
- Make small repairs and maintenance
- Not disturb other tenants or neighbors
Evictions in Arizona
Arizona landlords are empowered to evict tenants for the following reasons:
- Nonpayment of rent – If an Arizona tenant fails to pay rent, then the landlord may issue a 5-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. if the tenant does not pay by the sixth day, then the landlord can start eviction proceedings.
- Lease violation – If a lease violation occurs, then the landlord may issue a 5-Day Notice to Cure or Quit (for health and safety violations) or a 10-Day Notice to Cure or Quit (for non-hazardous violations). Either way, if the tenant does not abide by the notice terms, then the landlord may begin formal eviction proceedings.
- Illegal acts – Arizona law enumerates several illegal activities that warrant eviction, including discharging a firearm, assaulting others, committing homicide, prostitution, “criminal gang” activity, and using or selling illegal drugs.
At-will tenants are entitled to receive notice commensurate with their rental payment period. (e.g. 30 days for month-to-month, 7 days for week-to-week, etc.). Landlords are also not allowed to evict tenants in retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
Security Deposits in Arizona
- Standard Limit/Maximum Amount – 2 months’ rent.
- Time Limit for Returns – 14 Days.
- Penalty if Not Returned on Time – If an Arizona landlord wrongfully withholds rent, then they may be liable to pay up to double the deposit’s original value.
- Allowable Deductions – Missing rental payments, repairs for damages that exceed normal wear and tear.
Lease Termination in Arizona
Notice requirements. If an Arizona tenant wishes to break a periodic lease, then they must give the following amounts of notice.
|Rent Payment Frequency||Notice Needed|
Early termination. Arizona tenants are permitted to legally break a lease early for the following reasons:
- Early termination clause
- Active military duty
- Uninhabitable unit
- Landlord harassment
Tenants who are unable to break a lease for these reasons may be liable to pay the remainder of the lease. Arizona landlords must make a reasonable effort to re-rent a unit.
Rent Increases & Related Fees in Arizona
- Rent control. Arizona law does not have provisions for rent control so landlords are allowed to set rental prices however high they wish.
- Rental increases. Landlords also are not limited in how much they can raise rent and they do not need to give prior notice to raise rent. However, they must wait until the next rental period before the rent hike goes into effect.
- Rent-related fees. The state does not put a limit on late fees but there is a $25 limit on returned check fees.
Housing Discrimination in Arizona
Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate against tenants on the basis of race, color, national origin, familial status, sex, religion, or disability. These restrictions do not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes operated by religious organizations. Arizona state law does not provide any additional protections to groups not outlined in the Fair Housing Act.
Discriminatory acts & penalties. Arizona’s Department of Housing has outlined several behaviors that may be considered discriminatory if directed at a member of a protected class:
- Refusing to buy or rent on a bona fide offer
- Charging more for rent or fees
- Advertisements that indicate a preference for or against certain groups
- Falsely denying unit availability
- Coercing buying or selling or properties based on perceptions of neighborhood demographic change
- Refusing to provide reasonable accommodations for the disabled
Arizona law does not outline specific punishments for housing discrimination. Each complaint is handled on a case-by-case basis by the Arizona Attorney General Civil Rights Division.
Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Arizona
Landlord Right to Entry in Arizona
Landlords must provide at least 2 days’ advance notice before entering an occupied property and this notice must be in a form that is agreed upon by the landlord and tenant (usually written). Landlords are not required to get permission to enter for emergencies that threaten the safety or well-being of the tenant.
Small Claims Court in Arizona
Arizona small claims court will hear rent-related disputes valued up to $3,500, though some local courts may allow cases with a greater value. Small claims court does not handle evictions cases and written and oral contracts have a 6-year and 3-year statute of limitations, respectively.
Mandatory Disclosures in Arizona
Arizona landlords must provide 5 mandatory disclosures:
- Lead-based paint. Landlords that own homes built before 1978 must provide information about concentrations of lead paint.
- Bedbugs. Landlords must provide educational materials about bed bugs, regardless of their actual presence.
- Authorized agents. Landlords must provide the names and addresses of all parties involved in managing the property.
- Purpose of nonrefundable fees. Landlords are required to disclose the purpose of any nonrefundable fees that the tenant must pay.
- Landlord-Tenant Act. Landlords must also provide a copy of this act to the tenant before the tenancy begins.
Changing the Locks in Arizona
Landlords in Arizona are prohibited from changing the locks as a form of eviction. Tenants can request a lock change if they are the victim of domestic abuse and landlords are required to acquiesce but the tenant must pay for the changes.
Additional Resources for Arizona Renters
In addition, check your local county and municipality for additional land-lord tenant regulations. To learn more, please refer to the below digital resources.