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Read further to learn more about month-to-month residential lease agreements in Arizona, such as what disclosures are required and what else should be included.
What is a Month-to-Month Residential Lease Agreement?
The month-to-month residential lease is an agreement between a landlord and a tenant for one month of residency. This type of lease is automatically renewed each month unless terminated by the landlord or tenant in accordance with state regulations. While it is not legally advised, if there is no verbal or written residential lease agreement, it is implied to operate on a month-to-month basis.
The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act governs month-to-month, residential, rental agreements. A landlord should read the Arizona law. A copy of the law Section 33, Chapter 10 can be downloaded.
Month-to-month rental agreements in Arizona have the same legal provisions and disclosure requirements as rental agreements for a longer term.
Things That are NOT Allowed in Arizona Rental Agreements
Arizona state law Section 33-1315, prohibits these provisions in rental agreements:
- Requiring a tenant to waive any rights under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (the “ACT”).
- Requiring a tenant to indemnify a landlord or limit a landlord’s liability under the ACT.
- Restricitng a tenant’s ability to call for emergency assistance (911) or requiring a tenant to pay a penalty for requesting emergency assistance from public services (ambulance, fire, or police).
- Requiring a tenant to waive the landlord’s obligation under the ACT to maintain a habitable premises under Section 33-1324.
- Requiring a tenant to pay any landlord’s legal fees, unless they are awarded in a judgment made by an Arizona court.
Required Disclosures in Arizona
Here are legally required disclosures that a landlord must make under both federal and Arizona laws.
Potential Hazards of Lead-Based Paint
This disclosure applies to any rental unit in a building that was constructed before 1978. A written disclosure about the potential hazards of lead-based paint must be given to the tenant, such as the notice that is published by the Environmental Protection Agency called the Lead-Based Paint Warning.
Inform Tenant About Arizona Law
Arizona state law Section 33-1322 requires a landlord to inform a tenant in writing that the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act can be downloaded. It is even better if the landlord gives a written copy of the law to the tenant and gets the tenant to sign an agreement that they got a copy of the Arizona law.
Warnings about Bedbugs
For rental units that are apartments, Arizona state law Section 33-1319 requires a landlord to give tenants health information regarding bedbugs. This information is available from the local health department and the Center for Disease Control. A home, offered as a rental unit, does not have this requirement that the landlord provides bedbug information.
A landlord is required to inform a potential tenant if the apartment building has a bedbug infestation. A tenant cannot knowingly move items into a rental unit, such as furniture or mattresses, if they know that those items contain bedbugs.
Checklist for an Arizona Month-to-Month Rental Agreement
Here is a checklist of the items to include in a month-to-month rental agreement.
Names and Contact Information
In this section, include the full legal names of the landlord, the property manager, if any, and the tenant(s).
Identify the rental property by giving its address and a short description of the type of rental unit (e.g. two-bedroom, two-bath house).
Give the date for the start of the rental agreement and state that it is a month-to-month agreement.
State that if either party to the agreement wants to terminate the agreement that they must give the other party at least 30 calendar days notice in writing. It is an option for the landlord to require the tenant to vacate only at the end of a month.
List the amount of monthly rent, the day of the month that the rent is due, the number of calendar days after that due date that the rent becomes late and the late fees that will be charged.
Identify the authorized person (landlord or property manager) and the address for making the rental payments. List the acceptable form(s) of payment (e.g. cash, check, money order). If personal checks can be used to pay the rent, state the amount for a returned-check fee, if the check is not paid by the bank.
State the number of days that rent can remain unpaid before late rent will trigger the start of an eviction process.
Give the amount of the security deposit required. Note that Arizona state law Section 33-1321(A), limits a security deposit to one and one-half month’s rent. Under Arizona law, all of the security deposit is refundable, unless it is expressly stated in the rental agreement that some portion of the security deposit is not refundable.
Refund of Security Deposit
State the refund policy. Any deductions from the security deposit, for damage or cleaning, should be itemized on a list. A copy of this list is mailed with a check for the balance of the security deposit to the tenant’s new address. Arizona state law Section 33-1321(D) gives a landlord 14 working days (not including weekends and legal holidays) to refund a security deposit after a tenant moves out.
Default is something done by a tenant that is not permitted under the rental agreement. Some defaults can be remedied by a tenant, others, such as criminal activity cannot. If the tenant can change behavior to remedy a default, give the number of days that the tenant has to remedy the problem. If the tenant fails to remedy a default within the required time, state that the security deposit will be lost and eviction proceedings will begin.
Authorized Occupants and Guests
Identify the number of tenants that are permitted to stay in the rental unit. It is illegal under Arizona law to discriminate against any tenant who has children staying in a rental unit unless the facility is legitimately age-restricted. State the policy for overnight stays of guests.
Use of Premises
Include a statement that the rental unit can only be used as a residence and not for any commercial purposes. Include a provision that prohibits the storage of dangerous or extremely flammable items.
Include a statement that the tenant(s) had an opportunity to inspect the premises before renting it and found it in a proper habitable condition. Require the tenant(s) to give the landlord written notice if repairs need to be made in the future.
Include the policy that either allows or prohibits subleasing the rental unit.
Describe in detail how the utilities will be paid and by whom. If there is a shared responsibility to pay them, describe the procedures about how any allocations of utilities will be calculated.
If the rental unit contains any items include a list of them. This could be furniture, appliances, rugs, or decorations. Note the condition of the rental unit and any items it contains on a move-in list that the tenant signs.
Describe the pet policy in detail. If pets are allowed, list the pet deposit. A pet deposit is an extra deposit that can be in addition to the security deposit. Pet deposits do not have a legal limit.
Premises Damage Not Tenant’s Fault
Describe what happens if the premises are damaged by no fault of the tenant, such as by a natural disaster, and how the already-paid portion of the rent and any deposit(s) will be refunded if the premises become unlivable.
Describe both the landlord’s and the tenant’s responsibilities for the maintenance of the rental unit in detail.
Landlord’s Right of Inspection
Arizona law requires a landlord to give a tenant two day’s written notice before entering the rental unit for regular maintenance or inspection. Explain this process and the exception that the landlord may enter the rental unit at any time, without giving any notice, in the case of an emergency.
Require the tenant(s) to inform the landlord in writing of any absence that will occur, if longer than seven days, while the rent is paid. This allows the landlord to keep an eye on the rental unit to protect it if it is not occupied.
State the number of days that a tenant can abandon a rental unit while the rent is unpaid before eviction proceedings begin. This abandonment provision also includes what happens to any personal property left behind by the tenant in the rental unit, if the landlord regains possession through legal action.
Describe the procedures for making any alterations to the rental unit that require the landlord’s written permission.
Decribe the landlord’s and the tenant’s responsibility for maintaining insurance.
Additional Terms and Conditions
In this section, which is usually quite extensive, include any special terms such as any municipal codes or restrictions that apply. Include any rules for use of the premises (such as a no-smoking rule) and rules for the use of common areas and parking, if any. Include that the landlord can put up a “for rent” sign when the tenant gives a termination notice. Include any other terms that are specifically needed for the rental unit. Be as detailed in this section as possible.
Describe the method of giving legal written notice and the addresses for each of the parties to use for these notices.
Standard Legal Provisions
Include the typical legal provisions that state the contract is binding, it is the full agreement and overrides any oral representations made by the parties. State that the agreement is made under Arizona law, in the county where the rental unit is located, and that the provisions of the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act apply
Have a place for each party to print their name and to sign the agreement.