Arizona Residential Lease Termination Notice

QUICK LINKS

Purpose. An Arizona lease termination letter (“Notice to Vacate”) is a required document to end month-to-month lease agreements in Arizona. State law requires giving at least 30 days’ notice for termination. However, state law does not require notice to be given to end fixed-term lease agreements on their end date.

Read further to learn more about notice requirements and the residential lease termination process in Arizona.

What is a Lease Termination Notice?

A residential lease termination notice is delivered to a tenant when a landlord requests to end the lease agreement.  The ultimate goal of this notice is to have the tenant move out of the property within the specific time frame indicated by Arizona law.

Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, there are three types of leases in Arizona. They are weekly, month-to-month, and for longer than one month (usually one year or perhaps longer).

When either a tenant wants to vacate a rental unit or a landlord wants the tenant to leave, one party must notify the other party in writing by giving a notice to the other party (called “service”), in advance of the lease termination date.

How to Serve a Notice

When the landlord gives the tenant any type of notice, it can either be delivered in person or sent via registered or certified mail. Notices from either party should either be mailed to the address specified by the receiving party for receipt of the communication or their last known place of residence.

For purposes of compliance with period requirements, whenever the notice is sent via certified or registered mail, the notice will be considered to have been received 5 days after its mailing unless received earlier, in which case it will be considered to have been received on that earlier date.

Required Notice Days

Here are the calendar days required for advance notice to terminate a lease agreement:

  • Weekly Agreements: For weekly leases, give the notice to the other party at least 10 calendar days before the termination date.
  • Month-to-Month Agreements: For month-to-month leases, give the notice to the other party at least 30 calendar days prior to the first day of the next rental period. The lease will terminate at the end of the rental period that starts after the 30-day period from giving the 30-day notice of termination. To illustrate, if the next rent payment covers for the period from May 5 to June 4, the notice must be sent before April 5 to end the lease by June 4. If the notice is sent on April 6, then the lease will terminate at the end of the next rental period: June 5 to July 4. This is because by the time the 30-day period after the April 6 notice was given, the May 5 to June 4 rental period had already begun, which means the lease will not be terminated during that period.

When mailing notices of termination, remember that these notices will be deemed to have been given 5 days after sending. This means it’s good practice add 5 days on top of the required notice period when mailing notices to ensure compliance with the same.

What happens if a tenant fails to move out by the termination date?

Under Arizona law Section 33-1375 (C), if the tenant remains in the rental unit without the consent of the landlord after the termination date, the landlord can bring a lawsuit to take possession of the rental unit called a “special detainer action.” This is commonly known as an eviction.

If the landlord can convince the court that the holdover by the tenant is both willful and in bad faith, the landlord may recover damages equal to twice the periodic rental payment amount or twice the actual amount of financial damages suffered by the landlord, whichever amount is higher.

Arizona Termination Notice Form Requirements

The termination notice is a simple one page form. It can be given by the landlord to the tenant or used by the tenant to give notice to the landlord.

Here are the steps to take to fill in the form and the basic information needed to create one:

  1. Tenant’s or Landlord’s Information: At the top, fill in the tenant’s or landlord’s full legal name as it appears in the lease agreement and their address for delivery of the notice.
  2. Rental Unit’s Information:Fill in the information identifying the rental unit of the lease agreement.
  3. Termination Date: Calculate the termination date according to the advance notice days required (as described above) for each type of lease. Enter this termination date on the form.
  4. Signature/Date: Sign and date the form and then serve the notice on party who needs to be informed about it.

Additional Information for Termination Notices Served on a Tenant

If the Notice of Termination is being served on a tenant, a landlord should include the language of the actual Arizona law from Section 33-1375 (C), which explains the landlord’s ability to recover double damages if the tenant fails to vacate the property on time.

The tenant has until the end of the day (midnight) of the termination date to vacate the rental unit. The following day, the landlord may file a lawsuit for a special detainer action to recover possession of the rental unit and potential damages.

For added protection, in order to make sure the tenant is completely informed, the landlord should give the tenant a copy of the Arizona laws that relate to special detainer actions and termination notices or inform the tenant that this information can be found online at the website for the Arizona Department of Housing.

Use Common Sense

If there is no dispute between the parties, be smart, hand the notice to the other party and thank them. It can be very shocking and intimidating to get a package of legal papers by certified mail, when all that is desired is to inform the other person of the lease termination date so they can make plans to move out and the landlord can re-rent the rental unit.