Arizona Rent Control Laws in 2024

Arizona currently does not have any statewide rent control laws. This means cities and counties are prohibited from implementing their own caps on how much landlords can raise rents each year. As a result, landlords in Arizona can technically raise rents by any amount when a lease is up for renewal. 

Over the past several years, rents have been rising rapidly in cities across Arizona, especially Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff. Annual rent increases of 10-20% or more have become common in sought-after neighborhoods and new luxury buildings. This has made it very difficult for tenants on fixed or low incomes to remain in their homes. 

With no restrictions on rent increases, tenants have little leverage or recourse when landlords impose dramatic hikes. Some argue this has accelerated gentrification and displacement in Arizona cities. Affordable housing advocates are calling for more protections for renters against uncontrolled rent increases.

Current Statewide Ban on Rent Control

Arizona has banned rent control statewide since 1981 with the passage of ARS 33-1328. This law prohibits cities and counties from implementing their own rent control ordinances or policies. 

Specifically, the law states that "no city, town or county shall enact any ordinance or resolution that would control rents on private residential property." This blanket ban on rent stabilization measures applies throughout the entire state.

The statewide prohibition on rent control ordinances has remained in effect for over 40 years now. Attempts to repeal or amend the law have so far been unsuccessful. As a result, Arizona landlords currently face no restrictions on how much they can raise rents each year.

Proposed Bills to Repeal Rent Control Ban

In recent years, Arizona state legislators have proposed bills that would repeal the statewide ban on rent control and allow cities and counties to implement their own regulations. 

The most recent efforts have been House Bill 2086 and House Bill 2161 in 2021. Both bills aim to give local governments more authority to stabilize rents and protect tenants from large rent increases.

HB 2086, introduced by Representative Athena Salman, would repeal the statewide preemption on rent control. This would enable city councils and county boards of supervisors to establish ordinances limiting how much landlords could increase rents each year. 

The bill proposes capping rent increases at 10% annually. Landlords would still be able to raise rents by up to 10% each year, but no higher without just cause.

HB 2161, introduced by Representative Judy Schwiebert, is similar in seeking to overturn the statewide ban on rent control and allow local governments to regulate rental prices. It does not specify a cap on rent increases but would enable city and county officials to craft policies to prevent sudden large spikes in rent.

Supporters of repealing the rent control ban argue it is necessary to help keep people affordably housed and prevent displacement. With rising housing costs, they contend that rent control will provide important protections for tenants.

Opponents counter that rent control could discourage new housing construction if landlords see reduced profits. This could further constrain housing supply amid a shortage. The debate continues as legislators consider the proposals.

Effects of Rent Control on Tenants

Rent control aims to provide stability and affordability for tenants, which can be incredibly helpful for low-income renters struggling to get by. By capping how much rents can increase each year, rent control ensures tenants can continue to afford housing in their existing homes and neighborhoods. This is especially important in rapidly gentrifying areas that are seeing dramatic rent hikes. 

However, rent control can also reduce incentives for landlords to maintain and improve properties. With profit margins capped, landlords may defer maintenance and repairs, leading to deterioration of the rental stock. Tenants in rent-controlled units may find it difficult to get landlords to address issues like broken appliances, pest infestations, or needed renovations. The quality of housing can decline as a result.

There are also concerns that rent control may discourage tenants from moving. Even if their housing needs change, tenants may be reluctant to give up rent-controlled units. This can lead to situations where tenants live in units that no longer fit their needs, keeping those units off the market.

Overall, rent control provides clear affordability benefits for current tenants, but may come at the cost of reduced housing quality and choice over time. Well-designed policies can aim to strike the right balance between tenant protections and maintaining housing supply.

Effects of Rent Control on Landlords  

Rent control policies aim to provide stability and affordability for tenants. However, they can also reduce incentives for landlords to maintain and improve properties. 

With rent control, landlords have a more predictable and stable rental income stream. They do not have to worry as much about large vacancies or rent fluctuations from year to year. However, their rental income is also capped, which reduces opportunities to raise rents to market rates and earn higher profits.

Landlords under rent control may start viewing their properties more as cash cows with less incentive to invest in upgrades and maintenance. If they can't recoup the costs by raising rents, landlords could let the properties deteriorate while still collecting stable rents.

Rent control also discourages developers from building new rental housing. With rental income restricted, developers may find higher returns investing in other markets or types of real estate. This slowly decreases the overall rental housing supply over time.

While rent control provides tenant protections, it can also discourage investment and development of quality affordable housing. Policymakers face the challenge of balancing the interests of tenants and landlords to maintain both housing affordability and adequate supply.

Effects on Housing Supply 

One of the most contentious issues in the rent control debate is the potential impact on housing supply and development. Opponents argue that rent control discourages new construction by reducing the returns that developers and landlords can make on their investments. With rent caps in place, there is less financial incentive to build new housing units.

This reduction in construction can exacerbate shortages in the rental market. When the supply is constrained but demand continues growing (such as from increasing population), it pushes rents even higher for non-rent-controlled units. There are concerns that shortages will disproportionately impact tenants not living in rent-controlled units.

Proponents counter that housing shortages are due to inadequate levels of affordable housing construction, not rent control policies specifically. They argue that other policy tools like zoning reform and funding incentives can spur construction of affordable units. However, evidence does suggest that landlords reduce maintenance investments under rent control.

Ultimately, a balanced policy approach would need to couple protections for vulnerable tenants with incentives to add housing supply. Further research and analysis is required to design evidence-based policies that stabilize rents without constraining development. The effects are complex and dependent on the specifics of how rent control is implemented.

Balancing Tenant Protections and Housing Supply

Rent control aims to help tenants struggling with rising rents, but critics argue it can discourage new housing construction and reduce supply. This presents the challenge of balancing protections for vulnerable renters while still encouraging development of new affordable housing stock. 

One approach is to impose "anti-gouging" measures that prevent egregious rent spikes, while allowing landlords reasonable increases to keep up with inflation and maintenance costs. For example, capping annual increases at 5-10% above the consumer price index (CPI). This provides some stability for tenants, while still giving landlords wiggle room to make a profit.

Another option is tying rent control to local conditions like vacancy rates. Strong tenant protections could kick in when availability is extremely low, signaling a supply shortage. Protections could be relaxed when vacancy rates increase, creating incentive for new development. 

Rent control ordinances can also exempt new construction from regulations for a period of time, encouraging more building. Allowing automatic increases after a tenant moves out helps landlords recoup renovation and turnover costs for new renters. 

An approach that helps struggling tenants now, while promoting policies that increase affordable housing stock for the future, could achieve the right balance. With creative policymaking, protections and development don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Rent Control in Other States

Rent control laws vary drastically across the United States. Some states like California and New York have extensive rent regulations and allow cities to enact their own price controls. Meanwhile, states like Texas and Florida prohibit any form of rent control.

California has some of the strongest statewide rent control laws in the nation. Cities in California can impose rent control on housing units built before 1995. Local ordinances usually limit annual rent increases to around 3-8% on eligible units. Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland have adopted their own rent control policies. 

New York also has rent stabilization laws at the state level, which enable New York City and other municipalities to implement rent caps. Around 1 million rental units in NYC fall under these regulations. Landlords can only raise rent by a set percentage each year, and tenants are entitled to lease renewals. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Texas passed a law in 2019 banning any city or county from imposing rent control. The Texas ban has similarities to Arizona's prohibition on local rent control ordinances. Landlords have full authority to raise rents without any price restrictions.

Florida is another state that preempts cities and counties from enacting rent regulations. The Florida statute states that no law can control rents unless units are subsidized by federal or state funds. There have been some recent local efforts in Miami to repeal the statewide preemption, but they have not succeeded so far.

Resources for Arizona Tenants

While rent control laws do not currently exist in Arizona, there are some resources available for tenants who are facing unaffordable rent increases:

Landlord/Tenant Organizations

  • Arizona Tenants Advocates: A nonprofit organization that provides counseling, education, and support for tenants. They can help tenants negotiate with landlords on rent increases.
  • Community Legal Services: Provides free legal help for low-income Arizonans, including services related to housing and evictions.
  • Local tenant unions: Some cities have grassroots tenant unions or associations that can provide support in disputes with landlords.

Rental Assistance 

  • Section 8 Housing Vouchers: A federal program that provides vouchers to pay a portion of rent for low-income tenants. Can limit how much tenants pay towards rent.
  • Emergency Rental Assistance: Some Arizona cities and counties have emergency rental assistance programs or nonprofits that help with a security deposit or first month's rent.


  • Resolving disputes with landlords through mediation services can sometimes lead to a compromise on proposed rent increases.

The key is for tenants to know their rights, carefully review their lease terms, document all correspondence with landlords, and seek assistance early on in disputes over rent increases they cannot afford. While Arizona may not have rent control now, there are still resources tenants can turn to for help.

Key Takeaways

  • Arizona does not have any statewide rent control laws, prohibiting cities and counties from imposing their own caps on rent increases, allowing landlords to raise rents without any legal limitations.
  • Especially in urban areas like Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, renters have experienced significant rent hikes, sometimes 10-20% annually, posing affordability challenges for those with fixed or low incomes.
  • Arizona has had a ban on rent control since 1981 (ARS 33-1328), preventing local governments from enacting rent stabilization measures, with unsuccessful attempts at repealing this ban.
  • Recent bills (HB 2086 and HB 2161) have sought to repeal the statewide ban, potentially allowing local governments to cap annual rent increases, aiming for more tenant protections against large rent spikes.
  • Landlords are obligated to maintain habitable living conditions, while tenants have rights such as a habitable dwelling, essential services, privacy, and notice before entry.
  • Rent control is seen as a way to provide stability for tenants, but critics argue it may discourage property maintenance, reduce housing quality, deter tenants from moving as needed, and disincentivize new housing construction.
  • Suggestions for balancing tenant protections with encouraging housing supply include implementing "anti-gouging" measures, tying rent control to local vacancy rates, and exempting new constructions for a period.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my landlord raise my rent at any time in Arizona?

No, landlords in Arizona must provide proper written notice before raising rent. For month-to-month leases, landlords must give tenants at least 10 days notice. For fixed term leases, rent cannot be raised during the lease period unless specifically allowed in the lease. 

Is there a limit on how much my landlord can raise the rent?

There is currently no limit on rent increases in Arizona. Landlords can raise rents by any amount with proper notice. Some proposed bills aim to cap annual rent increases at 10%.

What are my options if I can't afford a rent increase?

If you cannot afford a rent increase, communicate with your landlord to see if an agreement can be reached. Look for more affordable housing that fits your budget. Seek out financial assistance through government or nonprofit programs. Understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

What are tenant protections in Arizona regarding rent increases? 

Arizona has very limited protections for tenants against rent increases. Landlords can raise rents with proper notice and no limit on the amount. Some cities have additional local ordinances, so check your local laws.

Where can I learn more about tenant rights in Arizona?

Consult the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act, Arizona Tenants Advocates groups, and resources from the Arizona Attorney General's office. Legal aid organizations may also provide assistance.

Featured Tools
Finding and Selecting the Best Tenant
For a $2,000 monthly rental: 1. You lose $1,000 if you have your rental on the market for 15 additional days. 2. You lose $1,000+ for evictions. Learn how to quickly find and select a qualified tenant while following the law.
More Tools