Arizona Tenant-Landlord Rental Laws & Rights for 2024

Introduction to Arizona Landlord-Tenant Laws

Arizona landlord-tenant laws govern the rental process and relationship between landlords and tenants in the state of Arizona. These laws provide the framework for the rights, responsibilities, and procedures that both parties must follow when entering into a rental agreement. 

The primary laws that regulate Arizona landlord-tenant relationships are found in the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act (ARLTA), which is outlined in Arizona Revised Statutes Title 33 Chapter 10. This law covers topics like rental agreements, security deposits, habitability standards, rent rules, evictions, and more.

In addition to state law, federal laws like the Fair Housing Act also apply to Arizona rental housing. Local city and county ordinances may also impose additional requirements for landlords and tenants in certain areas.

Key resources for understanding Arizona rental laws include the state statutes, federal laws, local ordinances, and published guides from organizations like the Arizona Tenants Advocates and Arizona Multihousing Association. Legal aid organizations also provide assistance for renters and landlords dealing with disputes or questions related to their rights and responsibilities.

This guide provides an overview of the major aspects of Arizona landlord-tenant law. However, both tenants and landlords should conduct further research and may need to consult with an attorney for guidance on handling specific issues that arise during their rental relationship. Thorough knowledge of the applicable laws is key for avoiding disputes and ensuring a smooth rental process.

Arizona Tenant Rights

Tenants in Arizona have several key rights under state law.

Right to Habitable Living Conditions

Arizona law requires landlords to provide tenants with safe, clean, and habitable living conditions. This means properties must have working utilities, hot water, heating and cooling (where provided), smoke detectors, and no infestations of pests, mold, or other hazards. Landlords are required to make any repairs needed to maintain habitable conditions. 

If a rental unit is deemed uninhabitable due to violations of building, housing, and health codes, tenants have the right to terminate the lease or stay and withhold rent until repairs are made.

Protection From Retaliation

Tenants are protected from retaliation if they make legitimate complaints to a landlord about needed repairs or substandard conditions. Landlords cannot retaliate by attempting to evict a tenant, raising the rent, decreasing services, refusing to renew a lease, or taking other punitive actions.

Right to Withhold Rent for Needed Repairs

If a landlord fails to make vital repairs needed to maintain habitable conditions, tenants have the legal right to withhold rent or make the repairs themselves and deduct the costs from rent. This right applies to repairs related to utilities, hot water, heating and cooling, or other conditions that seriously impact health and safety. Proper notice must be given to the landlord before withholding rent.

Arizona Tenant Responsibilities

Tenants in Arizona have a number of key responsibilities they must uphold according to state law. Failure to meet these responsibilities could lead to consequences imposed by the landlord, including fines, fees, or even eviction.

Pay Rent On Time

One of the primary duties of any tenant is paying rent fully and on time every month. The rent amount and due date should be clearly outlined in the written rental agreement. If a tenant cannot pay on time for any reason, they should communicate proactively with the landlord before the due date. Landlords are not required to allow grace periods for late rent under Arizona law.

Keep Unit Clean and Undamaged 

Tenants are responsible for keeping their rental unit in clean and undamaged condition throughout their tenancy. This means properly disposing of garbage, maintaining sanitary conditions, and preventing property damage beyond normal wear and tear. Tenants may need to pay repair or cleaning costs at the end of a lease if the unit is left excessively dirty or damaged.

Comply With Lease Terms

Tenants must abide by all terms and conditions in the lease agreement, including guest policies, noise restrictions, pet rules and more. Tenants should thoroughly review the lease and follow all rules to avoid violations and penalties. Breaking major lease clauses could potentially lead to eviction.

Arizona Landlord Rights

Landlords in Arizona have certain rights when it comes to renting property. These include:

Right to Collect Rent

Landlords have the right to charge rent for the use of their property. This includes collecting monthly rent payments as outlined in the lease agreement. If a tenant does not pay rent on time or in full, the landlord can take actions such as issuing notice to pay or quit, charging late fees, or pursuing eviction.

Right to Charge Late Fees  

Arizona landlords can charge late fees if a tenant does not pay rent on time, as specified in the lease. The late fee amount and when it applies should be clearly stated in the written rental agreement. Landlords cannot charge unreasonable or excessive late fees.

Right to Enforce Lease Terms

The lease agreement is a legally binding contract between the landlord and tenant. Arizona landlords have the right to enforce all applicable terms and conditions of the lease. This includes things like rental payment rules, guest policies, pet policies, and maintenance expectations. If a tenant violates the lease, the landlord can issue a notice to comply or quit before taking further action.

Arizona Landlord Responsibilities

Landlords in Arizona have a duty to maintain rental properties in a habitable and livable condition. This responsibility begins as soon as a tenant moves in and continues throughout the entire rental period. 

The habitability responsibility means landlords must provide tenants with a unit that is structurally sound, weatherproof, free of infestations, and equipped with basic amenities like hot water, heat, and electricity. Landlords are required to make any necessary repairs in a timely manner to address defects that could impact the tenant's health or safety.

Arizona law does not specify a timeframe for landlords to complete repairs once notified by a tenant. However, repairs that affect habitability or essential services should be addressed immediately or within a few days. More minor repairs should still be handled promptly, such as within a week or two at most.

Landlords must also provide proper advance notice before accessing the rental unit for non-emergency reasons. In Arizona, state law requires at least 24 hours written notice. Notice can be reduced to immediate access for emergency repairs that require prompt attention.

By properly maintaining the unit's habitable condition, completing repairs, and providing sufficient notice before entry, landlords can fulfill their key responsibilities under Arizona law. Adhering to these landlord duties helps ensure a smooth rental relationship.

Arizona Rental Laws Through The Rent Cycle

Arizona landlords and tenants are protected under various federal landlord-tenant laws during the rental process.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Arizona landlords cannot refuse to rent, charge higher rents, or impose different rules on tenants who are members of protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.

Arizona landlords must also follow all requirements under the lead paint disclosure law. Homes built before 1978 that contain lead-based paint hazards must be disclosed to tenants before leases take effect. Landlords must provide tenants with an EPA-approved information pamphlet on lead risks.

Tenants who are active military members are protected under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Provisions relevant to Arizona rentals include prohibitions on evictions if rent is under $3,851.03 per month, and bans on lease terminations without a court order. 

The federal laws above add important protections for Arizona landlords and tenants during the rental process. Following these rules helps provide fair housing and a smooth landlord-tenant relationship.

Arizona Rental Application and Tenant Screening Laws

When renting in Arizona, landlords have the right to screen prospective tenants by having them complete a rental application and running a credit check. There are some key laws that govern this process:

Application Fees

Landlords in Arizona can charge an application fee to cover the costs of processing the rental application and running background checks. There is no limit on how much landlords can charge for the application fee. It's common for landlords to charge $25-$50 per application.

Credit Checks 

Landlords are allowed to run credit checks on applicants to determine their financial responsibility. Landlords must follow fair credit reporting laws and disclose that they are obtaining a credit report. Applicants must give written consent. 


Federal and Arizona fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in tenant screening. Landlords cannot deny housing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability. There are certain exceptions for senior housing. Landlords also cannot reject applicants solely for being on public assistance.

Tenant Screening Reports

If a landlord denies an application based on negative information from a tenant screening company, they must provide the applicant with contact information for the screening company as required by the FCRA. Applicants have a right to dispute any incorrect information.

Reasons for Denial

Common legitimate reasons landlords can reject an applicant include poor credit history, prior evictions, criminal convictions for certain types of crimes, or verified previous lease violations. However, blanket bans are usually unlawful.

Arizona Rental Agreement Laws

Arizona state law allows for both oral and written rental agreements. However, written leases provide more legal protection and clarity for both landlords and tenants.

If a tenant occupies a unit without signing a lease, this establishes a month-to-month oral rental agreement by default. The landlord or tenant must provide 30 days written notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy.

Landlords and tenants can agree to a fixed term lease, commonly 6 months or 1 year. At the end of the lease term, if neither party terminates the agreement, it will automatically convert to a month-to-month rental.  

To terminate a fixed term lease, proper notice must be provided before the end of the lease. Typically this is 30 days for the tenant and 60 days for the landlord. Proper procedures must be followed with written notice of termination.

If the landlord seeks to terminate a periodic tenancy, they must provide a written 30 day notice. Tenants terminating must provide landlords with a written 30 day notice as well. 

Proper notice consists of the termination date and intention to end the tenancy. Notices to vacate must be delivered properly, typically by certified mail or hand delivery. Tenants who do not vacate after proper notice face eviction procedures.

Arizona Security Deposit Laws

Arizona security deposit laws do not have a limit on the amount a landlord can charge for a security deposit. Landlords have the right to charge any amount they deem necessary to cover potential damages and other tenant obligations. 

Landlords must return the full security deposit within 14 days after the tenant has vacated the unit and provided a forwarding address. If any deductions are taken from the deposit, the landlord must include an itemized statement explaining the reasons for each deduction.

Common reasons a landlord can make deductions from the security deposit include:

  • Unpaid rent
  • Damage repairs beyond normal wear and tear 
  • Cleaning costs if the unit was left dirty
  • Late fees or other charges owed by the tenant

If a landlord does not return the deposit or provide an itemized deduction statement within 14 days, the tenant can sue to recover up to twice the amount wrongfully withheld.

It is important for tenants to properly document the condition of the unit when moving in and out to dispute any unreasonable deductions. Taking photos and keeping a record of repairs can help the tenant get their full deposit returned.

Arizona Rent Control Laws

Arizona does not have any rent control or rent stabilization laws, meaning landlords can freely set rental rates for their properties. There are no limits on how much landlords can increase rent. However, landlords must provide advance written notice before raising rent on month-to-month tenants.

Arizona law does not require a grace period for late rent payments. Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due on the date specified in the lease agreement. The landlord can charge late fees immediately after rent is past due.

For month-to-month tenants, landlords must provide 30 days advance written notice before increasing rent. This gives tenants time to decide if they want to accept the new rate or terminate their tenancy. 

If the tenant has a fixed term lease, the landlord cannot raise the rent during the lease term unless specifically allowed by the lease. Once the lease expires, the landlord can raise the rent to market rate by providing proper notice.

Some cities have additional local rent laws, so landlords and tenants should research the specific jurisdiction where the rental property is located. But overall, Arizona gives landlords broad discretion when it comes to setting and raising rents.

Eviction Law in Arizona

Eviction procedures in Arizona are governed by state laws designed to ensure a fair process for both landlords and tenants. The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act outlines the legal grounds for eviction, notice requirements, and the eviction process.

Landlords in Arizona can evict tenants for several reasons, including:

  • Nonpayment of Rent: If the tenant fails to pay rent on time.
  • Lease Violations: If the tenant violates any terms of the lease agreement, such as having unauthorized pets or damaging the property.
  • Illegal Activity: If the tenant engages in illegal activities on the property.
  • End of Lease Term: If the lease term ends and the landlord decides not to renew it.

Notice Requirements

Before filing for eviction, landlords must provide tenants with proper notice (A.R.S. § 33-1368):

  • Nonpayment of Rent: Landlords must provide a 5-day notice to pay rent or vacate the property.
  • Lease Violations: For lease violations, landlords must give a 10-day notice to cure the violation or vacate.
  • Unconditional Quit Notice: For severe lease violations or illegal activities, landlords can issue an immediate notice requiring the tenant to vacate without the option to remedy the violation.

Eviction Process

If the tenant does not comply with the notice, the landlord can proceed with the eviction process:

  1. Filing a Complaint: The landlord files a complaint with the local justice court to begin the eviction proceedings.
  2. Summons and Complaint: The court issues a summons and complaint to the tenant, outlining the reasons for eviction and the court date.
  3. Court Hearing: Both the landlord and tenant appear in court. The tenant has the opportunity to present a defense.
  4. Judgment: If the court rules in favor of the landlord, a judgment for possession is issued.
  5. Writ of Restitution: If the tenant does not vacate the property within the time specified by the court, the landlord can request a writ of restitution, allowing law enforcement to remove the tenant.

Tenant Defenses

Tenants have the right to present defenses during the eviction process, such as:

  • Payment of Rent: Proving that rent was paid in full.
  • Remedying Lease Violations: Demonstrating that lease violations were corrected.
  • Retaliatory Eviction: Arguing that the eviction is retaliatory in nature.
  • Habitability Issues: Showing that the landlord failed to maintain the property in a habitable condition.

Tenants and landlords can seek assistance from various resources, including:

  • Arizona Department of Housing: Provides information on landlord-tenant laws and rights.
  • Community Legal Services: Offers legal assistance to low-income tenants facing eviction.

Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act: Comprehensive guide to state laws governing landlord-tenant relationships.

Squatters’ Rights in Arizona

Squatters' rights, also known as adverse possession, allow individuals to claim legal ownership of a property under specific conditions. In Arizona squatters’ rights are governed by state statutes that outline the requirements for a squatter to gain ownership.

To successfully claim adverse possession in Arizona, a squatter must meet the following criteria:

  • Continuous Possession: The squatter must occupy the property continuously for a statutory period of at least 10 years (A.R.S. § 12-526).
  • Open and Notorious Possession: The occupation must be obvious to anyone, including the rightful owner. The squatter cannot hide their use of the property.
  • Hostile Possession: The possession must be without the permission of the property owner. Hostile in this context means that the squatter is using the property as their own, contrary to the interests of the owner.
  • Exclusive Possession: The squatter must possess the property exclusively, without sharing control with others, including the owner.
  • Actual Possession: The squatter must physically use the property, such as living on it, making improvements, or cultivating it.

Steps to Claim Adverse Possession

  1. Document the Possession: Squatters should document their use of the property, including any improvements made, property maintenance, and other actions demonstrating ownership.
  2. Pay Property Taxes: While not always required, paying property taxes can strengthen a squatter's claim to adverse possession by demonstrating an additional level of ownership intent.
  3. File a Quiet Title Action: After meeting all the conditions for adverse possession, the squatter can file a lawsuit to obtain a court order, known as a "quiet title action," to officially gain legal ownership of the property.

Preventing Adverse Possession

Property owners can take several steps to prevent adverse possession claims, including:

  • Regularly Inspecting Properties: Owners should periodically check on their properties, especially if they are vacant or not in active use.
  • Posting "No Trespassing" Signs: Clearly marking the property boundaries with "No Trespassing" signs can deter potential squatters.
  • Taking Legal Action: If a squatter is discovered, the owner should take immediate legal action to remove them from the property.

Frequently Asked Questions

What rights do tenants have in Arizona?

Tenants in Arizona have several rights, including the right to a habitable living environment, protection against retaliation and discrimination, and the right to privacy with proper notice for entry. They can also request repairs and withhold rent if the landlord fails to maintain the property in a habitable condition.

How much notice does a landlord have to give when ending a lease in Arizona?

For month-to-month tenancies, landlords must provide a 30-day notice to end the lease. For fixed-term leases, the lease typically ends automatically at the conclusion of the term, but it is good practice for landlords to give a reminder notice 30 days before the end date.

What can't a landlord do in Arizona?

Landlords cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. They also cannot retaliate against tenants for exercising their legal rights, such as filing complaints or joining tenant organizations. Additionally, landlords cannot enter the rental property without providing proper notice, except in emergencies.

Can a landlord evict you immediately in Arizona?

No, landlords cannot evict tenants immediately. They must follow the legal eviction process, which includes providing proper notice and obtaining a court order. Immediate eviction without notice is only possible in cases of severe lease violations, such as illegal activities, which still require a legal process.

What is the Tenant Protection Act in Arizona?

Arizona does not have a specific "Tenant Protection Act," but tenant protections are outlined in the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. This act provides guidelines for rental agreements, tenant and landlord rights, and the eviction process to ensure fair treatment of tenants and landlords.

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