What You Need to Know About Rental Agreements in Arizona

An Arizona rental agreement is a legal contract between a landlord and a tenant. The lease must be carefully drafted since it will provide the framework for resolving any disputes arising from the landlord-tenant relationship.  Accordingly, landlords must make sure the agreement is legally binding, and protective of the landlord’s rights and interests in the property.  Here is a summary of what must be included in the agreement, what should be included, and what cannot be included under Arizona law.    

Requirements of an Arizona Rental Agreement

The essential requirements for a rental agreement in Arizona include: (1) identifying information of both parties, (2) address and legal description of the property, (3) whether pets are allowed and any pet conditions, (4) rent details (such as the lease term, amount due, security deposit, and payment methods) and (5) disclosures about safety hazards or health risks.

Arizona landlords must also include a move-in checklist (to be returned within 5 days by the tenant) taking inventory of any existing property damage and an inventory of the rental unit. This enables accurate itemized deductions from a security deposit at the end of the lease.

Arizona leases must also provide notice that tenants may freely review the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, preferably including a URL link to the Act. Arizona rental units sharing a master meter for utilities must have the landlord disclose the method of apportioning charges, meter readings before and after the term of payment, how each utility is charged, and any fees charged to the tenants.

Arizona landlords must also include specific educational materials about bed bug infestations with every lease. In addition, for any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a Arizona residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure with an EPA informational pamphlet, plus notice of any lead hazards on the property.

Suggested Provisions of an Arizona Lease Agreement

The lease agreement is a good place to address issues like smoking, overnight guests, renters’ insurance, abandoned property and your right of entry into the premises. 

Prohibited Provisions in Arizona Rental Agreements

In Arizona, rental agreements cannot include the following: (1) the tenant’s agreement to waive rights or remedies under the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act, (2) the tenant’s agreement to pay the landlord’s attorney fees, except a prevailing party attorney fee clause, (3) the tenant’s agreement to limit the landlord’s liability under Arizona law or to indemnify the landlord for that liability, and (4) the tenant’s agreement to waive or limit the tenant’s right to summon a peace officer or other emergency assistance in response to an emergency.

If a landlord deliberately uses a rental agreement containing prohibited provisions, the tenant may recover actual damages sustained by the tenant and not more than two months’ periodic rent.  In addition, a tenant may bring a civil action for injunctive or declaratory relief to correct any violations, actual damages sustained by the tenant or prospective tenant, a civil penalty of three times the monthly rent, court costs and reasonable attorney fees.

Lease Termination

Arizona landlords and tenants may terminate a month-to-month lease with 30 days advance notice (10 days, for week-to-week leases). A fixed-term lease usually can’t be terminated early without active military duty, landlord harassment, uninhabitable property, domestic abuse or sexual harassment.

Please contact Lynx Legal at 888-441-2355 or with any questions regarding rental agreements in Arizona. Our experienced professionals are standing by to assist in any way we can.

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