Q: When may a landlord enter rental property?
A: A landlord can enter a rental property for a few reasons, and absolutely never just indiscriminately. These reasons include making necessary repairs, in an emergency such as a fire or water leak or to show the property to prospective new tenants or purchasers such as when a lease is expiring.
In Arizona, only in the event of an emergency may a landlord enter the property without two days notice. Additionally, the time of entry must be at a time deemed appropriate, ie not coming late at night or very early in the morning on a weekend for example.
Q: Is advance notice required from a landlord to a tenant to enter a rental property?
A: In Arizona, two days notice is required from the landlord to enter a tenant’s rental property. This notice varies state by state and varies from no statute, to “reasonable notice”, to 24 hours or two days.
Q: If a landlord does not make necessary repairs, what are the consequences?
A: Depending on the severity of the repairs, there are different consequences. For example, a landlord failing to provide running water, gas, electricity, air-conditioning or shutting off any of those services, should be notified in writing about the problem, and you can then record the cost of obtaining those services elsewhere due to his not providing, save the receipts, and subtract the amount you paid from the next rent payment, such as buying water due to him not providing it. Another option is to sue the landlord to make him restore services and for the loss in your rental value while you went without these services.
You can also temporarily move out and subtract the time you were not able to live in the apartment due to lack of services, from the next rent payment.
Q: What if I need to break a lease early due to a job transfer or divorce or other situation?
A: In most cases, breaking a lease early will result in the loss of your security deposit minimally, if not the landlord also demanding rent payment for the remaining months on your lease. This is possibly something you and your landlord can come to an amicable agreement on, and you can review your lease agreement and see what can be worked out on this. In the event of a domestic violence issue, you can break your lease early, without penalty, and will get back your deposit. However, there are specific criteria for this, and we can advise you on this, so that you act in accordance with the law on this.
Q: What about my rights as a landlord?
A: As a landlord, you are also protected, just as a tenant is. These rights are covered under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. This is a very detailed set of regulations and is a matter of public record. Call our office for a consultation to find out if legal services will help resolve your particular issue.
Q: What can I do as a landlord if a tenant is not paying rent?
A: Non-payment of rent constitutes a breach of contract of the lease. Whether the lease is a month to month or an annual, or more, in all cases, rent must be paid. In the case of a month to month renter who does not pay, you simply evict the tenant and terminate their lease. Be sure to document everything in writing to protect yourself in the event that a tenant attempts to make false claims against you. In the event of an annual or longer lease, do not wait more than five days after rent is due before issuing a written statement. Issue a late notice, give late fees if applicable per your lease agreement, and demand payment. If no response withing 2 – 4 days, a phone call would be in order, and you should take notes of the conversation and keep such in your file. Following this call, obtain a letter from an attorney demanding full payment of all late rent plus penalties or eviction proceedings commence. At this point, if no payment, you should file for eviction. Our office can help you make this process as painless as possible.
Whether you are a landlord, or a tenant, we can help. With twenty five years of experience fighting for the rights of honest people who deserve a fair shake, Wayne Gardner’s office is on your side.
Wayne Gardner Law
Mesa, AZ 85203