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Hi, I have an ex girlfriend that has lived me for several months. The agreement is the at she pay the electric bill eve t y month. She hasn't paid in a few months. She has assaulted me several times and my son as well recently who also stays there. She isn't on the lease and I have asked her to leave but she won't. The cops said I need to serve her a notice since she has been staying there this whole time. What is the fastest way to get her out.can I just give her a 5 day notice or does it have to be a 10 day notice to cure a Breach. I dont want her to pay me, I want her out. She has been smoking pot in the room after I have asked her numerous times not to. But the hostility and the assaults have been too much to handle anymore.

Response by Carlton C. Casler: Go to justice court and get an order of protection or injunction against harassment based on the assaults. In addition, serve her with a Notice of Immediate Termination and file an eviction action based on a "material and irreparable breach" (storage and use of marijuana on the property and assault on you and your son).

My grandparents rent their house. Since my grandfather's passing a few months ago, I have made sure that my grandmother has been up-to-date on each month's reant. I am unaware of the lease agreement and am still in search of it. However, she received a Thirty Day Termination Notice (by mail, not certified). Was she supposed to have received a 5- or 10-day notice to correct a problem before receiving notice of termination? Is the property manager/landlord required to give reason for termination according to Maricopa County or Arizona state law? Being that it is not certified mail (is that lawful?), how is the best way to respond? I have been trying to research Arizona law on the matter and stumbled upon this blog. I would greatly appreciate some information and guidance. Thank you!

Response by Carlton C. Casler. It is very hard to give you a definitive answer without seeing the lease. Assuming they signed a month-to-month rental agreement or that they signed a fixed-term rental agreement that has expired and is now on a month-to-month tenancy, then the landlord must provide a written 30-Day Notice of Termination. The landlord need not send a 5-Day or 10-Day notice and no reason is required for the landlord to issue the 30-Day Notice; the landlord may simply decide to not renew the tenancy. The 30-Day Notice must be hand-delivered or sent via certified mail, but if a landlord sends a notice via any other method AND the tenant admits getting the notice, then the notice has been lawfully served (see ARS Section 33-1313.A). If, on the other hand, the fixed-term lease has not expired, then the landlord cannot terminate the lease simply by sending a 30-Day Notice of Termination unless there is something specifically written into the lease that allows it (i.e., such as the landlord being able to terminate tenancy if the property is sold).

We rented our house to tenants with a lease for one year three years ago. They have lived there ever since, but never signed a new lease. Is the original lease valid? They are getting a divorce, and husband moved out after rent was over five days past due. Do they still owe the rent for that month. We did not receive any notice they were moving out; they just didn't pay rent and they moved out. What are our options to collect rent, and how much is due us. There is substantial damage to property and the place is very dirty. There is a lot of stuff left on the premises.

Response by Carlton C. Casler: Yes, the original lease is still valid, but tenancy has converted to month-to-month. Yes, they both owe you rent for the month already due and for the following month because they did not give you 30 days advance notice of termination. Document all the damages (i.e., photos, witnesses, etc.). Account for the tenants’ deposit within 14 days – THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! Add up the total they owe you and then decide whether it is worth your while to pursue them for the amounts they owe. If under $2,500, you can go to small claims court with very little expense.

My landlord stated to me that it is Arizona Law to Professionally shampoo and steam my apartment carpet before I leave (lease ends May 29 2014). I had gone in to ensure all was ready before I left. No where in the lease did it say I had to do this. When I asked all I got was "Its AZ law!" Before I moved in, the carpet had spots, bleach stains, and carved out carpets (to hide stains) with replacement patches (I have pictures and my walk through paper states all this and they have a copy of this). I have maintained a clean carpet. But no where in the lease did it state I had to do this. I can't find anything that states I have to. I feel like they are just trying to get money from me. Thank you.
Response by Carlton C. Casler. No, there is no Arizona law that requires a tenant to professionally shampoo and/or steam clean the carpet (or other floor coverings) before you return possession of the rental unit to the landlord at the end of the lease term (or if the lease is terminated by one of the parties).

I am renting a house in Maricopa and the owner recently fired the management company we went thru to acquire the rental. We have rented the house for 3 years, and we were recently told the house is now up for sale ( short sale). We were on a month to month when we were told of the sale, and the owner wishes us to stay until sold. The management company is sending the owner our deposit. The owner lives out of state, and we now only have a verbal agreement thru owner. Now we are having issues with the various realtors "just stopping by" for a look( showing)... The owners realtor tried to schedule the first showing with only 9 hrs notice, and now realtors are stopping by to look at the house with no notice. Last night after coming home from a dinner out we had realtors just waiting for us in front of the house wanting to see the house...We reluctantly obliged, however we fear this is a tactic the owners realtor is using because we had told them we require a lawful 48 hr notice, but we will work with them....I feel this is getting out of hand and a shady realtor tactic to avoid the 48 hr notice...Advice on all issues would be appreciated....

Response by Carlton C. Casler: You have the right to insist upon two days advance notice for the owner (or the owner's agents) to view or inspect the rental property (see ARS Section 33-1343.D).

When needing to serve both a 30 Day Notice and a 5 Day Notice, can they be sent in the same envelope?

Response by Carlton C. Casler: Yes.

I have a tenant in own home and she has been late on rent since February (the month she moved in). I have been charging her late fees, however this month it is the 21st already and she still has not paid me rent. Can I personally serve her a letter stating she has 30 days to vacant? If she accepts it do I have to go through the whole court process?

Response by Carlton C. Casler: If she is a month-to-month tenant, then you may serve her with a 30-Day Notice at any time. If, as you say, she is behind on rent, I recommend serving both the 30-Day Notice and a 5-Day Notice to Pay or Quit.

My apartment complex was purchased by a new company. I signed a new lease with the new management company Feb 2013 because my old lease ended Jan 2013. My new 2013 lease says the late fee is $5 per day, but I am being charged $10 per day which is the old management company's late fee. Do I have to pay the $10 per day late fee or the $5 per day late fee that is in the new lease contract that I signed.

Response by Carlton C. Casler: The first lease expired. If you stay and continue to pay rent and the landlord accepts your rent, then your tenancy converts to month-to-month and all of the other terms of the first lease still apply. When you signed the new lease, however, the month-to-month tenancy was terminated and your new tenancy became subject to the terms of the new lease. You are subject to the $5/day late fee of the new lease.

I am renting a house to a family on a month to month basis. The agreement is that they pay every 1st of the month. The initial move-in agreement was $200 security deposit, plus the first month. I plan to move back into my house by August. When is the appropriate time to deliver a notice to vacate? If I give them a notice to vacate the property, are they responsible for the last month's payment?

Response by Carlton C. Casler: You must give at least 30 days advance notice of termination before the start of a new periodic term. The periodic term is month to month. You must give a 30 day notice of termination on or before June 30, 2013, and tenancy will then terminate on July 31, 2013. If you give the 30 day notice of termination before June 30, 2013 (i.e., June 1, 15, 25, etc.), tenancy still terminates on July 31, 2013. Yes, the tenant is still required to pay rent for July 2013. If they do not pay, then serve a 5-Day Notice to Pay or Quit on July 2, 2013.

Is not paying the security deposit agreed upon in the lease agreement a 'material Non-Compliance' or 'Non-Payment of rent'? I am not sure if I need to complete a 10 or 5 day notice. The tenant has been in the condo for 2 months and has still not given me the full security deposit.

Response by Carlton C. Casler: Failure of the tenant to pay all or part of the security deposit after the tenant has taken possession of the rental unit is a material noncompliance, which requires a 10-Day Notice.

My husband and I rented a lot in an RV resort in Surprise. We signed a rental agreement that covered the time period of May 1, 2012 thru April 30, 2013. In January 2013, we found a house and purchased it. We paid our rent through the end of January and helped the landlords find renters for February. They were able to also get it rented from March 1 - April 7. Do we still owe them rent from April 7 - April 30 if they are not able to rent it? We recently found out that they removed the "for rent" signs and stopped trying to rent it. We are trying to find other renters but the landlord is putting significant restrictions on the rental - no use of the casita, must rent for entire three week period, etc. Please let us know if we are still legally responsible. An experienced real estate professional told us that as soon as the landlord rented the lot to someone else, we were no longer responsible. Please let us know. Thank you!

Response by Carlton C. Casler. The Act is not clear on that point. After an abandonment, if the landlord re-rents the property, the lease is terminated (see ARS Section 33-1370(C)). Similarly, if the landlord fails to make reasonable efforts to re-rent the property, the rental agreement is terminated (see ARS Section 33-1370(C)). You, however, did not "abandon" the property, but some judges apply the same standard to your circumstances. And the landlord has a duty to mitigate damages in all situations (see ARS Section 33-1305(A)). Document the landlord's failure to make reasonable efforts to re-rent the property by periodically taking photographs of the property WITHOUT a "For Rent" sign posted. If the landlord pursues you for any amount, the foregoing may reduce or eliminate your liability.

I rented a townhome in mesa and later found out that the tenant lied about their previous landlord information. I used the standard AZ realty lease document which has specific language surrounding this issue on lines 91 - 100. The tenant is fighting the 10 day vacate on the grounds that state laws do not specifically address falsifying landlord information, only eviction history and other specific items. The tenant was not evicted from his previous residence but was late on rent several times at his prior residence. Moreover, he claims that the language of the lease says prior to possession. I did not find out about the false information until after he took possession of the rental. Is my claim of material falsification justifiable or is the tenant correct that what he did is not something he can be evicted for?

Response by Carlton C. Casler: A seemingly simple question, but many issues are involved. First, there is no “standard AZ realty lease document.” Presumably, you are referring the “Residential Lease Agreement” that was drafted in February 2008 by the Arizona Association of Realtors (AAR) and which may only be lawfully used by real estate agents/brokers who are members of AAR. If that is the case, then lines 91-100 provide: “Credit/Background Report(s): A credit/background report(s) application fee of $___ is due by separate payment and is non-refundable. This Agreement is conditioned on satisfactory verification and approval by Landlord of Tenant's employment, credit, banking references, income, past rental history, and criminal and/or other background check(s) prior to possession. Tenant consents to these credit/background check(s) by Landlord or Broker. Tenant shall complete a separate rental and/or credit application containing all the required information. Tenant warrants that the information is correct and complete and that Tenant has disclosed all pertinent information and has not withheld any information, including, but not limited to, poor credit, early terminations of leases, evictions or bankruptcy. TENANT’S MATERIAL FALSIFICATION OF ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED TO LANDLORD SHALL ENTITLE LANDLORD TO TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT AND PURSUE ALL APPLICABLE REMEDIES, DAMAGES, COURT COSTS AND REASONABLE ATTORNEY’S FEES. The credit history of Tenant with respect to this Agreement may be reported to any credit bureau or reporting agency.” (See AAR Residential Lease Agreement, lines 91-100 (emphasis added). The language in all capital letters (above) gives the landlord the ability to terminate the lease agreement if the information provided by the tenant is materially false. If the tenant contests the eviction and you take the case to court, the judge will need to decide if the information the tenant provided was “materially false.”

There is a statute in the LL/T Act that addresses false information provided by the tenant, which provides: “[I]f there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement, INCLUDING MATERIAL FALSIFICATION OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THE RENTAL APPLICATION, the landlord may deliver a written notice to the tenants specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than ten days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in ten days. For the purposes of this section, material falsification shall include the following untrue or misleading information about the: (1) Number of occupants in the dwelling unit, pets, income of prospective tenant, social security number and current employment listed on the application or lease agreement, (2) TENANT’S CRIMINAL RECORDS, PRIOR EVICTION RECORD AND CURRENT CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. MATERIAL FALSIFICATION OF INFORMATION IN THIS PARAGRAPH IS NOT CURABLE UNDER THIS SECTION [meaning Section 33-1368(A)(2)].” See A.R.S. Section 33-1368(A) (emphasis added). The text in all capital letters (above) may apply to your facts (you stated that your tenant “ lied about their previous landlord information,” but you did not specify the misrepresented information). Even if the statute does not apply to your situation, I believe the language in the AAR Residential Lease Agreement may be sufficient by itself to evict the tenant.

I have a rental property with two tennants. One sends me a text saying 'my boyfriend (the other tenant) broke up with me and i'm moving out so you only have one tennant now'. I went to the house the same day and all the furniture and appliances are gone, cupboards are cleared, just some shoes, a couple of chairs and miscellaneous clothes about the house. Even the car with two flat front tires is gone. I am assuming it is abondoned. Do I still need to post the notice since there is no forwarding address or can i change the locks and take over possession? I'm not concerned about getting back rent since we would like to clean it and get it back on the market asap.

Response by Carlton C. Casler: Yes, you MUST follow the abandonment procedure, otherwise you risk the tenants coming back and claiming that you unlawfully excluded them from the property and/or trespassed. Post the notice; send a copy via certified mail to the last known address (which is usually the rental property); wait five business days, then you can go in, take possession and rekey the property. Take photographs of the notice you posted and the condition of the property when you enter it to retake possession.

I had to serve a 10 day notice of non-compliance/non-curable notice on a tenant. Tenant still had 10 months left on lease agreement at time notice was served. Then tenant moved out in 7 days after notice was delivered, wrote me and email and said he move out, wants his deposit back and prorated rent for month. I never returned deposit or rent. I finally rented the property two months after he left for less money. He is now suing me for the deposit and prorated rent. Was I obligated to return rent and deposit to tenant after he left the property? And, in the eyes of the law, did the tenancy (lease) terminate at the time he moved out or was it terminated when I leased the property again?

RESPONSE BY Carlton C. Casler: There are tenants out there that know what they are doing. They set you up, just as you described. You MUST either return 100% of the tenant's refundable deposits OR send the tenant an itemized statement of deductions you are taking from their refundable deposits. You MUST do this within 14 business days AND you must do this EVEN IF the tenant owes you more (even a lot more) than the refundable deposits you are holding. Failure to do these things allows the tenant to sue you and win (and this is a guaranteed win) because of the Arizona Supreme Court Case - Schaefer v. Murphey, 131 Ariz. 295, 540 P.2d 857 (1982).

I must confess, I'm not a blog fan. but the standard of presentation makes this blog most enjoyable.

We sent a 5 day notice to our tenants for non payment of rent. At the end of the 5 day period, they had not paid rent and we left a phone message for them asking them to move out since they did not pay the rent current. They moved two days later (on the 23rd) and now they want prorated rent for this month. Are we required to do this?

Response by Carlton C. Casler:
No, you are not required to prorate their rent and, in fact, the tenants also owe for the following month, if they were month-to-month tenants, or if they were on a fixed term lease (i.e., 6 months, 1 year, etc.), then they are respondible for rent until the end of the lease or when you re-rent the property, whichever comes first.

Can I rent a residential property and operate a business on it in Laveen if zoning allows it?

Response by Carlton C. Casler. Yes, unless: (1) the lease includes language that prohibits operating a business in the leased premises or (2) the CC&R's (if applicable) prohibit operating a business in your development.

I own a condo in Mesa, AZ( Maricopa county). My tenant has locked himself out. Do I legally have to drive there to unlock the unit? I live over an hour away. Since he has his name on the lease can he call a locksmith and show proof he is allowed to live there?

Response by Carlton C. Casler. There is no statute or case law that requires you to drive over and unlock the unit. Yes, he can have a locksmith open the door. It will be up to the locksmith to determine whether the tenant has provided sufficient evidence that the tenant lives in that unit.

Well this blog is really amazing an quite informative for landlord tenants. Although it contains all the relevant information relates to their affairs and maters. As a new one, this blog is quite helpful for me to understand the nature of this business and it's affairs. Also i refer this one to those who are coming in it. Really amazing blog and thanks for sharing it.

Carlton, Thank you for the wealth of information on your site. One year ago, the rental home I was in went into foreclosure and your blog was a valuable resource. I am now faced with a less straight-forward situation and would appreciate any information you can provide. I started a new lease last year and specifically requested a multi-year lease. The landlord did not want a 2-year or 3-year lease, but agreed to an addendum to allow renewal, reading specifically: "At the end of the initial lease term from line 19 of the lease, Landlord agrees to two one year lease extensions at current lease rate of $XXXX/month subject to annual property inspection to ensure compliance with lines 127-144 "Upkeep of the Premises" of the lease, that all rents and any fines/fees are fully paid and Landlord has not delivered to tenant any notice for any breach of this Agreement or the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act." (By the way, this was the standard AZ Realtor "form" lease to which lines 127-144 refer) I requested renewal of the lease, but the Landlord responded that due to life changes she could not agree to renew my lease, the lease was now a month to month, and she would make a decision about renewal by next month. My questions are: 1) Is she bound by the original addendum to renew my lease? (I have met my obligations under the performance clause: paid on-time, every time; have not been served with notice for any breach; have maintained a clean residence) 2) What (if any) are my recourse options? My ideal case would be to continue living in the current house, is there a way to force the original contract to be honored? If it is not, do I have recourse for financial compensation for being induced into the contract (i.e. it was represented that this would be a multi-year arrangement and the renewal clause was being included in case I did not pay regularly or damaged the property). 3) If there are additional resources I should review or people I should consult, please let me know. Thank you for your time, Todd

Response by Carlton C. Casler:
1. Yes, she is bound by the original addendum. 2. Send notice via certified mail that you wish to extend your lease for one year, pursuant to the addendum to the lease. Try to get the landlord to specify in writing why she is refusing to extend your lease (if she hasn’t already). If she says it is because you did not comply with one or more of the requirements, that will be bad. But you said you have complied with all the requirements, so if the landlord points to ANYTHING other than the written requirements, then (under the facts you have given me) you will prevail in court, if litigation becomes necessary. 3. Not at this time.

My boyfriend and I rented a Vacation home in AZ, in 2009 for 18 months. We went month to month after that for another 6 months. We did have children living in our home (but the landlord knew this and they were on our lease). We also have two cats that were also on our list of "tenants". We rented the house fully furnished. When we moved in, we never received a list of items that were in the house, the house was cleaned (somewhat) by friends of the landlord, rugs were NOT cleaned before we moved in. We moved out (with a MORE than 30 day notice) on July 15,2011, and it is now August 18, 2011 and we have not heard anything from our old landlord about what damages he would charge us for or a check for the deposit we paid. I knew that the laws in AZ state that he has 14 days (minus Sat., Sun., and holidays) to get us a list of what the deposit is being used for. Can you tell us what recourse we have to recover our deposit?

Response by Carlton C. Casler: The landlord has 14 business days to return your refundable deposits after the last of three events: (1) termination of tenancy, (2) transfer of possession of the rental unit by the tenant to the landlord and (3) demand by the tenant. Your narrative suggests that the first two have been done, but not the third. Send a letter requesting return of your refundable deposits. Send it via certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep a copy. If the landlord does not either: (1) refund all your deposits or (2) provide you with an itemized list of deductions taken from your deposits, along with a check for your remaining refundable deposits (if any), then the landlord has not complied with the Act and you may sue for return of your refundable deposits PLUS twice the amount of your deposits that were wrongfully withheld. (See ARS Sec. 33-1321).

I have tenants whose rent was due June 15. They ducked me for awhile, then promised to pay, then ducked me again. I began to serve them notices, however, I assumed that since I could lock the notice inside the security door that it would be sufficient. I served a 5-day Pay or Quit in this way, I also posted a 48 hour notice to enter. Each time, in addition to taking a picture of the posted notice, I also sent a copy by regular mail, email, text, left voice mail on their cell phones and also messages on their answering machine with local phone (which I provide.) I was never able to get a response. After 48 hours I did enter the unit to find out whether they had vacated or not. A strange woman, two extra children, the tenants' children were there and the tenants themselves were locked in the bedroom. We discussed the pay or quit after the male came out of the bedroom. He acknowleded the overdue rent, gave me a song and dance and then said he would deposit the rent due. They did, $2750, so I immediately took the same steps of posting, and gave them a 10 Day Termination Notice because of the amount of people who are living in my now trashed, vacation rental. Four days later, the check bounced. I posted another 48 hour notice to enter and the woman denied that I had a right to be there because I did not send it certified mail. In addition, she threatened me with litigation sharing the info that she was quite good at it and could possibly end up owning my unit. I went home and ordered your new book. Okay, obviously the rent is way overdue and they have breached the lease the month to month lease. Tomorrow is Monday which would be the day that I can file the Forcible Detainer after the 10 day Notice of Termination. I wonder if I have to wait and mail a certified mail Pay or Quit because I had not done so with the original document? Could the judge throw this out? I had a witness with me when I discussed the Pay or Quit with the male tenant. Should I just start over and then sue for all the rent and damages?

Response by Carlton C. Casler. Many issues and many questions. Under the Act, notices may be served in person or via certified mail. In addition, notices may be served by "any means," IF the tenant admits receipt of the notice. The “safe thing” to do would be to serve a new 5-Day Notice to Pay or Quit via certified mail. By “safe,” I mean the method that is least likely to result in dismissal of your eviction action. Alternatively, you could serve a 5-Day Notice via certified mail and simultaneously file the eviction action, but you run the risk that a judge may find that you did not follow the notice requirements of the Act.

My landlord is selling the house I have been renting. I am on a month to month lease. Two questions; They said I had two options, either a 2 hour or 30 minute announcement before showing the house to potential buyers, does the 48 hour written notice to enter apply to this instance as well? And does the landlord still have to give me 30 days notice to vacate? I don't want to be left homeless and she said she wants to keep me as long as possible.

Response by Carlton C. Casler. Whether a sale of the rental property is pending or whether a foreclosure is pending or has already taken place, the Act still applies and the owner (old owner or new owner, depending on who owns the property at the time the notice is given) must give you two days advance notice of the landlord’s intent to enter and inspect/show the property. Before the foreclosure sale, the old landlord can give you a 30 day notice to vacate. After the foreclosure sale, the new owner can terminate your month-to-month tenancy, but must give you 90 days advance notice.

My tenant had given me a 30-day notice to vacate, but failed to leave the premises. Am I able to serve her with a 5 Day Notice to Pay or Quit?

Response by Carlton C. Casler: Maybe. If the tenant has not paid rent, then, yes, you may serve a 5-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. If the tenant pays, however, you have sent a notice asking for payment, which means you must allow the tenant to stay if the rent is paid. If you don't want the tenant to stay, then serve a 5-Day Demand for Possession. If the tenant does not vacate, then file an eviction action with the court. Your tenant is also a "holdover tenant," which may entitle you to two months rent, so that claim should be included in the eviction lawsuit. (See ARS 33-1375C).

I am planning to hand-deliver a Five Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. Does my tenant have to sign it? And what if he refuses?

Response by Carlton C. Casler: The Act does not require the tenant to sign for the notice. If, however, you expect the tenant to deny receipt of the notice, then the best practice is to: (1) bring a witness when you hand-deliver the notice (the witness should be willing/able to testify in court) and (2) send via certified mail, return receipt requested.

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