Important Changes to Arizona’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

By Scott Drucker, Esq., Arizona REALTORS® general counsel

A.R.S. § 33-1321 is that portion of the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act that governs security deposits. Pursuant to this statute, upon move-in, a landlord is required to furnish a tenant with a signed copy of the lease, a move-in form for specifying any existing damages to the unit, and written notification to the tenant that they may be present at the move-out inspection.

Within 14 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays or other legal holidays, after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession, the landlord must provide the tenant with an itemized list of all deductions from the tenant’s security deposit, together with the amount due and payable to the tenant.

Unhappy that they are not receiving a complete refund of their deposit, it is not uncommon for tenants to dispute any money retained by the landlord. However, to contest these deductions, tenants must now do so within a 60-day period.

H.B. 2651 was passed this legislative session and will take effect on August 3, 2018. Pursuant to this bill, A.R.S. 33-1321(D) has been amended to include the following language:

If the tenant does not dispute the deductions or the amount due and payable to the tenant within sixty days after the itemized list and amount due are mailed as prescribed by this subsection, the amount due to the tenant as set forth in the itemized list with any amount due is deemed valid and final and any further claims of the tenant are waived.

A.R.S. § 33-1318, contained within the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, enables tenants to terminate their rental agreement in the event that the tenant is the victim of domestic violence as defined in A.R.S. 13-3601.

Pursuant to H.B. 2651, the tenant’s rights under this statute will now be expanded. As of August 3, tenants will additionally have the right to terminate their rental agreement in the event that they are the victim of sexual assault in the tenant’s dwelling, pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1406.

For a tenant to exercise their rights in this regard, A.R.S. § 33-1318(A) requires that the tenant provide to the landlord a written notice requesting release from their rental agreement, accompanied with either:

(i) a copy of any protective order issued to the tenant who is the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault; or (ii) a copy of a written departmental report from a law enforcement agency stating that the tenant notified the agency that the tenant was the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.

Representative Ben Toma from Legislative District 22 was the prime sponsor of H.B. 2651 and is also a REALTOR®.

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