The information in this page is provided as a free resource for renters in Phoenix. It is not legal advice. If you need legal advice or additional legal help, contact AZLawHelp.org

Does Phoenix have “rent control?”

Rent is not regulated in Phoenix. And cities in Arizona aren’t allowed to create their own rent control. That means landlords anywhere in Arizona can charge whatever price they think is appropriate.

What does it mean to have a “safe, habitable” place to live in Phoenix ?

Landlords in Phoenix have to do the following:

  • Follow all laws about health and safety in buildings
  • Make repairs and keep the rental in livable condition
  • Take care of the shared areas of the building, like hallways and stairwells, and keep them safe and clean
  • Make sure renters have working electricity, plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and similar services and appliances
  • Provide trash cans and garbage removal services
  • Supply running water, including hot water, at all times

Heat and Air Conditioning

Landlords in Phoenix have to supply reasonable heating and cooling—but only if heating and cooling units are installed in the rental and required by seasonal weather conditions. There aren’t specific rules about when heating or cooling is “required by weather conditions.” Landlords aren’t required to provide heating or cooling if the rental unit is built in a way that heat, air-conditioning, cooling or hot water are controlled exclusively by the renter and supplied directly by a utility company.

Hot Water

Landlords in Phoenix have to supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water, unless the rental unit is built in a way that water is controlled exclusively by the renter and supplied directly by a utility company.

Does my landlord have to provide smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in Phoenix ?

Phoenix landlords must install approved smoke detectors in each residential unit of any new housing construction. Landlords also must install an approved smoke detector in each unit if a sleeping area is remodeled and the remodel requires a permit.

Renters are responsible for keeping smoke detectors in working condition, unless the renter notifies the landlord of a malfunction in the smoke detector—the the landlord is responsible for repairing or replacing the malfunctioning smoke detector.

SixFifty couldn’t find any laws requiring landlords to provide or maintain carbon monoxide detectors in Phoenix.

How long does my landlord have to fix problems at my apartment in Phoenix?

Usually, that depends on how severe the problem is. If the repair is an emergency, which “materially affects health and safety,” landlords must make the repair within five days. For most issues, landlords should complete repairs within ten days of being notified by the tenant.

What can I do if my landlord can’t or won’t fix problems at my apartment in Phoenix?

Repair and Deduct

If a Phoenix landlord fails to make a repair after being notified of an issue, renters may be able to pay for the repair and deduct that cost from their next rent payment. There are important rules and limitations to this process.

1. The renter must notify the landlord, in writing, that the renter plans to repair the issue at the landlord’s expense.
2. The landlord has 10 days (or shorter, if the issue is an emergency) to complete the repair.
3. If the landlord still hasn’t completed the repair, the renter can pay for the work to be done by a licensed contractor
4. The renter must give their landlord an itemized receipt and a “Waiver of Lien” from the contractor. A sample Waiver of Lien can be found on page 48 of this guide from the City of Phoenix.
5. The renter can deduct up 1/2 of the monthly rent cost from their next rent payment.

Vacate

If a Phoenix landlord fails to make a repair after being notified of an issue, renters may live somewhere else and not pay rent until the issue is repaired. If the cost of living somewhere else is more than the cost of rent, renters can recover the difference from their landlord—up to 25% of the cost of rent. Because this option could require going to court, renters should talk with an attorney before starting this process.

Sue

If a Phoenix landlord fails to make a repair after being notified of an issue, renters may be able to sue for the difference between what the rental unit costs and what it should cost, considering the issue that needs repair. Renters should talk with an attorney before trying to sue their landlord.

What are the rules for security deposits in Phoenix, and how do I get my security deposit refunded?

A landlord in Phoenix can’t charge more than 1.5X rent for a security deposit. If monthly rent is $2000, for example, a landlord can’t require more than $3000 as a deposit.

Phoenix landlords must give renters a detailed list of any money deducted from a security deposit, plus any deposit money owed to the renter, within two weeks after the tenant leaves, not counting weekends or holidays.

If a renter objects to the deductions or the amount owed, they need to notify the landlord within sixty days after receiving the list. If the tenant doesn’t dispute it within that time, the amount mentioned in the list becomes final, and the tenant can’t make any more claims. The landlord must send this list and any money owed by regular mail to the tenant’s last known address unless the landlord and tenant agree, in writing, to a different process.

What kind of notice does my landlord need to give me in Phoenix?

Eviction

Before starting an eviction, a Phoenix landlord must give tenants a 5-day notice to pay.

Rent Increases

Landlords must notify tenants 30 days in advance before increasing rent.

Entry

Landlords in Phoenix are required to provide “reasonable notice” before entering a rented unit, except in cases of emergency. Forty-eight hours is usually considered reasonable, and landlords should also tell renters the reason for the entry.

Can I end my lease early in Phoenix?

If something comes up in your life, you may find that you need to end your lease early. This can be stressful and very expensive, with most leases including steep penalties and fines for early termination. Here are some potential options.

Military

If you’re active military, you may be able to terminate your lease early under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA provides certain protections for active-duty military members, including the right to terminate a lease early if you receive orders for a permanent change of station (PCS) or deployment. To terminate your lease early under the SCRA, you must provide your landlord with written notice and a copy of your orders. The notice must be provided at least 30 days before the date on which you intend to terminate the lease.

Where can I get help if I’m being evicted in Phoenix?

These Arizona organizations offer free and low cost legal services.

SixFifty can help!

Now that you know your rights as a renter in Phoenix, what can you do? Take action! SixFifty built HelloLandlord with the University of Arizona and Brigham Young University as a free resource for people who can’t afford legal help. You can use HelloLandlord to:

Tens of thousands of Americans have used HelloLandlord to assert their rights. It only takes 5 minutes to generate a high-quality letter—the kind of letter a lawyer would write. And we offer discount codes so you can send your letter by mail, right from your computer.

SixFifty is building more tools to help renters all the time. For more information, email probono@sixfifty.com.

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