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 http://azlawhelp.org/.

Does Phoenix have “rent control?”

Rent is not regulated in Phoenix. This means that the only limit on how much a landlord in Phoenix can charge for rent is what people are willing to pay. This is sometimes called a “market rate.”

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

Landlords in Phoenix have the following duties:

  1. Comply with applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety.
  2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.
  3. Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition.
  4. Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him.
  5. Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal.
  6. Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times, reasonable heat, and reasonable air-conditioning or cooling where such units are installed and offered when required by seasonal weather conditions, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat, air-conditioning, cooling or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection.

Heat and Air Conditioning

Landlords in Phoenix have a duty to supply reasonable heat and reasonable air-conditioning or cooling where such units are installed and offered when required by seasonal weather conditions unless the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is constructed in a way that heat, air-conditioning, cooling or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection.

Hot Water

Landlords in Phoenix have a duty to supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times unless the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is constructed in a way that heat, air-conditioning, cooling or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection.

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

An approved smoke detector must be installed during construction in each new residential housing unit in Arizona. An approved smoke detector shall be installed in each existing residential housing unit if a sleeping area is remodeled and if this remodeling requires a permit.  Smoke detectors must be maintained and kept operable by the tenant unless the tenant gives written notification to the landlord of its malfunction. The landlord is responsible for repairing smoke detectors if the tenant notifies the landlord of a malfunction.

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. How can you tell the difference? Issues that “materially affect the health and safety” of the tenant. A.R.S. § 33-1361(A).

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 comply, tenants may notify the landlord of the tenant’s intent to correct the condition at the landlord’s expense. After being notified by the tenant in writing, if the landlord fails to comply within ten days or as promptly thereafter as conditions require in case of emergency, the tenant may pay for the work to be done by a licensed contractor and, after submitting to the landlord an itemized statement and a waiver of lien, deduct up to a certain amount of the repair cost from their next rent payment. That amount is $300 or 1/2 of the monthly rent cost, whichever is greater.

Vacate

Procure reasonable substitute housing during the period of the landlord’s noncompliance, in which case the tenant is excused from paying rent for the period of the landlord’s noncompliance. In the event the periodic cost of such substitute housing exceeds the amount of the periodic rent, upon delivery by the tenant of proof of payment for such substitute housing, the tenant may recover from the landlord such excess costs up to an amount not to exceed twenty-five percent of the periodic rent which has been excused pursuant to this paragraph.

Sue

Recover damages based upon the reduction in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit. In other words, a tenant may sue for the difference between what the apartment costs and what it should cost, considering the issue that needs repair.

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.

Within two weeks after the tenant leaves, not counting weekends or holidays, a Phoenix landlord has to give the tenant a detailed list of all the deductions made from the deposit, along with any money owed to the tenant. If the tenant 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 will send this list and any money owed by regular mail to the tenant’s last known address unless they agree on a different way in writing.

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 state 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?

AZLawHelp

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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