If you’re a landlord or a prospective tenant who is about to enter into a legally binding agreement, it’s important to fully understand each clause in that agreement, as well as the rights and responsibilities of each party under Arizona law. This is one of the points at which working with a property manager in Mesa, AZ, is invaluable. Property management services usually include drafting legally compliant lease agreements, screening tenants, collecting rent payments, and enforcing the lease agreement when necessary. Both landlords and tenants can turn to their property managers when they have questions about rent payments.
Every lease agreement should specify a date on which rent is due. Usually, rent payments must be received on the first day of each month. Arizona law allows landlords or their property managers to begin charging late fees as soon as the rent is late, provided these late fees are explained in the lease agreement and are reasonable. If the tenant does pay rent on time, but the check bounces, landlords can collect a service fee of up to $25 on top of the amount charged by the bank for check processing.
When a tenant has a month-to-month rental agreement, any increases in rent payments cannot take place until at least 30 days after the landlord provides written notification of that increase. The same applies to modifications of any other conditions of the lease. Landlords who have long-term leases cannot raise the rent until the lease period expires. An exception to this is if the lease agreement specifies that rent may be increased at a time before the lease expires. Arizona law prohibits the increase of rent for retaliatory or discriminatory purposes. For example, rent cannot be increased because a tenant complained about a rodent infestation and it cannot be raised on the basis of a tenant’s protected class, such as race or religion.
Arizona law allows for swift eviction actions for nonpayment of the rent. The day after rent is due and has not been received the landlord or property manager can send the tenant a written notice. The notice must give the tenant five days to pay the rent or to move out. If neither action occurs at the deadline, the landlord can initiate legal proceedings to evict the tenant.