Your lease or rental agreement should spell out your landlord’s key rent rules, including:
State laws in Arizona cover several of these rent-related issues, including limits on late fees, the amount of notice a landlord must provide to increase rent under a month-to-month tenancy, and how much time a tenant has to pay rent or move before a landlord can file for eviction.
Arizona Rules on Late Fees
Rent is legally due on the date specified in your lease or rental agreement (usually the first of the month). If you don’t pay rent when it is due, the landlord may begin charging you a late fee. Under Arizona law, late fees must be set forth in a written rental agreement and must be reasonable. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33-1368(B) (2020).)
Arizona Rules on Bounced Check Fees
Arizona allows recipients of bounced checks (such as landlords) to collect a service fee of no more than $25, plus the amount charged by the landlord’s bank for processing the check. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 44-6852 (2020).)
Amount of Notice Arizona Landlords Must Give Tenants to Increase Rent
Arizona landlords must give tenants at least 30 days’ notice (in writing) to increase rent or change another term of a month-to-month rental agreement. If you have a long-term lease, however, landlords may not increase the rent until the lease ends and a new tenancy begins—unless the lease itself provides for an increase. Landlords may, however, adopt new rules and regulations that don’t substantially modify the rental agreement after giving tenants 30 days’ notice. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 33-1342, 33-1375 (2020).)
Rent Increases as Retaliation or Discrimination
Arizona landlords may not raise the rent in a discriminatory manner—for example, only for members of a certain race. Also, Arizona landlords may not use a rent increase in retaliation against you for exercising a legal right—for example, in response to your legitimate complaint to a local housing agency about a broken heater. Retaliation is presumed if the landlord takes certain actions within 6 months of the tenant’s act. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33-1381 (2020).)
Arizona State Laws on Termination for Nonpayment of Rent
States set specific rules and procedures for ending a tenancy when a tenant has not paid the rent. Arizona landlords must give tenants at least five days in which to pay the rent or move. If the tenant does neither, the landlord can file for eviction. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33-1368 (2020).)
Arizona Guide to Tenant Rights
For an overview of tenant rights when it comes to paying rent under Arizona landlord-tenant law, check out the Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, provided on the Arizona Attorney General’s website.
Federal and state statutes, as well as local ordinances, set out rules and procedures landlords and tenants must follow. These statutes and ordinances can change, so checking them is always a good idea. How courts interpret and apply the law can also change. These are just some of the reasons to consult a local landlord-tenant attorney if you have any questions or are (or plan to be) involved in a lawsuit. The Arizona State Legislature’s website is a good source for finding the most recent state statutes, and the Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute is a good source for federal statutes. Most of the time, you can find applicable local ordinances on your city’s or county’s website.
Also, visit the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo for advice on finding and reading statutes and court decisions.