Most Common Ways Landlords Violate the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act Without Knowing

Apr 12, 2016 | Experts Column

Rental property owners need to understand the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act, otherwise there can be lawsuits and liability. We have noticed that there are several common areas of the law that landlords violate without even realizing it. Today, we’re sharing some examples.

Providing Notice Before Entering the Property

An owner of a rental property decided he would be his own pool service. So every week, he went to the rental property and serviced the pool. At the same time, he took a look around at the property to look for ways that the tenants might be violating their lease. He’d look for dog feces in the backyard or garbage left in the driveway. When the end of that tenancy came and it was time to refund the deposits to the tenant, there was a dispute over what the landlord was charging them. In court, the tenant didn’t hesitate to bring up that the landlord violated the law every week by failing to give the required 48 hours of notice before visiting the property.

Pro-Rated Wear and Tear Charges

Another owner decided he wanted to charge his tenants for painting the entire house. He claimed that no one had lived in that house prior to the tenants, forgetting that his parents had lived there before the tenants moved in. There was wear and tear on the paint, but some of it could be attributed to the parents. He also lost in court.

Itemizing the Security Deposit Charges

Another thing that landlords tend to do with deposits is they fail to itemize the expenses charged to a tenant correctly. One landlord saw there was damage to a wall from the tenants. He estimated that it would cost $150 to repaint the one wall, but he wanted to have his whole house painted. So the bill was $1,300 or $1,400 and he just wrote on the bill “charge tenant $150.” When the tenant took him to court, that didn’t fly with the judge. It wasn’t an itemized and specific invoice that reimbursed the owner for tenant damages.

Poor Safety

One other way that owners can violate laws or codes is with pool safety. Many owners don’t even think about their houses not meeting pool safety codes. But if a child drowns in that pool, the owner will inherit tremendous liability. We always recommend that owners with pools on the property have the pool inspected by a reputable company and have something in writing that shows the house meets pool safety codes.

There are a lot of other things we can talk about, but these are the most common legal mistakes that landlords make. If you have any questions, please contact us at McMath Realty.