Legal Essentials for Settling Tenant and Landlord Disagreements
Whether you are a landlord or tenant, it is always best to attempt to resolve a conflict without going to court. However, not all disputes are easily mediated, and your disagreement may escalate to where you both require legal counsel. The reasons for a dispute between landlords and tenants in Arizona vary, but settling tenant and landlord disagreements may be best handled with the assistance of a real estate attorney.
Failure to Disclose
Under Arizona law, landlords are required to disclose information to tenants within the rental agreement. These disclosures include non-refundable portions of the deposit, the identities of those allowed to act on the landlord’s behalf, and information about bedbugs.
Other disclosures that are required include:
- Move-in checklists
- Separate utility charges
- Business tax pass-through
- The Landlord and Tenant Act availability and rights
When a landlord does not disclose all information necessary, or they do so in an unclear manner, a dispute might arise. This can be avoided with a clearly written rental agreement that addresses all disclosures required in Arizona Revised Statute Section 33, Chapter 3.
Security Deposit Disputes
A common area where landlords and tenants will have disagreements is over the security deposit amount and the amount returned upon vacating the property. The law does limit how much a landlord can charge for their deposit. Furthermore, the deposit must be returned within 14 days after the tenant vacates.
Resolving Rental Disputes through Small Claims Court
A tenant may sue a landlord in the Justice of the Peace Court to address certain disputes. For example, Arizona law allows a tenant to sue a landlord for the return of their security deposit with a maximum of $2,500.
Tenant Withholding Rent
Tenants have the right to withhold rent, but only under particular circumstances. Therefore, if a tenant chooses to withhold rent, they must ensure that it is within their rights under the statute. For example, a tenant may withhold rent if the landlord fails to make critical repairs. “Critical” refers to repairs that are necessary for the safety of the property, such as fixing a water heater.
Termination and Eviction
A landlord can only terminate a tenancy in specific situations, such as failing to disclose a criminal record. During a cessation of tenancy and eviction, it is common for a dispute to arise between both parties.
Resolving disputes between landlord and tenant requires a thorough understanding of the tenant and landlord obligations required by the state. For your dispute, contact a real estate business attorney at Udall Shumway, PLC.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Settling Tenant and Landlord Disagreements, or any other litigation matter, please feel free to contact Stockton D. Banfield at 480.461.5356, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.