Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: my landlord let me out of the leasing contract in writing. we both parties agreed on. dated and have signatures. now she is claiming that we owe her rent and pursuing damages such cleaning and carpets not clean by a professional company. I do have recits and pictures that demonstrate the contrary.

Answer: This is for informational purposes only, you may want to contact an attorney for legal advice.


Under the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act, both parties to a signed lease are bound by its terms.

The tenant is bound by an Arizona lease until the termination date, but the lease may have a “buy out” provision (also known as a liquidated damages provision), whereby the tenant pays the landlord a specified amount and the landlord lets the tenant terminate the lease early.  It is also possible (although highly unlikely) that a lease may include a provision that allows the tenant to terminate the lease if the tenant moves out-of-state, gets a new job, etc., but that is normally a provision that the landlord would have had to add to the lease form.  Assuming none of the foregoing apply, then the tenant can talk to the landlord about a “mutual termination,” whereby the tenant and the landlord sign a document terminating the lease in exchange for something (normally payment of money by the tenant to the landlord).  If the lease does not have one of the foregoing provisions and the landlord does not wish to agree to a mutual termination, then the tenant is financially responsible for rent until the end of the lease term.  If the tenant vacates sooner than that, then the tenant is obligated for all rent, late fees, and any other amounts that accrue under the lease, plus expenses incurred by the landlord to re-rent the rental unit, but less any rent the landlord collects from a new tenant before the end of the lease term.

Under A.R.S. 33-1368:

C. The landlord may recover all reasonable damages, resulting from noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or section 33-1341 or occupancy of the dwelling unit, court costs, reasonable attorney fees and all quantifiable damage caused by the tenant to the premises.

QUESTIONS

  • my landlord let me out of the leasing contract in writing. we both parties agreed on. dated and have signatures. now she is claiming that we owe her rent and pursuing damages such cleaning and carpets not clean by a professional company. I do have recits and pictures that demonstrate the contrary.

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