Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: Is it legal for a landlord to put into our lease a statement that says "If for any reason during the duration of this lease agreement the relationship between Lessor and Lessee is soured, Landlord reserves the right to serve a 30 day written notice to vacate." Isn't this unconscionable? And shouldn't any ability to break a contract be fair to both parties?

Answer:

The following is provided for information purposes only. To find out how the law applies to a specific situation, you may want to consult with an attorney directly.

The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act governs the lawful and unlawful behavior of landlords and tenants and can be found under §§ 33-1301- 1381 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. A.R.S. § 33-1311 requires that Landlords deal with Tenants in good faith. A.R.S. § 33-1314 allows landlords and tenants the ability to create a rental agreement in any way that is not prohibited by law. The “notice” provision of a lease is generally considered a contractual matter between the landlord and the tenant, and the parties can contract for as much, or as little, “notice” as they like, so long as the amount of notice is not prohibited by law. In the event that a tenant would want to break a lease before the expiration of the lease term, there may be an early-termination penalty. These provisions are generally also considered contractual matters between the landlord and the tenant, and the lease will usually contain the penalties for early-termination. Early-termination penalties are usually valid as long as the penalties are considered “reasonable.” While the Arizona Residential Landlord & Tenant Act is silent as to what amount of notice is “unconscionable,” and what is a “reasonable” early termination fee, terms like this are generally interpreted by a judge or jury. This information is provided as information only, and is not intended to be construed as legal advice.

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QUESTIONS

  • Is it legal for a landlord to put into our lease a statement that says "If for any reason during the duration of this lease agreement the relationship between Lessor and Lessee is soured, Landlord reserves the right to serve a 30 day written notice to vacate." Isn't this unconscionable? And shouldn't any ability to break a contract be fair to both parties?

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