Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: I live in some apts and about 2wks ago we got a notice on our door saying we owe $146 frm this past months rent(sept) we ask what its for since we always pay a lil extra on rent. They tell us we r now since Aug. Are being billed separately for our water,trash,elected etc. Our lease states we r on a fixed rate. They say they sent out notices in April, we never got one. We asked if they changed it in our lease and they say they will not be changing it on leases cause its too much work. Can they do that? And what can we do about it?

Answer: So long as they are consistent with the general rules described in the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. Title 33 Chapter 10), the specific terms and conditions of a rental agreement determine what the rights and responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant are (A.R.S. 33-1314), and a landlord may not alter those terms and conditions during the course of a tenancy without the express (written) permission of the tenant. Only when the rental agreement comes to an end, and both parties have the option to terminate or renew that agreement, may the landlord inform the tenant that a term or condition will be changing. A unilateral notice from landlord to the tenant informing the tenant that the landlord will be billing separately for utilities in the future only applies if and when a new rental agreement is made – unless the landlord’s right to do so was included in the original agreement (A.R.S. 33-1314.01). It is a factual question: if the rental agreement says that the landlord may do something, then the landlord may do it; however, if the rental agreement says otherwise or is silent, then the landlord may not. If a landlord attempts to do something that is not permitted by the rental agreement, the tenant may wish to send a signed and dated letter to the landlord informing the landlord that Arizona law does not allow it.

QUESTIONS

  • I live in some apts and about 2wks ago we got a notice on our door saying we owe $146 frm this past months rent(sept) we ask what its for since we always pay a lil extra on rent. They tell us we r now since Aug. Are being billed separately for our water,trash,elected etc. Our lease states we r on a fixed rate. They say they sent out notices in April, we never got one. We asked if they changed it in our lease and they say they will not be changing it on leases cause its too much work. Can they do that? And what can we do about it?

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