questions & answers
Question: I am a landlord and my tenant has notified me that they will most likely terminate their lease early as they want a bigger unit to start a family. The lease agrement states that if a tenant leaves early then then that means forfeiture of their security deposit. Is this legal for a landlord to doin Arizona?
Answer: Arizona Revised Statutes 33-1370 (full statute pasted below) governs abandonment of rental property. If you do not accept the termination of the lease, You may be able to treat the property as abandoned. If you do so, you must send and post a notice of abandonment for 5 days. After 5 days, you may retake the dwelling unit and re-rent it at a fair value if no personal property remains. After you retake possession, the security deposit is "forfeited and shall be applied to the payment of any accrued rent and other reasonable costs incurred by the landlord by reason of the tenant's abandonment." You must make reasonable efforts to re-rent at a fair rental. If you re-rent it before the expiration of the lease, the old lease is terminated as of the date of the new tenancy. A downside here is, before you re-rent it, I suppose the tenants could come back arguing the lease had not yet terminated. You could also "evict" them for non-payment of rent, but in today's climate, that option may be the less desirable one. Finally, I think you could come to an agreement with them to terminate the lease and agree to accept the security deposit as damages. If you did so, that would limit your damages. You may be able to pursue them for more if you are unable to re-rent the property and the lease has more time on it. Here is a link to the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act containing the statutes I referenced and other helpful statutes. Please do be sure to comply with the specific notice requirements in each statute: https://housing.az.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/Landlord-Tenant-Act-ADOH-Publication-July-2018_0.pdf
I am a landlord and my tenant has notified me that they will most likely terminate their lease early as they want a bigger unit to start a family. The lease agrement states that if a tenant leaves early then then that means forfeiture of their security deposit. Is this legal for a landlord to doin Arizona?
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