The Arizona Residential Landlord & Tenant Act is codified in Title 33 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Chapter 10 of the Revised Statutes requires landlords and tenants to comply with the state’s specific laws governing the use of security deposits and when landlords must return them to their tenants.
Arizona law limits the amount landlords may charge as a security deposit to 1 1/2 months of rent. Landlords who require both upfront rental payments and security deposits cannot charge more than 1 1/2 month’s rent for both. Landlords must disclose the purpose of their security deposits in writing, and they must disclose which fees are nonrefundable. If they fail to disclose an itemized list of nonrefundable fees, they must return the entire deposit to their tenants at the end of the lease term.
The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires that landlords return their tenants’ security deposits within 14 days of their vacancies. The 14-day deadline excludes weekends and holidays. Landlords who are deducting from their security deposits must send their tenants an itemized list of all deductions and charges within 14 days. If a landlord fails to provide her tenant with a written itemization, then her tenant has an automatic legal right to sue her. Landlords must send their itemizations and remaining security deposits to their tenants using first-class mail to their last known address.
Arizona law allows landlords to use their tenants’ security deposits and advance rent payments to cover unpaid rent. If their tenants fail to terminate their lease agreements with mandatory written notice within the notice period, landlords may apply their security deposits and advance rent payments toward the remaining rent payments. However, Arizona law requires landlords to mitigate their damages and attempt to rent their vacant homes to other suitable tenants.
Arizona courts can order damages to tenants equal to twice the amount of the security deposits their landlords failed to return. For leases after January 1, 1996, Arizona law requires landlords to send each of their tenants a written and duly executed copy of their lease with a move-in checklist documenting existing damages to the tenant’s rental. Landlords must also notify each of their tenants of their rights to conduct a post-vacancy walk-through with them to document damages.