Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: I leased a house and because of my credit was told if I wanted to rent it, I had to pay, at move in, the first months rent, deposit of one month and a full second month rent, so a total of 3 months rent. I believe that is illegal. Second issue, the house sold and the management company only transferred 1 months rent to new owners as my deposit, not 2 mo. I asked them about it and they never got back to me saying they had to locate the rent roles. I recently brought it back up with them and was told "Nothing we can do, we are done with that property:" How can I get my money back from them?

Answer: The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act states that a landlord may not “demand or receive” an amount equaling more than one and one half month’s rent as either “security” or “pre-paid rent,” but that a tenant may “voluntarily” pay additional rent in advance (A.R.S. 33-1321(A)). This usually becomes an issue when a landlord unlawfully tries to claim that more than 1.5 months of the tenant’s initial payment was non-refundable. The general problem of what happens to security deposits and pre-paid rent when one landlord sells to another is a related but different issue. Under Arizona law, the original landlord’s obligations toward the tenant (including any payments received) automatically transfer to the new landlord so long as the original rental agreement exists, but, from a practical perspective, it does not always happen. If the new landlord does not respond in a helpful way to the tenant’s written request for clarification, then the tenant may wish to seek legal advice. There are links to free and low-cost legal services on this website (at http://www.azlawhelp.org/accessToJustice).

QUESTIONS

  • I leased a house and because of my credit was told if I wanted to rent it, I had to pay, at move in, the first months rent, deposit of one month and a full second month rent, so a total of 3 months rent. I believe that is illegal. Second issue, the house sold and the management company only transferred 1 months rent to new owners as my deposit, not 2 mo. I asked them about it and they never got back to me saying they had to locate the rent roles. I recently brought it back up with them and was told "Nothing we can do, we are done with that property:" How can I get my money back from them?

STORIES

LegalLEARN

YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED

FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS