Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Are you a landlord and are looking to learn about what rights your tenant has when it comes to selling your Arizona rental property? If so, here is a guide to ensure you stay within the precincts of the law!
The Arizona Residential Landlord & Tenants Act gives tenants a myriad of rights after a lease is established. For instance, your tenant enjoys the right to a proper removal process. Just because you own the property they are occupying doesn’t mean you can evict them anyhow.
You cannot do things like throw out their belongings, change the locks, or shut down a utility. All these are illegal eviction tactics in Arizona. To remove the tenant, you must first obtain a court order. And even then, it’s only the sheriff that can actually conduct the removal process.
Now, as a landlord, you may want to sell your Arizona property for a myriad of reasons. You may want some cash to invest in other properties, pay off debt, or even simply fund your retirement. It’s also possible that your goals may have changed along the way. It may also be because you’re looking to move and don’t want to rent out the property from afar.
With that in mind, there are certain tenant rights that you must observe before you can sell your Arizona rental property. The last thing you’d want is to get embroiled in a legal tussle with your tenant over misunderstandings.
Arizona Tenant Rights When Landlord Sells Property
Right #1: Proper Notification
You must notify your tenant before terminating the rental agreement. The notice to serve will depend on the rent payment frequency.
If your Arizona tenant is paying rent on a weekly basis, then you must give them a 10 days’ advance notice. And if they are paying rent on a monthly basis, you must serve them a 30 days’ advance notice.
Right #2: Advance Notice before Landlord Entry
This is another right you must observe when you’re looking to sell the property your tenant is residing in. Arizona law requires that landlords provide their tenants with a 2 days’ advance notice prior to entry.
The entry time must also be within normal business hours, or as agreed by both parties.
Right #3: Lease Termination Payout
Terminating a periodic lease agreement only requires proper notification as already mentioned. That said, when it comes to breaking a fixed-term lease, things can get a bit complicated.
After all, a lease is a contractually binding agreement that runs for a specific period of time. Usually between 6 months and a year. Therefore, to break the lease, you may need to compensate the tenant financially.
The most common compensation is “cash for keys”. This is a way to convince the tenant to vacate the unit in exchange for an agreed-upon sum of money. And although it may seem counterintuitive, cash for keys is usually less expensive than going through a lengthy eviction process.
If you choose this route, the following are a few things to keep in mind.
- Have an agreement in writing. It should be signed by both parties.
- Specify the amount of money that you’ll pay the tenant and the conditions under which the tenant must vacate the unit.
- The agreement must abide by Arizona laws, including the fair housing law.
Right #4: Break the Lease
Tenants in Arizona may be able to break their lease without penalty in certain situations. One of these situations is when the landlord violates the terms of the lease agreement. An example of a lease violation would be entering the unit unannounced.
And once the tenant has broken the agreement, they may be able to stay at your property for an extended period of time.
Right #5: Continue Living on the Property
If you are unable to reach an agreement on “cash for keys,” the tenant may be able to continue occupying the property even after you have sold it. After all, a lease is contractually binding.
The tenant can continue living on the property until the last day of their lease.
Right #6: Receive the Security Deposit
A security deposit is usually refundable after the end of a lease term. In Arizona, if you sell the property, you must transfer the tenant’s deposit to the new owner. The new owner will then have the responsibility to handle it in accordance with Arizona security deposit laws.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Arizona Tenant Rights When Landlord Sells Property
Q: Can my landlord sell the house I’m renting in Arizona?
A: Yes! The landlord must, however, break the lease in accordance with Arizona laws. If the lease is periodic, all the landlord would need to do is serve you proper notice. However, if the lease is fixed, then both parties will need to reach an agreement.
Q: How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out in Arizona?
A: The amount of notice will depend on the rent payment frequency. If the rent payment frequency is month-to-month, then the landlord will need to serve a 30 days’ advance notice.
Q: How do I kick a tenant out in AZ?
A: Well, you must have a legal justification to evict a tenant. You cannot simply evict a tenant because you no longer like them. Legal justifications for eviction in Arizona include nonpayment of rent, illegal activity, and no lease.
You must then follow the Arizona eviction process to the letter. Engaging in illegal eviction tactics will not only fail, but you may also find yourself in legal trouble.
To Conclude, Arizona tenants have certain rights when a landlord sells the property they are renting. As a landlord, you must abide by these rights to ensure you don’t infringe on the tenant’s right to live peacefully.
Disclosure: The content herein isn’t a substitute for advice from a professional attorney. It’s only meant to serve educational purposes. If you have a specific question, kindly seek expert attorney services.
Sources: https://www.azleg.gov/arsDetail/?title=33/#ui-id-21, https://www.hud.gov/states/arizona/renting/tenantrights, https://www.azag.gov/outreach/publications/tenants-rights-and-responsibilities-handbook-community-legal-services, https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/whats-cash-for-keys-in-a-foreclosure.html,
Hi, I’m Kelvin Nielsen, an experienced landlord and accomplished real estate lawyer. My focus is on answering your questions about renting in the hopes of making your life as a renter or a landlord a bit easier.