As we all know, statutes and interpretations of the law change all the time. There have been some recent changes that landlords need to be aware and some of these changes may require some changes in the landlord’s current lease or forms.
As many of you are aware, the Department of Housing issued new guidance on April 4, 2016 that requires anyone offering residential rentals to revisit their rental criteria. This article discusses how The Fair Housing Act applies to the use of criminal history by landlords.
The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 was set to expire on December 31, 2014, if it was not extended through further legislation. According to information received from the office of Arizona Congressman David Schweikert (R-6th Dist), and confirmed by the office of Arizona Congressman Trent Franks (R-8th Dist), the PTFA extension was not included in any end of year legislation, and has therefore expired.
Synopsis of A.R.S. § 33-1260.01 & A.R.S. § 33-1806.01, which are the 2 statutes amended and changed with the law, effective as of Thursday, 7/24/14, as presented by Attorney Denise Holliday with Hull, Holliday & Holliday, at the 7/22/14 West-side NARPM meeting at WeMAR.
The Arizona Legislature was very active this session. They posted 1158 bills and passed 282 of them. The Governor vetoed 24 and has signed 2454 into law or allowed them to become effective by not vetoing them within a timely window. Most of these laws will go into effect September 13, 2013. So which of these new bills are relevant to landlords?
The AMA member attorneys have met to discuss what to teach at Five Star Classes, as well as what advice to give to clients who face these issues, regarding what to say and/or give to officers that come to rental properties requesting to either gain access to a Resident’s unit or access either the file or information in a Resident’s file.
The following are questions that we have received concerning landlord-tenant issues:
The first question was: A section 8 tenant was not paying their portion of the rent but section 8 was, is this considered a partial payment preventing an eviction? The answer is no. The tenant’s portion and the section 8 portion are considered separate leases, so that you can take the money from section 8 and still proceed with your eviction on the tenant who has not paid their portion.
When the AAR created the new Residential Lease Owner’s Property Disclosure Statement, many property managers raised concerns about how their owner clients would respond to any requirement to fill out this document. There is a fear that listing every single issue the owner knows has ever been a problem on the property may cause a potential renter to be wary of renting the home or that failing to list an issue because of forgetfulness may create automatic liability. Each broker needs to consider the pros and cons of using the new form and institute a consistent policy in their office to avoid fair housing concerns. A brief analysis of some of the current concerns of using the form may help guide brokers through this discussion.
Recent events have renewed cries for stricter gun control. The question that has risen is “How far can the Government go in restricting and individual’s right to keep and bear arms?” In the Landlord/Tenant arena, the question becomes, “Can a Landlord prohibit Tenants from owning or possessing firearms on the property?”
Some of our clients have recently been seeing an inordinate amount of small claims or Justice Court lawsuits from tenants suing the management company for the return of their security deposit. If certain requirements are met in the parties’ lease agreement though, management companies can generally be released from liability from these sorts of lawsuits because the refund and accounting of the security deposit is the obligation of the property owner even if the management company provides that service under the terms of their Property Management Agreement.
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. The following are questions that our client’s have asked and we hope the information provided can help you, should these issues come up.
The first question we had was concerning recording conversations with an employee or a resident at the apartment community. In Arizona, you can tape record a conversation as long as one party to the conversation consents to it. That of course, is obviously the person doing the recording.
Can you believe it’s Christmas time again? At the law offices of Hull, Holliday & Holliday, you can just feel the excitement! All the toy soldiers are lined up in their best Christmas fashion, the garland and tinsel sparkle with Holiday Greetings, and the “Major Award” from the movie “A Christmas Story” shines its gaudy brightness for all to see. The staff and attorneys merrily sing their favorite Christmas Carols as they work like Santa’s Elves preparing your evictions so you can kick as many tenants to the curb as possible before Christmas Eve. Someone’s going to be on the naughty list!
The following questions came into our office and these were the answers that were provided.
The question was asked if we could, as a landlord, give a co-signer all of the information in the lease agreement and the application. The answer is no, the co-signer is simply guarantying payment, they are not considered a lease holder.
The following are a few questions and answers we have received over the last month or so.
The landlord wanted to know if a tenant could have more than one service animal. Generally speaking, two documented service animals would be considered reasonable. Any request beyond that would need to be looked at and determined if it is a necessity or not.
The following questions have come in regarding day to day landlord and tenant issues.
The first question was from an apartment manager whose tenant was evicted and prior to the constable being ordered to come out and do the lockout, had come into the office and surrendered all of their keys. When the manager went to the apartment to inspect it, they found that the resident had left some of his personal property behind. The question was whether the manager had to hold the property for twenty one (21) days. The answer is no. Once the keys have been returned, the tenant is returning possession and everything in the apartment. I would still photograph what is left behind and if there is anything of value, try to get a hold of the tenant to see if they wanted to pick it up within a short time such as 24-48 hours.
The first question we received was from a client who executed a lease agreement with an error in the monthly rental amount. The person that prepared the lease typed in $7.00 per month as the lease amount, rather than $700.00. The client was concerned that they might be held to that. Generally in Arizona if there is a mistake, or the lease is ambiguous, it gets resolved in favor of the tenant and against the landlord, since the landlord wrote the lease. In this particular situation, because the amount is obviously wrong and you can show that other units rent for the same amount, the landlord should be able to enforce the $700.00 amount on their tenant.
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fair Housing Act: These two federal laws prohibit discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin against those persons who are seeking housing. Arizona enacted fair housing laws that are equivalent to those federal laws. Additionally, some local cities have additional ordinances that make it illegal to discriminate against a person’s age, marital status, or sexual orientation.
The following were questions that were asked of our office and the responses that were provided. Please feel free to email us with any questions your may have concerning your tenant issues.
The landlord was receiving possession back of a home that the tenants had completed the lease and were moving. The question was whether the fines that were imposed against the owner by the HOA as a result of the tenant could be deducted from their security deposits? The answer is yes, if the tenant caused the violations, they would be responsible for the fines associated with them and passed on to the landlord.
Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all of our clients. May 2011 end on a high note for you and 2012 be even better. We appreciate the opportunity to be your attorney and the loyalty you have shown us.
For this month and year end questions we have the following;
We did a walk through move out inspection after a tenant left and found illegal drugs in the apartment. What should we do? I would call the local police authorities and see if they wanted to seize the drugs. They may simply just tell you to dispose of them since it may be difficult to prosecute without any personal knowledge that they were actually the tenant’s.
The following questions came into our office and these were the answers that were provided.
The landlord had an apartment that appeared to be occupied but the electric had been turned off and the apartment was very dirty and disgusting. The refrigerator had maggots in it and the dishes looked like they had been sitting in the sink for weeks. What could we do? The answer is you could consider an immediate eviction, and this should be successful as long as you can prove there is serious property damage inside the apartment, such as the carpet needing replacement, et cetera.
The new reality for many Arizonans is that home ownership is shrinking, and more people are renting. In reflection of that change, DEScriber is offering a new column on Arizona Rental Rights.
It will provide up-to-date information for everyone who rents an apartment, house or even a mobile home. It will contain topical subjects to help our state employees, family and friends, and will also provide valuable information for individuals who serve as managers or landlords.
Welcome to our new on-line monthly news letter. We receive numerous questions daily on various issues concerning tenants and the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. This section will address some of those questions, as well as some of the more humorous situations we have each month.
The first question was, “Is there a cap on increasing the amount of rent that a landlord can ask of a tenant after the lease expires?” Obviously you can not raise the rent during the tenancy, however, there is no limit on raising it once the lease has expired and either the tenant wants to enter into a new lease or to continue on as a month to month tenant. Most landlords will look at the fair market value of the rentals in the area, and determine what a comparable and fair rent increase is.
As many know, the hot issue of the impact of the new medical marijuana law in Arizona has many confused as to how they should proceed with their tenants and employees. As of March 1, 2011, Arizona is still working on putting together guidelines to enact this new law. The new Arizona Law is located at Title 36, Chapter 28.1 et seq. This statute describes the restrictions for the legal use of medical marijuana. Both employers and landlords are impacted by these new rules.
As many know, the hot issue of the impact of the new medical marijuana law in Arizona has many confused as to how they should proceed with their tenants and employees. As of March 1, 2011, Arizona is still working on putting together guidelines to enact this new law.
In an age when identity theft is rampant, it isn’t surprising to learn that the federal government created some updates to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and to the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FRCA). Most of the rules are designed to help consumers protect themselves from identity theft, but there are some rules designed to make businesses more responsible for detecting identity theft and procedures in place to protect the information given to them by consumers that others may use to commit identity theft.