Notice to residential landlords and tenants under Arizona law

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with The Law Office of Mark Tucker

Arizona has four different statutory schemes that govern landlord and tenant relationships. The determination of which statutory scheme applies depends on the nature of the property being rented. If the property is a home, condo, or apartment it will generally governed by the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenants Act., ARS Section 33-1301,  et. seq. If the property is the residential space occupied by a manufactured home that is 600 square feet or greater, it will generally be governed by the Arizona Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenants Act, ARS Section 33-1401 et seq. If the property will be occupied by an RV, trailer, or manufactured home that is 600 square feet or less (such as a park model) the matter will generally be governed by the Recreational Vehicle Long-Term Rental Space Act, ARS Section 33-2101, et. seq. If the rental does not fit within the definitions of the three prior acts, such as a leased commercial space, it is governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act, ARS Section 33-301 et. seq.

In the case of landlords of homes, apartments and condos pursuant to the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, ARS Section 33-1313, and the lease of residential mobile home spaces pursuant to the Arizona Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, ARS Section 33-1412 either a landlord or tenant may deliver notice by hand-deliver "notice" which must be in writing and either hand-delivered or sent by certified U.S. Mail. If notices are sent by certified mail both statutory schemes provide that if notice is mailed by registered or certified mail, the tenant or landlord is deemed to have received such notice on the date the notice is actually received by him or five days after the date the notice is mailed, whichever occurs first.

In other words, if the notice is delivered by certified mail, it is irrelevant if the receipt actually receives it or not. The recipient could be dead, in a coma, out of the country, in jail, or just inattentive and they will be treated with having "notice" for the purposes of legal proceedings and statutory remedies after five days from the time the certified notice is dropped in the mail.

Practice tip: always send notices by certified mail.  For the price of a first class stamp and a little over $2.00 extra postage, the sender is relieved of the burden of chasing down the recipient and all defenses are removed as to whether the recipient received notice or not. This is crucial when statutory remedies hinge on giving notice for specific time frames, and gives control over delivery to the sender, rather than to the work or luck of successfully tracking down an evasive recipient. Avoiding accepting certified mail is done at one's own risk in a residential landlord and tenant relationship. Additionally, out-of-state landlords must designate local Arizona agents or "notice" and service of process may be made by delivering documents to the Secretary of State

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