News & Resources
The old adage that “timing is everything” cannot be overemphasized when it comes to landlords raising rents, changing policies or issuing notices.
If an act by a landlord violates the timing requirements imposed by the Arizona Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (see Arizona Department of Housing summary), the landlord’s act can be unlawful and ineffective. Similarly, if a notice is not given in a proper manner, it can be deemed unlawful and ineffective.
Landlords are sometimes confused over how much advance notice must be given in order to implement a rent increase or to amend statements of policy or rules and regulations. There is also occasional confusion over the correct manner by which a notice must be given to tenants. Over the years, I have seen instances where a landlord did not timely or properly issue a rent increase notice, which then precluded the landlord from increasing the rent for an entire year and resulted in a significant loss of revenue. Understanding the time frames and methods of issuing notices can prevent such problems and embarrassment for a landlord.
Regular Rent Increase
A landlord must give written notice of a rent increase at least 90 days prior to the expiration or renewal of any rental term. The notice must be given by personal delivery, first-class mail, or certified mail.
Immediate Rent Increase
If provided in a written rental agreement, a landlord may implement an immediate rent increase at any time for increases in insurance, taxes, and utility rates if substantiated in writing to the tenant. The law does not state the specific manner of issuing the notice, but, presumably, personal delivery, first-class mail or certified mail should be acceptable, just as for a regular rent increase.
Amending Rules and Regulations
While notice of an amendment to rules and regulations can typically be given at any time, at least 30 days’ notice must be given prior to the amendment becoming effective. Notice may be given by either first-class or certified mail. For some odd reason, the law does not specifically indicate that personal delivery is an acceptable method of delivery. However, an argument could be made that A.R.S. § 33-1412 allows for hand delivery. To avoid any issue, play it safe and use the mail. If you want to go the extra step, you can additionally issue the notice by hand delivery.
Changes to Statements of Policy
A landlord must give notice of any changes at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the existing term. Notice must be given by personal delivery or by registered or certified mail. First-class mail is not specifically recognized as an acceptable method of delivery.
A violation notice under A.R.S. § 33-1476 can be issued by either hand delivery or certified mail.
Mailing Add Five Days
If a notice is issued by certified mail, a tenant is deemed to have received the notice upon the earlier of actual receipt or five days after mailing. I would play it safe and add five days to the time frame for any type of notice issued by mail.