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LANDLORD-TENANT DISPUTES ARTICLES

A Landlord Has the Right to Reasonable Access

By Christopher Combs | August 9, 2015

  Question:  I am renting a beautiful home in east Mesa.  The landlord is trying to sell the home, and the landlord’s listing agent wants to show the home to a potential buyer.  I have valuable art work and other items of personal property in the home.  Do I have to let the listing agent have access to my home?   Answer:   Yes.  The landlord is the owner of the home, and is entitled to reasonable access to the home.  This reasonable access generally requires at least two days’ notice, and can only be at reasonable times, e.g., between 9:00…

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Paperwork Error Doesn’t Erase Tenants’ Liability

By Christopher Combs | July 5, 2015

  Question:  Twenty years ago we bought a small home in Tempe for our daughter who was a student at ASU.  Since she graduated we have been renting the home, mostly to ASU students.  We never had any problems.  Last summer we rented the home to a boyfriend and girlfriend who went to ASU law school.  Big mistake!  Although both of them signed the lease, and both have paid checks for their one-half of the rent and the security deposit, in the lease itself my husband mistakenly put only the girlfriend’s name on the line in the lease for the…

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Unheated Pool Inflames tensions Over Six-Month Apartment Lease

By Christopher Combs | January 4, 2015

  Question:  Two weeks ago we leased an apartment for six months in a North Phoenix apartment complex.  One of the main reasons we chose this particular apartment was that the property manager said that the community pool was heated.  The community pool, however, is not heated.  When we complained to the property manager, the property manager said that the owner had recently decided that, because of the increased cost of utilities in the apartment complex, the community pool would no longer be heated in the winter months.  Can we cancel our lease and move to another complex with a…

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No Prohibition Against Renting To An Illegal Alien

By Christopher Combs | October 19, 2014

  Question:  My husband and I own several rental homes in Queen Creek.  A lady recently applied to rent one of our homes and admitted that she is an illegal alien.  She does have proof of income where she works and otherwise seems like a good tenant.  Can we rent to her after she has told us she is an illegal alien?   Answer:  There is no prohibition against you renting to an illegal alien. Similarly, there is no Fair Housing law or other law that would require you to rent to an illegal alien, but the reason for not…

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Death Affects a Plan for 3-Year Lease

By Christopher Combs | October 5, 2014

  Question:  Four months ago, my wife and I signed a three year agreement to rent a home in Carefree.  My wife passed away last month.  I would now like to move to Los Angeles to be near my children.  When I contacted my landlord to tell him I wanted to move out early, he was upset.  He said he would cancel the lease with me only when he found a new tenant.  In addition, he demanded that I sign a bill of sale transferring all of my furniture to him, surrender the security deposit of $3,000, and reimburse him…

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Tenant Has Option to Pay Advance Rent

By Christopher Combs | August 3, 2014

Question: We own a condominium in Scottsdale. For the past 12 years we have rented this condominium to a Canadian couple for January, February, March and April. They paid the rent for all four months in advance, along with a $1,500 security deposit. The husband died this past year, however, and his widow did not want to rent our condominium. In response to our advertising on the Internet, an attorney in northern California wanted to rent our condominium. We refused to rent to him, however, after he told us that we were not entitled to collect the four months of rent…

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Owner Must Make Effort to Rent Again

By Christopher Combs | May 26, 2014

  Question:  We own a Scottsdale condominium that is primarily a vacation rental.  Our tenant signed a three month lease in December and paid all for the rent in advance.  Now she wants to move out after one month because her mother in Canada is ill.  We are sympathetic but we do not want to refund the remaining two months of rent to her unless we can find another tenant.  What are our obligations as the landlord?   Answer:  You have an obligation to make reasonable efforts to find a tenant for the remaining two months of the lease.  Reasonable…

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Simple Steps For Evicting Tenants

By Christopher Combs | February 23, 2014

  Question: My mother, who has moved out of state, wants me to handle the eviction of tenants who have not paid rent for the past three months and not maintained her house.  What do I need to do?   Answer:  First, you should get a power of attorney from your mother appointing you as her attorney in fact for the home.  Second, you should hire an attorney to assist you in the eviction process.  Third, you should hire a residential leasing agent to find new tenants for the home.  The process for eviction of a residential tenant for non-payment of…

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