48 Hour Notice to Enter

A 48 hour notice must be given to Arizona tenants before their landlord can legally enter the rental property. Arizona landlords have the right to periodically enter their rental properties, however, the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act states that entering the property is a right with limitations. In particular, landlords should not use the 48 hour notice as a way to harass or intimidate tenants.

Proper Notice to Arizona Tenant

A.R.S. § 33-1343(D) states that, “the landlord shall give the tenant at least two days’ notice of the landlord’s intent to enter and enter only at reasonable times.” Although the law does not specify that the notice must be written (as opposed to verbal), it is a good idea to post written notice of intent to enter, or send via mail, so that you as a landlord have proof that you followed the proper procedure.

See A.R.S. § 33-1343(D)

A.R.S. § 33-1343(A) states in part that “the tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements…” or show the property to potential buyers. If the tenant won’t allow you to enter the property, it is grounds for eviction.

See A.R.S. § 33-1343(A)

Emergency access to rental property

Per, A.R.S. § 33-1343(C) an Arizona landlord may enter the rental property without delivering a 48 hour notice in the case of emergency. For example, if there is smoke billowing from the windows or water is pouring out from under the doors, an Arizona landlord does not have to provide a 48 hour notice before entering.

Landlord Harassment

Arizona landlords cannot use ability to enter the property as a way of harassing or intimidating a tenant. According to A.R.S. § 33-1343(D) “the landlord shall not abuse the right to access or use it to harass the tenant.” One of the most common defenses a tenant brings up in court is that their landlord was harassing them. Avoid anything that even resembles harassment so your tenant can’t use that as a defense if you end up having to evict them.

tenants’ rights to wrongful access

Arizona law requires that landlords give tenants at least a 48 hour notice prior to entering the property. However, what options do tenants have if their landlord just enters the rental property without proper notice? The Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act addresses this exact issue. A.R.S. § 33-1376(B) states:

“If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful but which have the effect of unreasonably harassing the tenant, the tenant may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct or terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the tenant may recover actual damages not less than an amount equal to one month’s rent.”

So this statute provides an Arizona tenant with two different options if the landlord enters the property without permission or is constantly demanding to enter the rental property to the point that it becomes a form of harassment.

Two Options Available to Arizona Tenants

  1. Obtain Injunctive Relief– This is a fancy way of saying the Arizona tenant must obtain an Injunction Against Harassment or Restraining Order against the landlord. With either of these tools you will have the backing of the court to stop the harassment. 
  2. Terminate the Rental Agreement– Regardless of how much or how little time is left on your lease, if your Arizona landlord has repeatedly entered the rental property without giving you a 48 hour notice then a tenant may have the right to cancel the lease. 

Monetary Damages Against Trespassing Landlord

The second part of A.R.S. § 33-1376(B) requires an Arizona landlord to pay the tenant a “fine” equal to one month’s rent for trespassing without a 48 hour notice. So for example, if rent is $1,500 per month then a court could require the Arizona landlord pay $1,500 to the tenant.

However, in order to recover the one months rent from the landlord a tenant must elect one of the two options from above. Meaning, the tenant must either obtain an Injunction Against Harassment / Restraining Order or actually terminate the lease agreement. An Arizona tenant cannot say, “well, the landlord entered my property without giving me a 48 hour notice and so now I want my money.”

Conclusion

Arizona landlords, give your tenants 48 hour notice before entering the rental property and tenants, do not unreasonably deny your landlord access to their rental property!

If you are an Arizona landlord and have questions about 48 hour notices then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE.

* These blog posts are not intended, nor shall they be deemed to render legal advice. Reading these blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it impose an obligation on the part of the law firm to respond to further inquiry.

Author: Clint Dunaway

Arizona attorney.