How to Break a Lease in Arizona Without Breaking a Sweat
Leases are intended to protect both landlords and tenants, and breaking a lease in Arizona without just cause can leave a tenant vulnerable to a bad credit history, lost deposits, and difficulty finding rental housing in the future. As a tenant, you're bound by the terms in your rental agreement, but you can still break your lease without penalty if your landlord doesn't hold up their end of the bargain.
Even if you don't have valid grounds to break the lease, you can get away with it without serious repercussions if you take certain steps, which you can either do yourself if you have the time and knowledge, or if you have the help of DoNotPay.
When It's Legal to Break a Lease in Arizona
Arizona's Residential Landlord and Tenant Act outlines all the rights and obligations of landlords and their renters. Here are a few of the legal reasons and insufficient reasons why you, as a tenant, can and cannot simply give notice and leave without losing your deposit.
The tenant can legally break a lease in Arizona when:
- The tenant has been the victim of domestic abuse and/or sexual assault
- The landlord has rented the unit knowing there is a bedbug infestation
- The landlord fails to maintain safe and clean common areas
- The landlord fails to provide water and trash services, as well as utilities provided as per the agreement
- The landlord fails to honor state rent control laws
- The landlord puts in place new rules and regulations that create a hardship on the tenant, or are unfairly enforced
The tenant cannot legally break a lease in Arizona if:
- Their job forces them to relocate
- They can no longer afford the agreed-upon rent
- They need a larger unit due to additions to their family or household
- A bedbug infestation was caused by the tenant moving in used furniture
- They obtain a pet while living in a pet-free unit
How Much Does It Cost to Break a Lease in Arizona?
Whether or not you have a legitimate reason to break your lease, doing so can be expensive. If you break your lease without cause, you can expect to lose money. You might forfeit your security deposit, and your landlord might sue you for the months the unit remains vacant during the original terms of your lease. Even if you are justified in moving out before the lease is up, you might have to pay an attorney to get your deposit back or sue your landlord for any costs resulting from their failure to perform their duties.
If you value your time, advocating for yourself can cost you plenty, since researching state laws, writing demand letters, and appealing to your landlord for an early release from the agreement can be a tedious, time-consuming process, costing you—at the very least—peace of mind if you're not sure if you're getting it done right.
Breaking a Lease By Yourself
If you're breaking a lease for any of the most common reasons—financial hardship, job relocation, needing more space for a growing family, for example—chances are you have a lot on your plate and not a lot of extra money in your wallet. Most tenants are forced to handle the arduous process of breaking a lease without penalty on their own, without legal assistance. Here are the best ways to break a lease on your own.
When you're leaving because your landlord is at fault
According to Arizona law, you can't vacate the premises just because you've noticed a serious problem. You must first notify your landlord and allow them the chance to correct the situation. Where safety is concerned, you have to give them at least five days' notice to do so, or risk being accused of abandoning the property, resulting in penalties. To break your lease in Arizona, you should first alert your landlord by writing a demand letter.
Here are the seven key elements of a good demand letter:
- It's written in a professional, non-confrontational tone.
- It includes specific facts about the landlord's lease violation, like when you first noticed the problem, when and how you first brought the problem to the landlord's attention, and how it's affecting you and your household.
- It lists all emotional, physical, and economic costs to you and your household.
- It refers to the relevant sections of your lease agreement.
- It gives a specific date by which you expect the problem to be resolved.
- It clearly states your intention of moving out if the situation isn't resolved.
- It lets the landlord know you're prepared to fight any penalties or repercussions in small claims court or in a complaint to the state.
According to Arizona law, you must either hand-deliver your demand letter (which can also serve as notice to move if you've given a deadline) or mail it to them via USPS registered or certified mail.
Breaking your lease without just cause
When you need to move before your lease term is up, and you have no cause to do so other than your personal circumstances, you should approach your landlord with a letter explaining your situation and requesting an early release from your obligations. While your landlord has every right to hold you to the agreement, if you cooperate, they might be able to quickly rent the unit and recover their costs, which would then save you a lot of money.
Your letter should accomplish the following:
- Set a regretful but cooperative tone
- Thank the landlord for a good working relationship
- Acknowledge that you have no choice but to break the lease
- Explain why you are breaking the lease
- Reassure the landlord that you will accommodate viewings for future tenants if you've been given proper notice
- Acknowledge that your leaving puts them at an inconvenience
- Make sure they have your daytime contact information to discuss the matter further
Your letter should be hand-delivered or mailed via registered or certified mail at least 30 days before your intended move-out date. The more time you give your landlord to make new arrangements for the unit, the more likely they are to return your security deposit and release you from your obligation to pay for the remaining months.
Lease Termination Notice Requirements in Arizona
Here is how much notice you need to give, depending on how long your lease is:
|Rent Payment||Notice Time||Statute|
|Week-to-week||10 days||A.R.S. § 33-1314(D)|
|Month-to-month||30 days||A.R.S. § 33-1314(D)|
|Year-to-year||No statute||No statute|
Let DoNotPay Help You Legally Break Your Lease
Are you weary of taking the wrong steps and subjecting yourself to a bad tenant record and substantial fees? DoNotPay can serve as your advocate, and help you get out of your lease in Arizona without the stress and headache of letter-writing and legal research.
Here's how you can get started in 3 easy steps:
- Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.
- Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference, and enter the state the lease was signed in.
- Let us guide you through the 4 potential options.
DoNotPay will then create the right solution for you, depending on your situation:
- If you're a uniformed service member breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
- If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, we'll write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
- If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law, but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
- If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection, but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.
Why Use DoNotPay to Break Your Lease in Arizona?
Because we're fast, easy, and successful, and you have better things to do with your time and money. Try us out today, and stop worrying about the pitfalls of breaking your lease, whatever your reasons.