Is a Two-Day Notice for Inspection Required For Arizona Commercial Property Leases?

A property management company does mostly residential property management for owners of apartment complexes, but also does some commercial property management for several small office buildings. Under Arizona real estate law the property management company knows that to furnish a two day’s notice to the tenant before inspecting the tenant’s apartment. According to Arizona commercial property leases, is it necessary to furnish a two day notice to an office tenant before inspecting that office?

Under Arizona law a residential landlord must furnish two day’s notice of an inspection of a residential property such as a home or an apartment, and can only inspect the property during reasonable times. Arizona law imposes no such requirement upon commercial landlords, however, and a commercial landlord is entitled to enter a commercial property at any time to inspect the commercial property, e.g., the tenant’s office, under reasonable circumstances, unless there is specific language in the lease regulating inspections by the landlord.

Note: In general, residential leases are highly regulated under a public policy to protect “mom and pop” in their homes. For example, there are at least fifty Arizona statutes regulating residential landlords and tenants, plus the new federal law that generally allows residential tenants to stay in their home after foreclosure until the end of the lease term. On the other hand, there are only a handful of Arizona statutes regulating commercial leases. The reasons for this lack of regulation in commercial leases are that there is not a public policy to protect commercial tenants, and that, commercial landlords and tenants are theoretically “big boys” who can afford to hire lawyers and other professional advisors to negotiate the terms of commercial leases. An example of this distinction between residential leases and commercial leases is that Arizona law specifically prohibits the landlord from “locking out” a residential tenant for non-payment of rent, and specifically prohibits a landlord’s lien on the residential tenant’s personal property until the payment by the tenant of delinquent rent. The residential tenant cannot waive this protection. On the other hand, Arizona law specifically authorizes the “locking out” by the landlord of a commercial tenant, and specifically authorizes a landlord’s lien on the commercial tenant’s personal property.

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