Arizona Landlords Must Set Reasonable Security Deposit Amount for Tenants

Four Arizona State University college students will be attending summer school. Their current lease expires in May, and they made an offer to lease a small home in Chandler for the three summer months. The monthly rent is $1,500. The landlord is demanding a security deposit of $2,000, which they may have a problem paying. Additionally, the landlord is also demanding a $1,500 non-refundable cleaning deposit, which is outrageous and they will be unable to pay. Does Arizona Landlord Tenant law allow the landlord charge a $2,000 security deposit? Can the landlord charge a $1,500 non-refundable cleaning deposit?

A landlord cannot demand a security deposit, including pre-paid rent, in excess of one and one-half months’ rent. A.R.S. §33-1321(A). One and one-half times the monthly rent of $1,500 is $2,250. Therefore, the $2,000 security deposit is lawful. The $1,500 non-refundable cleaning deposit, however, is not lawful. Although a landlord can charge a “reasonable” non-refundable cleaning deposit, a $1,500 non-refundable cleaning deposit is not “reasonable” for a small home being leased for the three summer months. A.R.S. §13-1310(G)(14).

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