RentSafe Powerful Tenant Screening

Arizona Tenant Screening Laws: Compliance Guide for Landlords

Arizona tenant screening laws

As a landlord in Arizona, you’re likely excited to fill your vacancies with reliable tenants.  Stay ahead of potential problems by getting familiar with Arizona’s tenant screening laws – it’s a vital step in the rental process that can save you from legal headaches.  While Arizona might feel landlord-friendly in certain aspects, it also values tenant protection.  Mastering the art of tenant screening means finding a delicate sweet spot – one that respects applicants’ rights while protecting your property and existing renters. Arizona tenant screening laws strike a balance between giving landlords the tools to select responsible tenants while respecting the rights of applicants. 

Imagine having all the regulations you need to know in one place. That’s what we’ve got here – a complete rundown of application fees, background checks, and Fair Housing compliance, so you can navigate the process with confidence. 

Create an account with RentSafe and start screening tenants in minutes! RentSafe is the simplest tenant screening platform on the market, with virtually no learning curve and will empower your team to get vacancies filled faster, whether you have 10 units or 1000+ units. 

Brushing up on tenant screening laws in Arizona

Arizona landlords face a labyrinth of rules and regulations when sizing up potential renters, in the middle of a desert of information about the rules and regulations that govern the tenant screening process in AZ. In this compliance guide, we will cover the key facts you need to be aware of as a landlord or property manager in Arizona:

  • Application processes 
  • Background checks 
  • Credit history checks 
  • Rental history verification 
  • Income requirements 

Tenant screening services help landlords make informed choices, mitigate financial risks and liability, avoid issues, and create positive landlord-tenant relationships. Equal opportunity housing is the law’s main objective, where everyone gets a fair chance to rent or buy a place, no matter who they are. 

Key Aspects of Arizona Tenant Screening Laws 

Application Fees 

Unlike some states that cap application fees, Arizona allows landlords to charge what they want. Whether it’s backgrounds or Candidate X’s paperwork, this takes care of the associated costs, letting you focus on the stuff that really matters. However, landlords are required to provide transparency by clearly stating whether the fee is refundable or non-refundable in writing. 

If an applicant pays a non-refundable application fee, state law says that the purpose of this fee should be outlined in a clear, written statement ( Arizona Revised Statutes §33-1321 ). 

Background Checks and the FCRA 

Background checks are an integral element of tenant screening. Say goodbye to surprise roommates and their questionable pasts; these services reveal eviction records and criminal histories. 

When conducting background checks, remember that Arizona landlords need to follow the guidelines set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act ( FCRA ). Want to avoid FCRA trouble? Get written permission from applicants upfront, and only work with consumer reporting agencies that follow the rules – it’s a critical part of the hiring process. Following FCRA rules closely helps landlords ensure that all steps are being done within the legal framework and avoid costly missteps. 

Arizona Tenant Screening Laws and the Fair Housing Act 

The Fair Housing Act ensures landlords cannot discriminate based on protected characteristics. These include: 

  • Race 
  • Color 
  • Religion 
  • Sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation) 
  • Familial status 
  • National origin 
  • Disability 

If an applicant feels that they were treated unfairly for any of these reasons, they have the right to seek legal recourse through a Fair Housing complaint. Arizona landlords should familiarize themselves with both federal fair housing laws and those specific to Arizona to ensure compliance during the screening tenants process. 

Additional Considerations under Arizona Tenant Screening Laws 

While landlords can create their screening criteria, these standards must always align with Fair Housing regulations and cannot be utilized to discriminate unfairly. 

  • Income Verification: Arizona tenant screening laws allow for the review of an applicant’s financial capacity to meet rent obligations, often requiring proof of income at least three times the rent amount. 
  • Rental History: Evaluating an applicant’s past rental conduct aids in gauging their suitability for tenancy. Tenants with a history of slow or missing payments won’t slip through the cracks; this keeps them out of your properties altogether. 
  • Credit History: A credit report is like a reporter’s notebook, chronicling an applicant’s history of settlement – on time, late, or somewhere in between – and giving landlords a clear picture of their financial integrity. Tenant screening gets a whole lot easier when you factor in credit scores – a clear indicator of their financial habits and responsibility. 

Navigating Arizona tenant screening laws requires adherence to specific guidelines. Arizona requires landlords to furnish prospective tenants with a copy of the signed lease within 10 days after both parties have signed it. Failure to do so, according to ARS 33-1368(B) , might attract penalties. 

Action Requirement under Arizona tenant screening laws 
Application Fees Landlords in Arizona are free to set their own application fees but must disclose in writing if the fee is non-refundable, outlining the purpose. 
Security Deposit Arizona Revised Statutes §33-1321 allows landlords to charge a maximum security deposit equivalent to one and a half times the monthly rent. Landlords must familiarize themselves with the laws that govern security deposits. 
Denying an Applicant While landlords are able to establish their own criteria, it’s imperative to document the legitimate reasons for denying an applicant and be prepared to furnish this documentation should a rejected applicant initiate legal action. With this in place, you can be confident that every applicant gets equal consideration, no exceptions. 
Background Checks When running background or credit checks on prospective tenants, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires obtaining the applicant’s written consent beforehand. Failing to do so could expose the landlord to potential lawsuits from applicants for up to $1,000 per violation. 

FAQs about Arizona Tenant Screening Laws 

Do tenants have a right to privacy in Arizona? 

Yes, under the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act (ARLTA) landlords must respect a tenant’s right to privacy. Entry into a tenant’s dwelling must be in accordance with the lease agreement. If it is not stipulated, then you must provide two days’ notice before accessing the property. Such entry must be for reasons such as performing necessary or agreed repairs, supplying agreed services, or showing the property during the last month of tenancy to prospective buyers or tenants. 

What is the tenant Protection Act in Arizona? 

Arizona does not have a specific law or legislation referred to as the “Tenant Protection Act”. However, the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act ( ARLTA ) outlines comprehensive landlord-tenant regulations in the state. Landlords and tenants both gain peace of mind thanks to a built-in protective shield. Residents deserve a decent place to live, and clear guidelines for eviction – that’s exactly what these protections promise to deliver. 

Can a tenant refuse entry to landlord in Arizona? 

In Arizona, tenants generally cannot prevent a landlord from entering the property if the entry is for a legally permissible reason and proper notice has been provided. 

Can a landlord show up unannounced in Arizona? 

Unless in the case of emergencies like fire or a burst pipe, Arizona law prohibits landlords from showing up at their rental properties unannounced. It’s a basic tenant right: privacy. And landlords need to honor that. One golden rule for Arizona landlords: entering a rental property means adhering to the state’s strict guidelines, every single time. 

Arizona tenant screening laws: Recap

Arizona landlords, take note! New to the game or looking to refresh your playbook? Staying on top of tenant screening laws is a must. Assessor’s instincts are honed by tenant selection, reducing future headaches and vulnerability. Remember that this information should not be a substitute for qualified legal advice tailored to your situation. Consider seeking guidance from a legal professional for any clarifications. To avoid potential headaches, landlords should make it a point to regularly brush up on relevant laws – this lays the groundwork for a peaceful coexistence with tenants.

Table of Contents

Recent Posts

Accelerate your tenant screening process with RentSafe!

What type of RentSafe account do you have?

Book a demo with our co-founder: