Property managers wear many hats when it comes to running a rental operation. While your main goal is to fill a vacancy quickly with a responsible tenant, keeping an updated maintenance calendar and all the essential rental documents needed is an integral part of the role.
Many issues can arise throughout a tenancy, and in this guide, we’ll review all the documents every landlord needs to optimize the rental process.
Overview of Arizona’s rental property guidelines
Arizona has two Residential Landlord and Tenant Acts: one that governs rental housing and one for mobile home properties. A landlord must educate themselves on the lease laws and provisions listed in the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (ARLTA). While no official agency enforces these landlord-tenant laws in Arizona, landlords can still be held accountable in a court of law.
Taking precautionary steps to minimize liability will help you avoid disputes and effectively manage your real estate. If you need to enter the property for maintenance or repairs, schedule inspections with your tenant and document each time you have visited the rental. In Arizona, you must give a two-day written notice of intent to enter the premises.
Having documentation of when you last visited the property and scheduling necessary preventative maintenance on the home will show the tenant that you are performing your landlord duties.
Arizona rental agreements and standard documents every landlord needs
The transition from ending a tenancy to filling the tenancy with a new tenant doesn’t have to be taxing. There are a lot of things to consider and act on. For instance, the landlord must inspect the property for damages, schedule repairs and updates, reimburse the previous tenant’s security deposit, and vet and find a new tenant to fill the vacancy.
Once those goals have been met, there’s the task of formulating a maintenance calendar, responding to tenant’s requests, and collecting rent. Every landlord’s dream tenant pays rent on time and cares for the property.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may face the burden of filling a vacancy before the lease is up for various reasons. Organizing and preparing for any event will help streamline the rental process. Here is a list of documents from the application process to the end-of-lease inspection:
- Residential Rental Application
- Residential Tenancy/Lease Agreement
- Move-in/Move-out Inspection Report
- Notice to End Tenancy
- Holding Deposit Agreement
The importance of screening potential tenants
By evaluating prospective tenants, you’re more likely to find someone who will pay rent on time and take good care of your property.
The two biggest concerns for homeowners are that they will lose their rental income when their tenant stops making their monthly rent or their property will be damaged. It’s up to the property manager to check if the potential tenant has a history of fraud or assault. One way to confirm is by running a credit and background check on the applicant.
During the tenant screening process, each property manager must understand the landlord-tenant laws in the Fair Housing Act. Landlords cannot discriminate against a person for race, nationality, marital status, religion, sex, or disability.
The rental application process
Being thorough initially will make the long-term rental process easier to manage. Include a consent form for running a background check and credit report along with the rental application form. It’s customary for property managers to contact the previous landlords for references. The most valuable input will come from previous landlords with first-hand experience with your applicant.
Some U.S. states may limit high application fees. Arizona has no limits on what a landlord can ask for an application fee. Whether or not the applicant gets approved for the rental unit, the rental application has non-refundable fees on a month-to-month or fixed-term lease.
Here are items you can ask for during the application process:
Residential lease agreement, legal notices, and deductions
The rental agreement is a written document outlining all the established terms between the landlord and a tenant. When a prospective tenant gets approved for a rental unit or home, the landlord is in charge of drafting the written agreement and disclosing any history about the rental regarding lead-based paint.
Once the lease is signed, the landlord can collect a security deposit from the tenant. At the end of the lease term, the landlord inspects the property with the tenant, doing a final walk-through to ensure the tenant hasn’t caused any property damage.
Property managers can refer to the initial move-in inspection that the tenant and landlord assessed together. If everything checks out, you have 14 days to respond to the tenant and refund their security deposit. You must provide a written itemized list of deductions.
Ending a residential landlord and tenant lease
Ideally, a tenancy won’t have any obstacles, but you should prepare for all unexpected events. For instance, when the economy affects the real estate market, and it becomes a seller’s market, you may need to notify the tenant that you wish to sell. If the tenant has a month-to-month lease, provide a 30-day notice. If they have a week-to-week lease, provide a 10-day notice.
When the tenant has unpaid rent or is delinquent, the landlord can consider ending the lease depending on the terms stated in the rental contract. Evictions can be more complex and time consuming. SingleKey offers legal support and eviction resolution. When eviction is the last resort, our paralegal team handles the entire eviction process.
FAQ: Rental agreements and standard documents every landlord needs
A landlord must make necessary repairs and ensure the cooling/heating system operates efficiently at all the rental units and residential properties. The landlord is not responsible for the tenant’s personal property.
The ARLTA states that discrimination by a housing provider, including a property owner or landlord, against a tenant with children is prohibited.
You can’t discriminate against a rental applicant because of race, nationality, marital status, sexual orientation, or religious or political beliefs.
Our final thoughts
Staying on top of all the required documents for your rental is just one way you can make your role as a property manager easier. Arm yourself with the necessary information to choose the right resident for your property by verifying rental applicants through services like SingleKey’s tenant screening.
This blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is subject to change. It is not intended as legal advice. Consult your local laws and seek professional legal counsel before making any decision or taking any action based on this post.