For the majority of renters, breaking a lease in Arizona isn’t their initial intention when they move into a rental home or apartment. Obviously, you would prefer to stay in your rental unit if it were at all possible. But sometimes financial difficulties, safety issues, or family emergencies get in the way of staying in a rental.
If you need to learn how to break an apartment lease in Arizona, you aren’t alone. Depending on your situation, you may have valid legal reasons to break a lease in Arizona. Because violating a lease usually involves some kind of penalty, you should do your research or talk to a lawyer before you end your lease early.
Can You Break a Lease in Arizona?
You can break a lease whenever you want. The question is whether you will have to pay penalties or get an eviction on your record. A lease is a binding contract, so you are expected to fulfill your side of the deal.
What happens if you break a lease in Arizona? Since you agreed to the rental contract, you have to carry out the agreement. Even if you decide not to live in the apartment anymore, you are still obligated to pay the entire amount of your lease.
There are times when breaking an apartment lease in Arizona is legally allowed, and you won’t have to pay for the remainder of your rental contract. Breaking an apartment lease in Arizona without paying the entire lease is considered legal if at least one of the following statements is true:
- The rental unit is unsafe.
- It violates Arizona’s health and safety codes.
- You are a victim of domestic violence.
- Your landlord has violated your privacy rights or harassed you.
Using the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act When Breaking a Lease
One way to learn your rights and how to get out of a lease in Arizona is to read through the Arizona Residential Landlord & Tenant Act. Many of the state laws and regulations can be found within this document to help you know what options are available to you. It summarizes the standards when it comes to renting either a house, apartment, or mobile home as well as the rights and obligations of landlord and tenant.
The best thing you can do is understand your Arizona tenant rights so you are able to determine whether or not you can legally break your lease contract.
How Can You Break Your Lease Without a Penalty?
Instead of asking how to break a lease legally in Arizona, the important question is how to break a contract in Arizona without having to pay for the remainder of your lease term or another penalty. Violating a lease in Arizona doesn’t have to involve major costs as long as you meet the right conditions.
You are legally required to pay rent for the full lease term unless you meet a qualification like being a victim of domestic violence. According to Arizona Rev. Stat. § 33-1318, victims of domestic violence have early termination rights.
If you are trying to determine how to break an apartment lease in Arizona, one of the easiest ways is if there is a health or safety violation (Arizona Rev. Stat. § 33-1324). Landlords are required to offer tenants habitable units. If your unit doesn’t follow the Arizona state and local housing codes, you will most likely be able to break your lease.
In this scenario, a court can decide you have been constructively evicted. This term means the landlord essentially evicted you by giving you unsafe housing, so you aren’t obligated to pay rent anymore. To qualify under this code, you must follow specific procedures, and the problem must be something major like a lack of heat, black mold, or other issues that make it uninhabitable.
Finding out how to break your lease contract in Arizona is easy if you decide to join the military. When you become an active military member after you sign your lease, you are allowed to break it according to federal law under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. You must provide your landlord with written notice, and the lease term doesn’t end until 30 days after the date your rent is due next.
Finally, breaking a lease in Arizona is possible if you have been harassed by your landlord. According to state law, your landlord is required to give you two days’ notice to come into your rental unit. If your landlord violates your privacy and repeatedly comes in without two days’ notice, you can violate your lease.
If your landlord shuts off your utilities or changes your locks, then you have been constructively evicted. Likewise, things like removing your doors or windows are considered a violation of your privacy. In these cases, you could get help with legally breaking an apartment lease in Arizona without having to pay rent any longer.
How Do You Get Out of a Lease Early?
If you fit one of the legal reasons to violate a lease in Arizona, breaking your lease shouldn’t be a major issue. When you don’t have a legal justification for breaking a lease in Arizona early, the situation is a little more difficult.
Oftentimes, you may not have to pay for your entire rental term. According to Arizona law under Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 33-1370, your landlord has to make a reasonable effort to rent to someone else after you leave. You are then only obligated to pay the rent the landlord loses until they find another tenant.
Because of this, you might only have to pay for a couple of weeks’ or months’ worth of rent. But keep in mind, your landlord is allowed to add legitimate expenses to your bill like the costs of marketing the unit. If your landlord makes an effort to find a new tenant and can’t, you will be obligated to pay the remainder of your lease.
You can try to reduce your costs by giving your landlord as much notice as possible. Write your landlord a sincere letter to explain why you have to leave your lease early. If you can also find your landlord a replacement tenant, you can also reduce the costs of breaking a rental lease in Arizona.
How Can You Legally Break a Lease in Arizona?
Whether you are breaking a commercial lease in Arizona or a residential lease, you will generally have to pay the remainder of your rent. If the landlord can find a tenant right away, you only have to pay rent for the time frame your unit is unoccupied. To legally break a lease in Arizona, you must be a victim of domestic violence, an active duty military member, or dealing with a privacy or health code violation.
Can You Break a Lease Due to Fear for Your Safety?
If the unit is unsafe to live in, you can generally break your lease. While breaking a lease in Arizona for medical reasons isn’t allowed, health and safety code violations are viable reasons for breaking a lease in Arizona.
To qualify, the health and safety issues must be major problems. For example, you can break your lease if your unit lacks heat, air conditioning, water, or electricity.
Can You Break a Lease Before You Move In?
As soon as you have signed your lease and turned over your security deposit, you are legally required to uphold the lease agreement. Breaking a lease before you move in is legally the same as breaking a lease after you have lived there for six months. Because of this, your legal obligations will be the same.
What Are Your Rights and Responsibilities in Arizona?
In Arizona, you are required to pay rent for the full lease term, and your landlord isn’t allowed to make you move until the end of the lease term unless you violate a term from the lease. Your landlord isn’t allowed to change the rent during the term of your lease. Additionally, your landlord must follow set rules and give you five days’ notice before evicting you for things like failure to pay rent.
Breaking a Lease in Arizona
Ideally, tenants should never have to break a lease once they have signed it. Unfortunately, there are occasionally circumstances causing families and individuals to leave a rental unit earlier than expected. Depending on the situation, the tenant may be able to limit their financial losses by finding a replacement tenant and notifying their landlord in advance.
If you meet certain requirements, breaking a lease in Arizona can be done without financial penalties. No matter what your situation is, it is important to look up your specific requirements, so you don’t end up with an unexpected bill later on.
Whether you are breaking a lease or preparing to start a new one, we have a team of reliable movers who can help you move in or move out. Give Mentors Moving a call today at (480) 376-1009 or complete the Request a Quote form to get a free moving estimate!