Question: There are four Arizona State University college students that will be attending summer school. Their current lease expires in May, so 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 we 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?
Answer: 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).