Are Landlords Liable for Information they Give Out?

By Christopher Combs | December 19, 2017

Question: In a recent column you said that an apartment landlord has the right to ask former landlords if the tenant had any problems, such as late rent payments or damage to the apartment. We own an apartment building in Chandler and frequently get calls from landlords about one of our former tenants. Do we have any liability to our former tenant if the information disclosed to the new landlord is wrong, and our former tenant is unable to rent the apartment? Answer: If you incorrectly communicated the tenant’s rental history to the new landlord, and your former tenant was unable…


Landlords Can Check with Former Landlords on Prospective Tenants

By Christopher Combs | November 6, 2017

Landlords Can Check with Former Landlords on Prospective Tenants   Question: We just purchased a small apartment complex in Glendale. Can we demand that a prospective tenant furnish names of former landlords? If so, are we allowed to contact these former landlords to ask if the former tenant was a good tenant, e.g., paid rent on time or damaged the apartment?   Answer: Yes, but only if you have the same procedure for all prospective tenants, and don’t unlawfully discriminate against a protected class under fair housing laws. As a new owner of an apartment complex, you should consider joining the Arizona…


Text Message Preferred over Phone Call for Landlord Entry Notice

By Christopher Combs | September 18, 2017

Text Message Preferred over Phone Call for Landlord Entry Notice   Question: I own several rental properties in Chandler. Under the landlord-tenant statutes in Arizona, I know that I have the right to inspect any of my rental properties with at least two days’ notice to the tenant. I recently received a newsletter stating that this inspection notice can be in writing, in person, or over the phone. I understand notice in writing or in person, but is a landlord allowed to give the inspection notice by phone?   Answer: A.R.S. § 33-1343 simply says that “notice” is required, so notice by…

Eviction Notice

Boyfriend is Just an Implied Tenant, and Can be Evicted

By Christopher Combs | April 1, 2017

Boyfriend is Just an Implied Tenant, and Can be Evicted  Question: Two years ago our daughter’s boyfriend moved into the Gilbert home our daughter has owned since 2011. Her boyfriend gets drunk all of the time, is a womanizer, and abuses both my daughter and her two young children. The police have been called but do nothing. Our daughter’s boyfriend refuses to move out and says that, because he has lived in the home more than two years, he and our daughter have an equal right to live in the home. Is that correct?   Answer: No. Your daughter is the…


Can Landlord Show Property While You Are Still Occupying It?

By Christopher Combs | February 13, 2017

Can Landlord Show Property While You Are Still Occupying It?   Question: I am a tenant in a luxury home in North Scottsdale. The landlord is trying to sell this home, and the landlord’s listing agent wants to show this home to potential buyers. I have valuable art work, furniture, and other items of personal property in the home. Do I have to let the listing agent have access to my home?   Answer: Yes. A residential landlord is the owner of the home, and is entitled to reasonable access to the home. This reasonable access generally requires at least two days’…


Commercial Tenant Locked Out When Current on Rent

By Christopher Combs | January 30, 2017

Commercial Tenant “Locked Out” When Current on Rent  Question: My sister has owned a dress shop in a major Phoenix shopping center for twelve years. Last year she was $50,000 delinquent in her rent, primarily because of an increase in the annual common area maintenance (“CAM”) charges due to a large increase in real property taxes for the shopping center. The shopping center gave her five days’ notice to pay this $50,000, but she didn’t have the $50,000 to pay within five days. After the five days passed the landlord filed an eviction lawsuit. Later that week my sister paid…


How to Evict a Live-in Girlfriend or Boyfriend

By Christopher Combs | September 13, 2016

How to Evict a Live-in Girlfriend or Boyfriend  Question: My girlfriend and her son moved into my home in Gilbert three months ago. Almost from the beginning we had problems, and I think it is now best that she and her son move elsewhere. I will help her financially to find a new home. After I discussed this reasonable plan with her, she became very upset and said that she would not move out. What do I do now?   Answer: After your girlfriend and her son lived in your home for three months they became tenants under an implied month-to-month lease.…


Multiple Tenant Lease Agreements

By Christopher Combs | September 6, 2016

Multiple Tenant Lease Agreements   Question: My boyfriend and I are both getting our master’s degrees at ASU. At the start of the fall semester we signed a 1-year lease for a home in Tempe. We are now breaking up, and I am going home to California to live with my parents for the summer rather than go to ASU summer school. My boyfriend said that he would be able to make the rent payments until the end of the lease in September. Even if he is able to make the monthly rent payments until then (which I doubt!), my boyfriend…