Early Termination of a Residetial Lease Due to Domestic Violence

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A tenant of a residential lease governed by the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act may terminate a lease agreement early if he/she is a survivor of domestic violence and he/she is trying to move due to a recent act of violence. To terminate the lease because of domestic violence, the tenant must give the landlord written notice within thirty (30) days following a domestic violence incident. If the survivor of domestic violence waits more than 30 days, he/she may only break the lease if the landlord is willing to waive this time limit. The written notice must state that the tenant is a victim of domestic violence, which is defined as a person who is a victim of a dangerous crime, committed by someone they were married to, had a child with, or is related to through marriage or blood. (A.R.S. § 13-3601). In the notice, the survivor of domestic violence must request that he/she be released from the rental agreement. Unless the survivor of domestic violence and the landlord agree upon a later date, the notice must contain a date to vacate that is no later than thirty (30) days after the notice is given. In addition to the written notice, the survivor of domestic violence you must attach one of the following: 1) A copy of a protective order issued by a court; or 2) A copy of a police report that states the survivor of domestic violence notified the police that he/she was a victim of domestic violence. 3) The landlord may request that the survivor of domestic violence provide the name and address of the person named in a protective order or report. If a protective order was granted, the landlord may also request a receipt or signed statement that a copy of the order has been given to a police officer to be served on the defendant.

Once the survivor of domestic violence has given the written notice of early termination described above, he/she must pay the rent and any other charges or bills owed through the date of move-out. As long as the notice of cancellation meets the requirements explained here, the landlord cannot keep the deposit of the survivor of domestic violence because he/she moved out early. However, just like any other move-out, if the tenant leaves any damages, the landlord may first apply the security deposit to the cost of repairs. If the report or protective order is valid, the person who is named as the offender or aggressor who caused the domestic violence alleged in the order or report, whether that person is part of the lease agreement or not, may be responsible for all additional charges or money losses that result from your early cancellation of the lease. 

If the survivor of domestic violence cancels his/her lease and his/her lease includes other tenants, the lease for the other tenants will also be cancelled and they will be released from any obligation to pay rent on the remaining months of the lease. However, the additional tenants can enter into a new lease agreement with the landlord if they want to continue renting the property after the original lease agreement has been cancelled.


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Vickie Nagy
Palm Springs, CA

This is a great public service type announcement. Important information here that could keep someone safe.

Jan 11, 2011 04:29 PM #1
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

The more you think about this the more you realize it is a good law...and that is not the easiest thing to ever say.

Jan 11, 2011 04:34 PM #2
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

It's a good law, but you would think common decency and compassion would make such a law unnecessary.

Who am I kidding?

Jan 11, 2011 04:51 PM #3
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