Since we manage many rentals, we find that this comes up all the time. What constitutes "proper notice"? People have gotten the idea of 30 DAYS. They figure that if they give 30 days, they are OK. But in Arizona, that is NOT the law.
If you rent, if you manage rentals, if you are dealing with any clients who rent, please educate them- you may save them money, trouble, or a court appearance.
The law in our state says give notice at least 30 days from the periodic rent date. What's the periodic rent date? The day your rent is due! So, if your rent is due on the 1st of each month, that means you give notice by the 1st to be out at the end of that month. That notice needs to be in writing. And unless your contract states other wise, you must pay that last month.
But you've got a security deposit? That is NOT the same as a last month's rent. Very few of our Owners are willing to let Tenants use the deposit as a last month's rent (and we recommend against it). Why? Because if the deposit is used up and the property is not left clean and undamaged there is not enough money left to pay for cleaning/repairs.
We explain proper notice to our Tenants when we sign a lease with them. And they smile and nod. But sometimes they just don't hear us. People have a tendency to "hear what they want to hear".
We also give our Tenants a copy of the AZ Landlord and Tenant Act. It is available on the internet, and we provide a link from our website on the available rentals page.
If you rent in some other state we highly recommend that you check out the laws in that state.