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Understanding Security Deposits for Arizona Landlords

As a landlord in Arizona, you have the right to request a security deposit from your tenants, which serves as a safeguard against potential liabilities like unpaid rent. This deposit can also cover property damages beyond normal wear and tear, ensuring your rental property is well-maintained.

Examples of Damages Beyond Normal Wear and Tear

Landlords typically expect tenants to return the rental unit in the same condition it was rented, barring normal wear and tear. Examples of damages that exceed this include:

  • Stained carpet and linoleum
  • Drawings on walls
  • Broken or missing bathroom tiles
  • Chips and burns on laminate countertops

In these cases, you are entitled to deduct the repair costs from the security deposit.

Arizona Security Deposit Laws

It’s crucial to follow Arizona’s security deposit laws. Here’s a basic overview:

Security Deposit Limit

In Arizona, the maximum security deposit you can charge is 1.5 times the monthly rent. For instance, if the rent is $1,300, the deposit cannot exceed $1,950.

Non-Refundable Deposits

Arizona law permits non-refundable deposits, provided they are documented in writing. If not specified, the entire deposit is considered refundable. Common non-refundable deposits include pet fees, meant to cover potential damages caused by pets.

Storing the Security Deposit

Unlike some states, Arizona does not have specific rules on how landlords must store security deposits. You can choose any storage method, but ensure the funds are available for return to the tenant when needed.

Permissible Deductions

To avoid legal issues, it’s important to make only rightful deductions from a tenant’s security deposit. Common reasons for deductions include:

  • Covering lost rental income due to early lease termination or abandonment
  • Recovering unpaid rent
  • Paying for excessive cleaning required beyond normal wear and tear
  • Settling unpaid utility bills
  • Repairing damages that exceed normal wear and tear, such as chipped tiles or unauthorized paint

Walk-Through Inspections

Tenants in Arizona can request a walk-through inspection to identify any damages that need fixing before moving out. This helps avoid deposit deductions for those issues. However, if you are evicting the tenant or concerned for your safety, you can deny this request.

Security Deposit Receipt

While Arizona does not require landlords to provide a written receipt for the security deposit, it’s a good practice to do so. Include details like the amount received and the conditions for its return.

Returning the Security Deposit

After the tenant vacates, returns the keys, and requests their deposit back, you have 14 days to return it, either partially or in full. Send the deposit to the tenant’s last known address, and they have 60 days to dispute any deductions.


Arizona’s security deposit laws are relatively flexible, but it’s essential to stay informed and compliant with all regulations. For any questions or assistance with property management, feel free to reach out to Real Property Management Exclusive.

For more information on related topics, check out our guides on legal eviction process, squatters’ rights, and leasing laws.

Disclaimer: This blog is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Laws may change, so consult a qualified attorney or property management expert for up-to-date information.

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