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Landlord Cannot Demand Security Deposit in Excess of One-and-One-Half Month’s Rent
The landlord is offering to rent the home for $1,200 monthly rental, plus last month’s rent of $1,200 and a security deposit of $1,800 (one and one half times the monthly rent of $1,200). The tenant wants to rent the home and is willing to pay the $1,800 security deposit but does not want to also pay the last month’s rent of $1,200. Can the landlord require the tenant to pay the last month's rent of $1,200?
Answer: No. Under A.R.S. §33-1321, a landlord cannot demand a security deposit in excess of one-and-one-half month’s rent, including prepaid rents, pet deposits and other monies used for security. Therefore, if the monthly rent is $1,200, the total amount of last month's rent and security deposit that the landlord can demand is $1,800. Inasmuch as the landlord would have a security deposit of $1,800, the landlord cannot require payment of any last month's rent.
Noteworthy: Although a landlord cannot require a deposit in excess of one-and-one-half month's rent, a potential tenant can offer more as a way to make their offer to rent the property more attractive to the landlord. The law does not prohibit the landlord from accepting a higher amount if the potential tenant offers it.