Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, A.R.S. § 33-1343, a tenant must give access to the landlord upon a two day notice for the purpose of inspecting the premises, making repairs or alterations, supplying services, or showing the unit to prospective renters or buyers. Please note that a 2-day notice is not a 48-hour notice: the landlord can give you a notice at the end of one day, and two days later in the morning he can enter the premises.
Many tenants call us and ask how often a landlord can gain access; at what point does it become unreasonable? There is not a straightforward answer to this question. But in general, we recommend that tenants defer to the landlord, provided he has given the proper notice. The courts tend to be very lenient to landlords under any circumstances, and a tenant would be hard pressed to make a case that a landlord could not come into his apartment for one of the legally recognized reasons.
But a landlord cannot enter the apartment without giving that notice. Under those circumstances, we recommend that the tenant takes the hard line. Remember, it is up to you to enforce the landlord/tenant act; all we can do is stand on the sidelines and give advice. Nowhere is it clearer what the tenant’s rights are than in the case of a landlord who wants access without notice. You should not provide that access.
Additionally, A.R.S. § 33-1376 provides that the tenant’s remedy for the landlord’s abuse of access is one month rent or the actual damages, whichever is greater. Now, this remedy isn’t as strong as it seems because the tenant cannot simply withhold the rent; he has to go to court sue his landlord for it. Still, simply the threat of a lawsuit can be a deterrent to a landlord who does not wish (or know how) to follow the law. We at the Arizona Tenants Union are experts at helping tenants deal with landlord abuse of access. Join the union and we will help you figure out the nuances of your situation.