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Guidelines for Effective Tenancy

Arizona Tenants Association





All communications with your landlord/manager/agent must be in writing. If he or she contacts you verbally, explain that you conveyed your thoughts in writing in order to make a record of actions, and wish that he or she extends the same courtesy to you. Say nothing more.



Any unavoidable conversations with your landlord/agent must be corroborated by a written record. This will help substantiate your assertions and interpretation if the matter ever goes to court. To do so you should follow the conversation with a letter confirming in detail the contents of the conversation. After you sign your letter, then make a copy of it and mail the original (certified, return receipt requested) to the landlord/agent. Of course, be sure to first consult with ATA.





Only send letters by certified, not regular, mail. This is because notices sent certified mail are deemed received five days after you mail them. Reference ARS 33-1313(B). If a letter sent by you to the landlord/agent is returned, DO NOT OPEN IT. You need to allow a judge that opportunity in order to confirm that what you said was sent in the letter actually is in there. If you open the letter you will significantly diminish your proof of having transmitted the notice or enclosures.



If time is critical, use a process server. This will cost about $25 or $35 for delivery during a weekday, but it is quick and you can obtain an affidavit attesting to the delivery. Tenants have prevented evictions by delivering rent or notices by way of process server. (Another alternative, costing about $15, is delivery by a messenger service.)



It is better to avoid hand-delivery, because then you get into an argument as to who is lying and who is telling the truth. Should you need to hand-deliver, communications must be witnessed. Obtain the proper form from ATA which you should fill out when hand-delivering notices.



If you receive any response from your landlord/agent, contact ATA and see if you should set up an appointment or take other critical steps.





Never pay rent by dropping it off through a mail or door slot. If you do so, what proof do you have that you made the payment? None.



Always obtain a receipt for rent payment, or if that is refused, send it by certified mail, return