I'm keeping this post short, my inspiration coming from a Q&A forum about the subject...
While everyone is out to save a buck and most would agree "pulling teeth" is something worth paying for, the same put themselves at risk as landlord - instead of hiring a licensed property manager.
If you're not familiar with writing a lease and more specifically, more importantly, the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act, you are definitely putting yourself in harms way. The AZ Landlord Tenant Act is law and is the basis for all tenancy agreements whether short or long term. It spells out the do's and don'ts with regard to the relationship, rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant entering into the contract. Yes, a lease is a type of contract. And contracts are "intended" legally binding agreements between the parties when they meet the requirements of law.
So how do you get in trouble with the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act?
Again, going short - however this list is not exhaustive and is not inclusive of every aspect and element of law. It simply gives some often missed points:
1. Security Deposits - You can't just pick a number any number.
2. Access and Entry - Advance notice of landlord entry MUST be provided to the tenant.
3. Selling the Property - The lease does not automatically expire when the property is sold.
4. Evictions - There is a legal process for eviction. Miss a step? You start over.
5. Deposit vs. Fee - Yes, there is a difference.
While you may not be familiar with the law, don't bet your tenants are not. Most know their rights and will take you to court. If they prevail, you will pay.