Under Arizona law, tenancy at sufferance is the period of time after a lease has expired during which a tenant does not have tenancy because the landlord has not given permission for the tenant to possess the property. However, Arizona law does not consider the tenant to be trespassing because the landlord agreed at one time to rent to them.
The following qualifications must be met for a tenancy at sufferance to apply:
- Expiration of a written lease that is not self-extended or extended by the landlord.
- Landlord objects to the tenant remaining in the property.
- Landlord sends tenant a valid notice to quit or notice to pay or quit.
- Tenant remains in the property after receiving landlord’s notice to quit or notice to pay or quit.
Options for Landlords
Residential tenants at sufferance are still protected under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, but there are still some options for landlords in dealing with tenant holdovers, including the following:
Buyout: a landlord may offer to pay a holdover tenant to leave the property.
New lease: a landlord may offer a new lease agreement, which would end the tenancy at sufferance and bind both parties to the new lease agreement.
In addition, section 33-1375 of the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act provides landlords with the option to pursue legal action against the tenant: “If the tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration of the term of the rental agreement or its termination, the landlord may bring an action for possession and if the tenant’s holdover is willful and not in good faith the landlord, in addition, may recover an amount equal to not more than two months’ periodic rent or twice the actual damages sustained by the landlord, whichever is greater.”
While most of the qualifications for tenancy at sufferance are the same for both residential and commercial leases, there are some differences. For example, if a commercial tenant stays after the lease has terminated without the landlord’s permission, the lease transitions to a month-to-month tenancy at the same rate. Either party may then terminate this temporary lease by giving 10 days’ notice to the other party.
Provident Law® helps with landlord-tenant issues; we structure, negotiate and document a variety of real estate and financing transactions, such as leases, purchase and sale agreements, loans, and development agreements for a variety of commercial and residential projects—and we litigate issues of ownership when necessary. Contact us for more details.