A murder has taken place at the rental property. The tenant has been arrested and charged with murder, and is now in jail. The police also found drugs in the rental property.


What are the landlord’s rights in such a situation?


The AAR 2008 Residential Lease Agreement (the lease), lines 145-151, states “Tenant…shall not engage in or facilitate:…(ii) any criminal activity, including drug-related criminal activity, any act of violence or threats of violence, other illegal activity, including…assault…”  The lease further provides that any “violation of this provision shall constitute a material and irreparable violation of this agreement and good cause for immediate termination of the tenancy.”

In addition, pursuant to A.R.S. § 33-1368(A)(2), “If there is a breach that is both material and irreparable and that occurs on the premises, including but not limited to…homicide…the unlawful manufacturing, selling, transferring, possessing, using or storing of a controlled substance…the landlord may deliver a written notice for immediate termination of the rental agreement…”  The landlord may therefore immediately terminate the Lease.

Arizona REALTOR® Magazine – October 2013 | Landlord/Tenant Issues


About the Author

Michelle Lind

K. Michelle Lind, CEO of Arizona REALTORS®, is also an attorney, State Bar of Arizona board certified real estate specialist, and the author of Arizona Real Estate: A Professional’s Guide to Law and Practice.
Please note that this article is of a general nature and may not be updated or revised for accuracy as statutory or case law changes following the date of first publication. Further, this article reflects only the opinion of the author, is not intended as definitive legal advice and you should not act upon it without seeking independent legal counsel.