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HB 2115 AS WRITTEN, THE STATE OF ITS PROGRESS AT THE LEGISLATURE, AND CITY RENTAL CODE LINKS

HB 2115, as modified by amendment, will preempt all political subdivisions of the state (i.e. cities, towns, counties, etc.) from having regulations governing landlord-tenant affairs. It is sponsored by Representative Gail Griffin, a realtor. On January 31, 2019 the bill was approved by the Arizona House of Representatives, Committee on Government, and is heading for a House floor vote at a date not yet set. Thereupon, it would be referred over to the Arizona Senate for ratification, after which it would be signed by Governor Ducey and take effect this calendar year.

Here is the exact language of HB 2115, including the so-called “grandfather” amendment. Proposed language is upper case.

Section 1. Section 33-1307, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

33-1307. Territorial application; state preemption

A. This chapter applies to, regulates, and determines rights, obligations and remedies under a rental agreement, wherever made, for a dwelling unit located within this state.

B. THE REGULATION OF THE RIGHTS, OBLIGATIONS AND REMEDIES OF LANDLORDS AND TENANTS IS A MATTER OF STATEWIDE CONCERN, AND THE REGULATION OF THOSE RIGHTS, OBLIGATIONS AND REMEDIES PURSUANT TO THIS CHAPTER IS NOT SUBJECT TO FURTHER REGULATION BY A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE, AFTER JANUARY 1, 2019.

Now, getting back to the January 31, 2019 Committee on Government hearing, Chairman Representative Kavanagh repeatedly promised that codes existing prior to 2019 would remain untouched by HB 2115. His stated solution: a “grandfather” clause. Unfortunately, his amended language, “AFTER JANUARY 1, 2019,” in no way fulfills that function, but is merely a wink and a nod. It does not state that codes existing prior to January 1, 2019 will remain effective.

The way it is written, all present rental codes and similar regulations are rendered null and void by HB 2115, as well as future codes being prohibited. Maybe Chairman Kavanagh’s plan is to later offer a “corrected” amendment so people might rationalize supporting the bill, pondering, “Well, at least it’s not as bad as it could have been.” Bullcrap. It’s horrible any which way.

Speculating that real “grandfather” amended language were to be substituted, the upshot is that all existing regulations would be unalterable, whilst new (or modified) regulations could only be enacted at the State level. Currently, only Glendale, Phoenix, Surprise, Tempe, Tucson, South Tucson, and Youngtown have rental housing codes. Although some have similarities, overall there is considerable differentiation. For your review, below are links to those codes.

Rental Codes

City of Glendale Rental Code

City of Phoenix Rental Code

Phoenix Neighborhood Preservation
   Ordinance & Code Enforcement Policy

City of Surprise Rental Code

City of Tempe Rental Code

City of Tucson Rental Code

On left folder menu, click on the plus sign left of Part II Tucson Code, then expand Chapter 16, Neighborhood Preservation, to view parts or all of the rental ordinance.

City of South Tucson Rental Code

City of Surprise Rental Code

Town of Youngtown Rental Code

Additionally, other organizations, such as county health departments and fire departments, have regulations impacting landlord-tenant relations. These can cover a range of issues, such as infestations by bedbugs, cockroaches, vermin, fire safety issues and much more.

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