Proposed legislation could affect thousands of Arizona renters

- Nearly 40 percent of people in the Phoenix-metro area are renters, and if they want to get their security deposits back, they should pay attention to possible changes.

House Bill 2263 would give renters just 60 days after they end their tenancy to get their deposits back or protest charges. First, tenants must receive an itemized write-up from their landlord on the charges.

"You may not get that write-up within the 60 days that allow you to protest and you may have waived your rights," Ellen Katz said.

If you don't protest or ask for the deposit within the timeframe, you lose the deposit and there's no recourse.

Rep. Ben Toma is the main sponsor of the bill.

Another bill, SB 1376, affects renters who get evicted and leave their stuff, even pets, at the property.

"You think why does that matter, this could be everyone's life possessions, " Katz said. "They may just be waiting for the next paycheck or get money from family and friends, so this is important."

The new bill would give tenants 14 days to retrieve their belongings or the landlord can donate the property. Landlords will also be able to remove abandoned pets without notifying the owners of where they are taken to.

"These are not bills that give tenants additional rights," Katz said. "Both of these bills take away tenants' rights."

The bills are quickly moving through the Arizona legislature. Final votes on the bills are expected to take place within the next few weeks.

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