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late rent in Arizona

I am a landlord in Arizona.  My question is: When is rent legally late in terms of Arizona landlord/tenant law?  My understanding of the law is that even though my tenant has a 5-day grace period, the rent is still considered late if it is not paid on the due date.  This is the second time since December 2009 that my tenant has paid her rent on the 5th day of the month.  Is my understanding correct or incorrect?  I'm in desperate need of help.  Thank you.  Heather

According to AZ Landlord Tenant law 33-361 - a tenant has a 5 day grace period. There are no statutory limits on the amount a landlord may charge for a late fee as long as he grace period passes. Legally your tenant has this five day grace period, therefore as long as it is paid on the 5th day after it is due, there is little you can do.
I recently learned by going to court in AZ the judge caps the amount of late fees regardless of numbers of days and contract language.
Thanks for the information.
To my knowledge there is no grace period in Arizona for late fees. You should be able to collect late fees the moment rent is determined to be late. And yes, some judges will cap the amount of late fees, but not all of them will. ARS 33-361 does not address late fees or grace periods. It references taking back the property for unpaid rent.
@ Heather - I’m curious, which month/yr was tenant late w/rent?
Bob,  My tenant's rent was late starting from March 2010 to August 2010.  She paid late every month during that time frame.  Thankfully, I have gotten rid of the tenant.
Confusing. At first (it appears) you stated tenant was late 2 times between 12/2009 thru 4/2012. Now tenant was late every month from March 2010 to August 2010. In either case, it's a mute point now that the tenant has moved on. You may not want to hear this, but most tenants don't pay their rent on the due date for various reasons such as, pay day. I'm not clear as to why you are/were getting so excited about "rent on time" if tenant always paid within legal guideline (5-day). I doubt if everyone here has always paid on due date. I myself use the grace period all the time. Take mortgage companies. Payment due on 1st. They give you 15 days grace. I pay around the 12th. It's not that I can't afford the payment. I just like keeping my $$$   LOL. In either case, if you have a tenant that is consistently late over the grace period (if you have one - I don't), send them a Pay or Quit Notice immediately. If they are good tenants, they will start paying on time, especially if you charge them the cost of executing the Notice. Here in CA it cost about $95 to have someone to prepare/deliver Notice. I add $50 to that cost as Admin cost for my time. They learn very quickly.
Bob,  I really wasn't sure why you were responding to this post anyway because my original post was posted almost 2 years ago in 2010.  But, thanks for the information anyway.
Heather - because on April 29, 2012 Jack posted a response. You know how it is - everyone has an opinion/suggestion.  LOL  Have a great weekend
Just to finalize the issue I forwarded this blog to a local attorney here in Arizona. Here is his reply:  It's actually a good question for article and/or Q&A.  I'm in court right now and will incorporate it into a formal response later for Azreia readers.    For now, the short answer is that Az law doesn't have a grace period.  The rent is late whenever it's due and unpaid.  In most cases, rent is due on the first, and thus late on the second.  Late fees can start on the second.  Therefore a landlord can serve a 5 day notice on the second.  They just can't file an eviction until 5 days after notice is served but that's not a grace period as late fees can continue to accrue.    ARS 33-361 deals with the general landlord tenant act which usually only applies in commercial matters.  The residential landlord tenant act doesn't even start till ARS 33-1301.  I hope this helps.    
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