House Engrossed




State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Forty-ninth Legislature

Second Regular Session










amending sections 33-2107 and 33-2148, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to recreational vehicle long-term rental agreements.





Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Section 33-2107, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE33-2107.  Utility fees; service interruption; waste, garbage and rubbish removal fees; refunds; enforcement

A.  A landlord may charge separately for gas, water or electricity by doing either of the following:

1.  Installing a submetering system.

2.  Allocating the charges separately through a ratio utility billing system.

B.  If a landlord charges separately for gas, water or electricity by installing a submetering system:

1.  The landlord shall provide a separate meter for every user.

2.  For each billing period the cost of the charges for the period shall be separately stated, along with the opening and the closing meter readings and the dates of the meter readings.  Each bill shall show the computation of the charge generally in accordance with the serving utility company billing format for individual service supplied through a single service meter.

3.  The landlord shall not charge more than the prevailing basic service single family residential rate charged by the serving utility or provider.

C.  If a landlord charges separately for gas, water or electricity pursuant to a ratio utility billing system:

1.  The landlord may recover the charges imposed on the landlord by the utility provider, except that a landlord shall not include a charge by the supplying utility for gas, water or electricity used in a common area or office if the common area or office is separately metered.  The landlord shall post in a conspicuous place on the premises the current monthly itemized utility usage rate and other itemized monthly fees imposed on the landlord by the provider.

2.  A landlord may charge an administrative fee for the landlord's actual administrative costs, only except that any monthly administrative fee shall not exceed ten per cent of the actual monthly charges by the utility provider.  The landlord shall not impose any other additional charges.  If the landlord arranges for utility billings to be handled by a third party, the utility billings shall include the actual and reasonable cost charged by the third party for the service.  For the purposes of this paragraph, "administrative costs" includes the direct actual costs to the landlord of billing for utilities, including the cost of staff time to calculate and mail the bills, postage and stationery.

3.  The rental agreement shall contain a disclosure that lists the utility services that are charged separately and shall specify the amount of any administrative fee that is associated with the use of the ratio utility billing system.

4.  Allocation shall be made on the basis of rented spaces.

D.  A landlord that is also a mobile home park as defined in section 33‑1409 shall comply with subsection A, paragraph 1 and subsection B of this section.

E.  The landlord shall provide a statement of proposed interruption of utility service to the tenants within a reasonable time, except in the case of an interruption caused by an emergency.  An emergency does not include any failure or refusal by the landlord to fulfill the duties and obligations to maintain fit premises.  A statement of proposed interruption of utility service may be provided by posting an announcement of the period of the interruption in a conspicuous place on the premises where a recreational vehicle space is located or by individual delivery to each tenant.

F.  For the purpose of regulating recreational vehicle parks as public or consecutive water systems, the state shall not adopt rules pursuant to title 49, chapter 2, article 9 that are more stringent than authorized by the federal government.  Submetering solely to determine the charges for individual water use by park tenants for the purpose of water conservation, without other evidence indicating a transaction subject to regulation under title 49, chapter 2, article 9, shall not be used as a basis for treating any recreational vehicle park as a public or consecutive water system.

G.  A landlord may charge separately for removal of waste, garbage, rubbish, refuse and trash and for sewer services.  Any charges for removal or sewer services shall not exceed the prevailing single family or residential charge, fee or rate for these services levied by the political subdivision or provider.

H.  A landlord who determines, on the landlord's own or as a result of a tenant objection, that the landlord has overcharged tenants shall refund the overcharged amount to the tenants who were overcharged and who reside in the recreational vehicle park at the time the overcharge is determined.  The refund shall be made through a credit toward future utility charges or a refund and shall be provided within sixty days.

I.  If a tenant believes that a landlord is not in compliance with this section, the tenant shall provide written notice to the landlord regarding the alleged violation of this section.  If the dispute is not resolved within thirty days after the notice is received by the landlord, the tenant may file a civil complaint in justice court to enforce this section.  In an action pursuant to this subsection, the court shall award the prevailing party court costs and reasonable attorney fees. END_STATUTE

Sec. 2.  Section 33-2148, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE33-2148.  Retaliatory conduct prohibited; eviction

A.  Except as provided in this section, a landlord shall not retaliate by increasing rent or decreasing services or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for eviction after any of the following:

1.  The tenant has complained to a governmental agency charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building or housing code of a violation that applies to the premises and that materially affects health and safety.

2.  The tenant has complained to the landlord of a violation under this chapter.

3.  The tenant has organized or become a member of a tenants' union or similar organization.

4.  The tenant has filed an action seeking relief pursuant to section 33-2107 or has filed another action against the landlord in an appropriate court.

B.  If the landlord acts in violation of subsection A of this section, the tenant is entitled to an amount equal to two months' periodic rent and twice the actual damages sustained by the tenant and has a defense in action against the landlord for eviction, unless the landlord proves good cause for the landlord's action.

C.  Notwithstanding subsections A and B of this section, a landlord may bring an action for eviction if either of the following occurs:

1.  The violation of an applicable building or housing code was caused primarily by lack of reasonable care by the tenant or another person in the tenant's household or who was on the premises with the tenant's consent.

2.  The tenant is in default in rent.  The filing of an action does not release the landlord from liability pursuant to section 33‑2141, subsection B.END_STATUTE