My wife and I signed a lease for a Mark Taylor townhouse in Phoenix, AZ, beginning July 1, 2008. Our lease was for nine months, during which time we planned to get settled in Phoenix and find a house to buy. When we arrived on July 1, our townhouse wasn't ready. We were put up for four days in a guest house, then moved into our townhouse on July 4. The lease then said that the ending date would be April 4, 2009. In order to get our keys, we had to put $140 down as a deposit.
We found a house we liked at the end of January, 2009, and the owner accepted our offer. I informed the Mark Taylor office that we would be moving sooner than when our lease was up on April 4, 2009. The agent told me that I had not given sixty days notice. I said that we would pay for the townhouse for the month of March, even though we would actually be in our new home (our moving date was March 1). She said that would be fine.
On March 6, I returned all our keys after doing a final cleaning of our townhouse. This would allow their people to get in and get the place ready for new occupants early. The agent said we would get our deposit back in a few weeks.
A month later, we received $6.43 of the $140. We were charged for four days beyond the end of our lease because we had not given them the full sixty days. Yes, the contract does say in very confusing language that while the lease terminates the agreement, sixty days notice must be given to terminate it on the renter's side.
This is clearly a legal trick designed to steal not only the deposit of every renter, but potentially a lot more. Arizona law states that a lease ends at the end of the lease, in our case April 4, 2009. An Arizona renter on a month to month basis has to give the landlord five days notice before leaving. And Mark Taylor requires 60 days even if the lease is over? It's corporate greed at its finest.
If you're renting from Mark Taylor already, take heed! If you're laid off or find a house you like or for any other reason have to move out before a sixty day period can elapse, you'll be stuck for those 60 days--even if your lease has ended! My advice? Rent from somebody reputable who's not riddled with corporate greed.