For more than 30 years the city of Phoenix has been the only city with a certified Landlord/Tenant Counseling Program in the state.

The program consists of three counselors who work for the city but educate landlords and tenants across the state on the state laws regarding landlords and tenants. The counselors are not attorneys so they do not offer advise or mediation.

One major responsibility of the counselors is to put on free workshops that educate residents on the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. The three-hour class features experts from many departments within the city including a speaker on fair housing issues, lead paint, crime and the city’s top eight code violations. The class is fully educational for landlords and tenants.

“I’ve done this for over 10 years,” said Sharron Sauls, an Ahwatukee Foothills resident and landlord and tenant counselor with the program. “The law is written pretty balanced as far as the law is concerned. It only changes when the law is misunderstood or not carried out properly… It seems as though people tend to have a problem with rentals because they are not educated. Once they become educated the problems they had in the past are really cut down on.”

The next class is Thursday, July 18. It will be at City Hall, 200 W. Washington St., in conference room A and B on the first floor. The meeting will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Residents can pre-register by calling (602) 534-4444, but registration is not required. 

“What we see a lot is situations with new landlords or tenants and the education allows them to make more informed decisions,” said Alma Lara, community outreach supervisor for the program. “They received a lot of information that allows them to do their job better. It allows them to know their rights and responsibilities, according to the law.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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