In certain circumstances, the relationship
between the landlord and the tenant may be such that, despite a
material breach of the lease, the landlord does not want to pursue
legal remedies against the tenant for future rental amounts. Under
that scenario, the landlord can accept a surrender of the premises
by the tenant.
When a tenant surrenders the premises to the
landlord, the tenant remains liable to the landlord for all amounts
currently due and owing under the lease but will be relieved from
liability for any future rent.
However, if the tenant attempts to surrender
the premises and the landlord refuses to accept such surrender, the
situation will be treated as an abandonment. If the tenant is no
longer occupying the premises and the landlord has not accepted a
surrender thereof, an abandonment under the Lease has occurred.
In such a case, the landlord must either
accept the abandonment and treat it as a surrender (discussed
above), or proceed with such legal remedies available to the
landlord under law or otherwise provided in the lease. (Those
remedies will be discussed in a subsequent article.)
The bottom line is that, in the face of a
tenant that either has relinquished, or is threatening to
relinquish, all rights to the premises, the landlord must decide
whether to allow it to occur or treat it as abandonment and hold the
tenant liable under the lease.
 See Monaghan v. Barnes, 48
Ariz. 213, 61 P.2d 158 (1936).
 See Wingate v. Gin, 148 Ariz.
289, 714 P.2d 459 (App. 1985).
 See Gangadean v. Erickson, 17
Ariz. App. 131, 495 P.2d 1338 (App. 1972).