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Question: My landlord has yet to return my security deposit. She keeps saying "I'll do it soon" but doesn't. I don't think she has much intention of returning it soon. In her lease, it states she has 30 days to return security deposit, I was unaware that in AZ she only has 14. Since I signed her contract, do I have to wait the full 30 days or does AZ Law of 14 business days trump that?
I always recommend consulting the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act found here: https://housing.az.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/AZ%20Residential%20Landlord%20and%20Tenant%20Act%20-%20Revised%20July%203%202015.pdf A.R.S. 33-1315 provides as follows: 33-1315. Prohibited provisions in rental agreements A. A rental agreement shall not provide that the tenant does any of the following: 1. Agrees to waive or to forego rights or remedies under this chapter. 2. Agrees to pay the landlord's attorney fees, except an agreement in writing may provide that attorney fees may be awarded to the prevailing party in the event of court action and except that a prevailing party in a contested forcible detainer action is eligible to be awarded attorney fees pursuant to section 12-341.01 regardless of whether the rental agreement provides for such an award. 3. Agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any liability of the landlord arising under law or to indemnify the landlord for that liability or the costs connected therewith. 4. Agrees to waive or limit the tenant's right to summon or any other person's right to summon a peace officer or other emergency assistance in response to an emergency. 5. Agrees to payment of monetary penalties or otherwise penalizes the tenant for the tenant summoning or for any other person summoning a peace officer or other emergency assistance in response to an emergency. B. A provision that is prohibited by subsection A of this section and that is included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. If a landlord deliberately uses a rental agreement containing provisions known by the landlord to be prohibited, the tenant may recover actual damages sustained by the tenant and not more than two months' periodic rent. C. This section does not limit the landlord's right to evict a tenant pursuant to section 33-1368 Pursuant to that statute, you cannot agree to waive/forego any of your rights under the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act.
As you correctly note, the Act, at A.R.S. 33-1321(D), provides that: Within fourteen days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays or other legal holidays, after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession and demand by the tenant the landlord shall provide the tenant an itemized list of all deductions together with the amount due and payable to the tenant, if any. Unless other arrangements are made in writing by the tenant, the landlord shall mail the itemized list and any amount due, by first class mail, to the tenant's last known place of residence. If he or she refuses or fails to do so, you can sue to recover the security deposit together with "damages in an amount equal to twice the amount wrongfully withheld." This is pursuant to A.R.S. 33-1321(E). You would file suit in the Justice Court that is in the precinct where the property is located. Please note that I am providing general information based on the very limited information available to me. I am unable to provide you with legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is created hereby. I wish you the best in this and all your endeavors.
My landlord has yet to return my security deposit. She keeps saying "I'll do it soon" but doesn't. I don't think she has much intention of returning it soon. In her lease, it states she has 30 days to return security deposit, I was unaware that in AZ she only has 14. Since I signed her contract, do I have to wait the full 30 days or does AZ Law of 14 business days trump that?
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State Bar of Arizona
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Referral number 602-257-4434
Pima County Bar
Referral number 520-623-4625
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