Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: Our landlords sent us an email stating that we have to pay for professional cleaning or they will take $450 from our security deposit. From the research I have done, I understand that this is illegal and we are only obligated to deep clean it and leave it in the same condition as when we moved in. Do we have to professionally clean or not?

Answer: 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 If you refer to A.R.S. 33-1310, you are correct. Subsection 14 of that section says: ""Security" means money or property given to assure payment or performance under a rental agreement. "Security" does not include a reasonable charge for redecorating or cleaning." Then refer to A.R.S. 33-1321. Subsection B mandates that the lease must expressly set out what portions of fees or security deposits are non-refundable. Unless your landlord specifically designated a $450 cleaning fee in the lease, they are not permitted to charge it or deduct it from your security deposit. They can only withhold from your security deposit any damages you caused to the property. 33-1321(D) provides that the landlord must refund your security deposit within 14 days of the end of your tenancy together with an "itemized list of all deductions". If they fail to do so, you can sue for the return of the deposit plus 2x the deposit. 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.

QUESTIONS

  • Our landlords sent us an email stating that we have to pay for professional cleaning or they will take $450 from our security deposit. From the research I have done, I understand that this is illegal and we are only obligated to deep clean it and leave it in the same condition as when we moved in. Do we have to professionally clean or not?

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