Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: If I am filing a small claim for wrongly withholding deposit, do I bring my claim against the landlord or the property management company, or both? The property management company is who made the decision to withhold the deposit.

Answer: Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. 33 Chapter 10), the landlord is required to send to the tenant an itemized list of any charges the landlord intends to deduct from the refundable security deposit as well as the balance owed within 14 days (excluding weekends and holidays) after receipt of a letter from the tenant requesting the return of the deposit from the landlord (A.R.S. 33-1321(D)). If this letter from the tenant does not specify a mailing address, then the landlord must send the itemized list (if any) and balance owed (if any) to the tenant’s last known residence. The law requires this “demand” by the tenant. If the landlord fails to comply within 14 days after receiving this letter, then the tenant may go to court to recover not only the balance owed but also an additional amount equal to twice the amount that the landlord has wrongfully withheld (A.R.S. 33-1321(E)). The small claim complaint may name as the defendant whomever the rental agreement identified as “an owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving and receipting for notices and demands” (A.R.S. 33-1322(A)).

QUESTIONS

  • If I am filing a small claim for wrongly withholding deposit, do I bring my claim against the landlord or the property management company, or both? The property management company is who made the decision to withhold the deposit.

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