Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: 3/31 Lease on rental home ended. 3/18 Move-out inspection done with owner. No finding except 3 bulbs needed. Owner stated he would mail check next week. 3/20 Rec'd signed inspection list for 3 bulbs. 3/20 Utilities shut off. 3/22 Rec'd email from owner stating I was obligated to keep utilities on until 3/31. And that he was going to do work on the house. He suggested I give him an amount to deduct for utilities till 3/31. And if not I can refute deductions upon receipt of deposit. Need direction in the event I pursue legal action.

Answer: Under Arizona law, upon termination of the rental agreement the tenant must request the return of their security deposit from the landlord in writing. The landlord then has 14 business days to return whatever deposit is owed plus an itemized list of deductions (if any) (A.R.S. 33-1321(D)). Landlords often claim that the tenant caused damage to the dwelling that required repairs. This is why it is important for tenants to conduct both their move-in walkthroughs and their move-out walkthroughs with the landlord and/or to take photos and/or video of the condition of the dwelling both as they move in and as they move out. Landlords cannot lawfully charge their tenants for repairing damage that predated the tenancy or damage that constitutes “ordinary wear and tear” (A.R.S. 33-321). A tenant whose landlord claims deductions that the tenant does not think are proper has 60 days after receipt of the landlord’s itemized list to dispute the deductions in writing (A.R.S. 33-1321(D)).

QUESTIONS

  • 3/31 Lease on rental home ended. 3/18 Move-out inspection done with owner. No finding except 3 bulbs needed. Owner stated he would mail check next week. 3/20 Rec'd signed inspection list for 3 bulbs. 3/20 Utilities shut off. 3/22 Rec'd email from owner stating I was obligated to keep utilities on until 3/31. And that he was going to do work on the house. He suggested I give him an amount to deduct for utilities till 3/31. And if not I can refute deductions upon receipt of deposit. Need direction in the event I pursue legal action.

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