General Housing Information

questions & answers

Question: The apartment that I moved out of says I owe them money for a variety of things when I moved out. They charged me to paint it, but when I moved in the walls were already dirty with spills and stains. I have pictures to prove it when I moved in. Also, when I asked for a copy of what I am being charged for, the information was not accurate. It says they did all the cleaning and painting in the middle of the month, but I didn't move out until the last day of that month. Do I have an argument worth pursuing?

Answer: Tenants frequently dispute their landlords’ deductions from their refundable security deposits and defend themselves against their landlords’ small claims lawsuits for compensation for damage allegedly caused to rented dwellings. Having signed and dated move-in and move-out inspection lists is always helpful, as is having photos and/or video evidence. Under Arizona law, landlords are not permitted to charge their tenants for “ordinary wear and tear” (A.R.S. 33-321). The best first step in disputing a landlord’s allegations is to respond in the form of a signed and dated letter describing in detail which if any of the landlord’s charges are correct and which are incorrect (and why) along with copies of the evidence. The letter should be written as if a judge will be reading it at some point in the future. (Landlords sometimes back down when presented with a detailed facts-supported letter that would persuade a court of law.)

QUESTIONS

  • The apartment that I moved out of says I owe them money for a variety of things when I moved out. They charged me to paint it, but when I moved in the walls were already dirty with spills and stains. I have pictures to prove it when I moved in. Also, when I asked for a copy of what I am being charged for, the information was not accurate. It says they did all the cleaning and painting in the middle of the month, but I didn't move out until the last day of that month. Do I have an argument worth pursuing?

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