Can alandlord charge you for items after his realtor did a walk-through with you and said the house was in excellent condition?

UPDATED: Jul 1, 2012

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Can alandlord charge you for items after his realtor did a walk-through with you and said the house was in excellent condition?

We had a walk out inspection by our landlords realtor. At which time they said the house was in excellent condition and we would receive our deposit back in 14 days as statelaw requires . And they listed the house for rent in excellent condition. Our landlord on the other hand decided to wait exactly a month from move out before returning our deposit. He had decided to sell the house instead of rent it out again. He charged us for changing out all the hardware, pressure washing and sealing the garage because of tire marks and for painting the inside of the house which came to a total of $900 of our $1000 security deposit. Can he do this? We did what we where told to do and had the carpets professionally cleaned. He said the house was not as it was when he bought the house prior to us moving in. We left the house spotless. His realtor even stated that it was in excellent condition.

Asked on July 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are correct that the landlord has 14 days under state law to refund the deposit or provide an itemized list of all deductions, but that is 14 days after "demand by the tenant."  Did you make a demand for your security deposit to be refunded?  If not, you should do so as soon as possible.  Two weeks later, you appear to have a pretty good case for the refund of your $900.  Plus under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, you are actually entitled to twice that (see ARS 33-1321.E).  I would make sure, in writing, that your landlord is aware of that law.  Then, if he does not cough up the $900, you can sue him in small claims court for the $1,800.

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