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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10221
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I moved out of an apartment March 31. We performed a

Customer Question

Good afternoon, I moved out of an apartment March 31. We performed a walkthrough with a representative of the complex and were told that there would be no charges. We received no bill or itemized list of repairs within the 14 days required under SS 33-1321 D. We had no security deposit with the complex. However, we received a call from a collections agency stating that we owe a $192 bill for post move repairs (they gave us the date of March 21st as the day that they got the debt). Am I correct in thinking that we would not owe anything and they may have triggered 33-1321E?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 month ago.

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Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 month ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation.

While AZ Statute 33-1321E does require a landlord to provide an itemized list of damages within 14 days, this statute is limited to the landlord's right to make a claim against the tenant's security deposit (the landlord's quick remedy for damages). It does not restrict or otherwise limit the landlord from pursuing a tenant for damages under either breach of contract, negligence, or damage to property theories of recovery.

You state that you had no security deposit, so this code section does not apply.

However, the landlord appears to have improperly pursued the matter - instead of sending you an invoice for damages (which you would have had the opportunity to contest), they simply sent the matter to collections. Valid reasons for doing so would be very limited - perhaps not providing them with a forwarding address.

Even though the landlord has sent the matter to collections, you can still contest the amount owed (you even have a right to sue them in small claims court for "declaratory relief" - the claim is a breach of contract theory, but you are asking the court to issue a judgment to determine how much, if anything, is owed).

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