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Ms.. I have a problem with my former landlord who will not…

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Hello Ms. Wilson. I...

Hello Ms. Wilson. I have a problem with my former landlord who will not return my deposit after I did not renew my lease. I did everything i was supposed to do according to the lease agreement. On the day that i turned in the keys, mail box and apartment, I was ready to do a walk through inspection with someone from the office or the manager. I was told by a young lady who worked in the office, who has been transfer to a different office, that it's ok I don't have to do a inspection walk through.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Arizona

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Not yet. I spoke to the manager today about why is it taking so long to get my deposit. It has been two months and according to ARS 33-1321 deposits should be returned in 14 days. The manager said that I will not get my refund because some damages were found. So i will not get my $299 back. However i was not there to see the damages she was referring to. When i left the apartment it was clean and no visible damages were there. I have lived there for 7 years and always paid my rent a few days early. For 2 months I did not hear from the manager about a problem. I found out that I will not get my deposit only because I went to speak to her today about why it is taking so long.

Lawyer's Assistant: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.

Customer:***@******.***

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

What are the chances I will win a judgement in small claims court. All I am asking for is the $299 that by lease agreement I should get.

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
9/30/2017
Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 10 months ago
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 15,330
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 10 months ago

Good evening,

I would say your chances are very good, because per Arizona law, if within 14 days of moving out a landlord does not return the security deposit or provide you with a list of deductions from the deposit, the landlord waives right to collect it, and you are entitled to not only the deposit, but also two times the amount in damages. Here is the statute:

33-1321. Security deposits

A. A landlord shall not demand or receive security, however denominated, including, but not limited to, prepaid rent in an amount or value in excess of one and one-half month's rent. This subsection does not prohibit a tenant from voluntarily paying more than one and one-half month's rent in advance.

B. The purpose of all nonrefundable fees or deposits shall be stated in writing by the landlord. Any fee or deposit not designated as nonrefundable shall be refundable.

C. With respect to tenants who first occupy the premises or enter into a new written rental agreement after January 1, 1996, upon move in a landlord shall furnish the tenant with a signed copy of the lease, a move-in form for specifying any existing damages to the dwelling unit and written notification to the tenant that the tenant may be present at the move-out inspection. Upon request by the tenant, the landlord shall notify the tenant when the landlord's move-out inspection will occur. If the tenant is being evicted for a material and irreparable breach and the landlord has reasonable cause to fear violence or intimidation on the part of the tenant, the landlord has no obligation to conduct a joint move-out inspection with the tenant.

D. Upon termination of the tenancy, property or money held by the landlord as prepaid rent and security may be applied to the payment of all rent, and subject to a landlord's duty to mitigate, all charges as specified in the signed lease agreement, or as provided in this chapter, including the amount of damages which the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with section 33-1341. Within fourteen days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays or other legal holidays, after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession and demand by the tenant the landlord shall provide the tenant an itemized list of all deductions together with the amount due and payable to the tenant, if any. Unless other arrangements are made in writing by the tenant, the landlord shall mail the itemized list and any amount due, by first class mail, to the tenant's last known place of residence.

E. If the landlord fails to comply with subsection D of this section the tenant may recover the property and money due the tenant together with damages in an amount equal to twice the amount wrongfully withheld.

F. This section does not preclude the landlord or tenant from recovering other damages to which the landlord or tenant may be entitled under this chapter.

G. During the term of tenancy the landlord may use refundable security deposits or other refundable deposits in accordance with any applicable provisions of the property management agreement. At the end of tenancy, all refundable deposits shall be refunded to the tenant pursuant to this section.

H. The holder of the landlord's interest in the premises at the time of the termination of the tenancy is bound by this section.

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 10 months ago

This article from NOLO provides information on first trying to send a demand letter to the landlord to get them to return the security deposit and filing a case in small claims court. You may find it helpful.

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 10 months ago

If you require any additional information or clarification, please REPLY WITHOUT RATING and I'm happy to help you further. Otherwise, kindly remember to click on the stars at the top of the page to leave me a positive rating as experts are only compensated for our time and efforts once you do so. Thank you.

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