Refund a Security Deposit

Properly Refunding a Security Deposit

Per A.R.S. § 33-1321(D) of the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, a landlord must send a disposition of deposit letter to the former tenant within 14 (fourteen) business days. If the cost of the damage doesn’t exceed the deposit, the remainder of the deposit should be included. On the other hand, if the cost of the damage exceeds the deposit, this is your chance to state how much they owe you.

This letter needs to be sent within fourteen business days from the date your tenant vacated the property or the landlord may be subject to civil penalties.

If lawsuit arises in which a tenant claims their security deposit was kept unlawfully, and you didn’t send this letter, you could be at risk for “treble damages” – that is, three times what you kept unlawfully A.R.S. § 33-1321(E). Sending this letter goes a long way towards making sure all your bases are covered.

If you need a disposition of security deposit letter then download our free form letter. Click here to download the letter.

In instances where an Arizona tenant was evicted for nonpayment of rent, the landlord can keep the deposit to cover the judgment amount, but should still send a disposition of deposit letter informing the tenant what happened to their deposit.

Additionally, if you have a judgment for unpaid rent, and there are a lot of damages to the property, you don’t have to put the deposit towards the judgment – you can still use it to cover the damages.

If you are a landlord and need help from an Arizona real estate attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group by phone at 480-702-1608 or message us HERE.

The Dunaway Law Group provides this information as a service to clients and other friends for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or relied on as legal advice and does not create a lawyer-client or attorney-prospective client relationship. The law changes quickly and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As such, readers should not act upon this information without seeking advice from professional advisers. Additionally, this Firm limits its practice to the states of Arizona and New York.

Normal Wear and Tear

What is Normal Wear and Tear to a rental?

What is considered normal wear and tear to a rental property in Arizona? During a rental period, a certain amount of wear and tear is to be expected and it is reasonable that the paint on the interior walls will become dingy and that traffic wear will be shown on carpet. However, broken windows, missing window screens, holes in the walls and stained carpet are NOT considered normal wear and tear to an Arizona rental property.

A tenant shall exercise diligence to maintain the premises in as good condition as when he took possession, ordinary wear and tear excepted.

A.R.S. 33-321

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.

A.R.S. 33-1321(E)

Normal Wear & Tear and the Security Deposit

The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act states that normal wear and tear cannot be deducted from a tenant’s refundable security deposit. Additionally, Arizona courts hold that landlords cannot deduct the cost to paint interior walls and clean carpets.

Rental property trashed
NOT normal wear and tear to a rental property

Holes in walls, large stains on the carpet, and broken appliances are considered to be in excess of normal wear and therefore a landlord can deduct the cost to repair these items from the tenant’s refundable security deposit.

If you are an Arizona landlord and need help from an Arizona real estate attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-702-1608 or message us HERE.

* The information provided is informational only, does not constitute legal advice, and will not create an attorney-client or attorney-prospective client relationship. Additionally, the Dunaway Law Group, PLC limits its practice to the state of Arizona and New York.