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  1. #1
    Jenmar1024 is offline Junior Member
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    unresponsive landlord

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Arizona

    My Husband and I have been having issues with our former landlord for over a month, almost 2 at this point.

    1st issue is related to our security deposit. He did send us a list of damages/ expenses but he is claiming damages were there was none. We have photos, video and witnesses from the final walkthrough (which he refused to schedule one with us). He wants us to pay for the replacement of carpeting in 3 different bedrooms, 1 of the bedrooms does not have a single spot, 2 of the others has a couple of dye stains that were caused by water damage from a leaky toilet (which he was notified of and didn't come until the next day and he did nothing). The carpet in question is also 8 years old. We responded to these charges via a certified letter with return receipt, it has been over a week and he still has yet to sign for the letter.

    2nd issue is related to an additional deposit he took for our pet(s). Upon moving in we had 2 pets, a small dog and a bird. After only a couple of weeks we had to get rid of our bird, leaving only the small dog. 4 years later, my Mother had a dog and asked us to take care of it for her while she went back East to take care of my Father who was sick, we agreed thinking it would only be for a short time. After a couple of months of dogsitting, we let our Landlord know of the situation. He started charging us an extra $50 a month rent for my Mother's dog, he said he doesn't allow 2 dogs on any of his rental properties but nowhere in our lease does it state that.

    3rd issue is also related to the pet deposit. On his list of charges/ expenses he stated that only 1 expense was due to pet damage, totalling $65.00. Our deposit was $500 ($250 for each pet), we have yet to see any of that deposit returned.

    Sorry this is so long but we have been having issues with this guy for what feels like forever and we are at a loss as to what we should do next. We just want to be done with this guy and move on but he is not responding.

    Thanks.
  2. #2
    Handcoc is offline Member
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    Small claims would be the next step.
  3. #3
    Gail in Georgia is offline Senior Member
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    Actually the first step should be writing what is typically known as a "demand" letter, demanding what you believe you are fairly owed from this deposit and giving the landlord a certain period of time (say, two weeks after he receives this letter) to return what you believe you are fairly owed.

    If no response (or an unsatisfactory one), the next step is to consider whether it is worth it for you to file a lawsuit for this money. Most of these types of lawsuits are heard in Small Claims court because they involve relatively small amounts of money in dispute. Arizona allows civil claims that do not exceed $2500 to be heard in this court:

    [url=http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/justicecourts/courtsandsections/smallclaims/]Justice Courts - Small Claims[/url]

    To your benefit you have pictures to use at evidence to show the status of the rental unit at move out.

    I suspect your claim that you are owed the $50 a month you paid for the second dog may not fly in this hearing because, it appears, you agreed to pay this extra fee.

    Also, make sure that your pet deposit was a refundable deposit in the event that the pet did not do extra damage and not a deposit for the luxury of having pets in the rental unit.

    Gail
  4. #4
    Handcoc is offline Member
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    Ask for the moon (anything that could possibly be owed by the LL to you) in your suit; if the LL does not show up, then you'll win by default. If not, the judge will knock out things you are not due.
  5. #5
    randolph76 is offline Member
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    Typically when I want to make sure some got the letter I also fax it as well as Certified Mail. Usually management will have a fax machine.
  6. #6
    Jenmar1024 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you all for your advice.

    In the letter we sent as I guess you could say a rebuttal to the charges we did ask for reciepts of said damages and expenses. We also did "remind" him that the pet deposit was in fact a refundable deposit.

    The letter was mailed on May 24th, arrived at his home address (the only address we have for him) on May 25th. However, the USPS left a notice for him on the 25th, as of today the letter has yet to be signed for. We also only have his cell number to contact him by phone, which he does not answer our calls.

    We honestly do not want to have to go the court route, we just want to be done with him but he appearantly does not want to work with us, which leaves us little choice.
  7. #7
    applecruncher is offline Senior Member
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    We also only have his cell number to contact him by phone, which he does not answer our calls.
    Stop calling him; obviously it's a waste of time.
  8. #8
    Gail in Georgia is offline Senior Member
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    Your landlord is hoping you will simply go away.

    Arizona landlord/tenant law does not require a landlord to provide a former tenant with receipts for amounts kept out of the security deposit. The landlord would (should this end up in court) have to show the court that the amount he kept for damages was both reasonable and accurate.

    [url=http://legal.asua.arizona.edu/SEC_DPST.html]Untitled Document[/url]

    Gail
  9. #9
    John_DFW is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handcoc View Post
    if the LL does not show up, then you'll win by default.
    I believe that you still have to present your case and show evidence.

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