What legal recourse do I have against a former tenant who caused property damage?

11/01/2007 - Landlord Tenant - State: AZ #11414

Full Question:

A tenant just left he punched holes in the wall and flooded the basement and destroyed door. Do I have legal recourse?

Answer:

The following are Arizona statutes:

33-1341. Tenant to maintain dwelling unit

The tenant shall:

1. Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of building codes materially affecting health and safety.
2. Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit.
3. Dispose from his dwelling unit all ashes, rubbish, garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner.
4. Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits.
5. Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises.
6. Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any person to do so.
7. Conduct himself and require other persons on the premises with his consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb his neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
8. THE TENANT SHALL NOTIFY THE LANDLORD OF ANY SITUATION OR OCCURRENCE THAT REQUIRES THE LANDLORD TO PROVIDE MAINTENANCE, MAKE REPAIRS OR OTHERWISE REQUIRES THE LANDLORD TO TAKE ACTION AS PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 33-1324.
33-1369. Failure to maintain
If there is noncompliance by the tenant with section 33-1341 materially affecting health and safety that can be remedied by repair, replacement of a damaged item or cleaning and the tenant fails to comply as promptly as conditions require in case of emergency or within fourteen days after written notice by the landlord specifying the breach and requesting that the tenant remedy it within that period of time, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit and cause the work to be done in a workmanlike manner and submit an itemized bill for the actual and reasonable cost or the fair and reasonable value thereof as rent on the next date when periodic rent is due, or if the rental agreement has terminated, for immediate payment.
33-1373. Remedy after termination
If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord may have a claim for possession and for rent and a separate claim for actual damages for breach of the rental agreement.
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.


11/01/2007 - Category: Landlord Tenant - State: AZ #11414

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