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

Full Question:

A tenant just left he punched holes in the wall and flooded the basement and destroyed door. Do I have legal recourse?
11/01/2007   |   Category: Landlord Tenant   |   State: Arizona   |   #11414

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.

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