My tenant has vacated the rental space. What do I do in this situation?
My tenant vacated the rental space that I leased out to him for a monthly rent of $900. I am not the kind of man who goes and inspects the rental space every now and then because it is an inconvenience to the tenants. When I inspected the rental unit after the tenant handed over the keys, I was shocked to see the condition of the unit. The door frames had cracks that ran into the walls, the toilet was a complete mess, sinks broken and the kitchen was in tatters. It is going to cost me a lot to get it fixed and restore the unit to its original state. What do I do in this situation?12/13/2016 | Category: Landlord Ten... » Mitigate Dam... | State: Arizona | #28018
“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. Promptly notify the landlord in writing of any situation or occurrence that requires the landlord to provide maintenance or make repairs or otherwise requires the landlord to take action as prescribed in section 33-1324.”
In the scenario at hand, the tenant has violated his duty per the above quoted statute. The remedies available to the landlord in such instances are given in A.R.S. § 33-1368 and A.R.S. § 33-1321. Both these provisions lay down the right available to the landlord to recover damages from the tenant.
A.R.S. § 33-1368 reads:
C. The landlord may recover all reasonable damages, resulting from noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or section 33-1341 or occupancy of the dwelling unit, court costs, reasonable attorney fees and all quantifiable damage caused by the tenant to the premises.
A.R.S. § 33-1321 reads:
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.
In the case at hand, the landlord may either recover the damages done to the premises per A.R.S. § 33-1368 or deduct such damages from the security deposit per A.R.S. § 33-1321 and refund only the remaining amount of security deposit. The landlord, for making such deduction from the security deposit should give an itemized list of the expenses incurred to restore the rental unit. If the amount of security deposit does not cover the expenses, the landlord has the right to claim the excess expenses from the tenant.