ARTICLES & NEWS

LANDLORD-TENANT DISPUTES ARTICLES

Judgment Money

Judgments with Proper Paperwork can be Renewed Forever

By Christopher Combs | November 8, 2020

Question: We own a rental home near downtown Scottsdale. The son of a well-known celebrity signed a lease for a year. After two months we received phone calls from our neighbors complaining about the noise and trash in the streets. We then inspected the home and found significant damage, including large holes in the wall, and a broken staircase. We immediately canceled the lease, and the son moved to Chandler. We now have a default judgment against the son for $19,500 in back rent and damages to our rental home. Although the son had good income working as a bartender…

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rent invoice

Landlord Can Collect Only Six Years’ Rent on Mistake

By Christopher Combs | November 1, 2020

Question: For eight years we have rented space in a Glendale office building for our travel business. Our lease included three parking spaces at a cost of $50 a month per parking space. Our office manager has paid the monthly rent invoice from our landlord every month for eight years. Last week our landlord said that this monthly rent invoice was a mistake because the monthly invoice should have included another $50 for the third parking space. The “bottom line” is that the landlord says that we now owe $4,800 additional rent (96 months x $50 a month). Didn’t we…

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Eviction Notice

Removal of “Unwanted Guest” From Rental Home

By Christopher Combs | October 25, 2020

Question: Last year we rented our Chandler rental home for one year to an employee in our business. His girlfriend was specifically listed on the lease as an “occupant.” The girlfriend’s sister later moved into our rental home without our knowledge. The one-year lease is now over, and our employee and his girlfriend have moved out of our rental home. The girlfriend’s sister is still there. She told us that that we have to give her thirty days’ notice and then go to court to evict her. This seems crazy when we didn’t even know that she was living there!…

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Abandoned couch

What to do with the left-behind couch?

By Christopher Combs | October 4, 2020

Question: We rented an unfurnished Tempe rental home to a nice ASU student for the ASU school year. At the end of the ASU school year, the tenant called us and said that he would be moving out the following Tuesday. We then met the tenant on that Tuesday for the final walkthrough. Everything was fine, so we returned the $1,500 security deposit back to the tenant, and the tenant gave us the keys to the home. There was a leather couch in good condition still in the living room. The tenant said that he gave the leather couch to…

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speeding

Owner Liable for Tenant’s Violation of CC&Rs

By Christopher Combs | March 15, 2020

Question: We leased our Gilbert home last summer while we were in Europe. One week after we moved back into our home, we got a notice from the HOA of a $150 fine against us because our tenant had been speeding in the community. We contacted the HOA to determine why the tenant was not being fined, and how the fine was calculated. The HOA said that the HOA only had the authority to fine us as the owner for our tenant’s speeding violations. Although the HOA admitted that there was no published schedule of fines, the HOA said that…

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dog bite

Liability for Dog Bite — Dog Owner or Landlord?

By Christopher Combs | March 1, 2020

Question: We own a rental home in Peoria. Last week our tenant’s German Shepherd escaped through a hole in the fence, and seriously injured a neighbor’s four-year-old son. In a recent column you said that under Arizona law the owner of a dog has strict liability for a dog bite. The tenant is saying, however, that we are responsible for the attack by their German Shepherd. They claim that there was a hole in the fence when they moved in, and that we promised to fix this hole. In fact, we never knew of the hole in the fence because,…

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security deposit

Landlord Must Notify Tenant of Deposit Status Within 14 Business Days After Lease

By Christopher Combs | February 16, 2020

Question: We rented a small furnished home in Phoenix. A burning cigarette severely damaged a sofa which was worth no more than $1,000. When the lease ended, we told the landlord that he could take $1,000 for a new sofa, but that we wanted the rest of our $2,500 security deposit back because the home was otherwise in perfect condition. The landlord said ok. One month later, however, we still have not received any communication from the landlord, who has not responded to any of our texts or emails. How can we get the remaining $1,500 of our security deposit…

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service animal

Service Animal Protected Even if Growls at Children

By Christopher Combs | December 29, 2019

Question: We own a small eight-unit apartment complex in north Phoenix. The lease prohibits any pets more than 25 pounds. One of the tenants in this eight-unit apartment complex has a German shepherd. The tenant says that for health reasons he needs this German shepherd. He has a letter from a doctor stating that this German shepherd is a service (or “assistive”) animal to assist in the treatment of the tenant’s anxiety. The other tenants are complaining about this German shepherd who has growled at small children, but has never been aggressive. One tenant is even threatening to move out.…

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