Dangerous Mold? Give Landlord 5 Days to Act

By Christopher Combs | May 22, 2022

Question: Last September we signed a one-year lease for a home in Goodyear. The landlord lives in California and has a local property manager. There was a big storm two months ago and our roof leaked, mainly in the third bedroom that was apparently part of a major remodeling project by the California owner three years ago. There is now mold throughout the home. Three weeks ago, the property manager did an inspection, and she said that she would have contractors out to inspect the roof, and that she would then get bids to repair the roof and the mold…


What if You’re Unlawfully Locked Out of the Office?

By Christopher Combs | April 24, 2022

Question: We lease office space in a Peoria office building for our insurance business. Under our lease we have five business days to pay our monthly lease payment. After five calendar days (including a weekend), but only three business days, the property manager “locked us out” of our office space because she has always wanted to get a higher-paying tenant in our office space. At an angry meeting later that morning, the property manager apologized to us for her mistake, and let us back into our office space. The landlord even sent over a dozen red roses to our office. Although…


Evicting Short-Term Renters Who Stay Too Long

By Christopher Combs | October 17, 2021

Question: We have been renting our Scottsdale rental home as a short-term rental home since 2019 with no problems. Our last short-term renter of ten days, however, was a problem because our short-term renter refused to move out after 10 days. We argued with this short-term renter, but we eventually paid him $500 to move out just before our next short-term renter. We are now concerned about move-out problems with future short-term renters. Some of our short-term renters for bachelor/bachelorette parties are only three days over a weekend. What if they want to continue to party for another few days,…

propertly lease

Breach of Lease Requires Landlord to Mitigate Damages

By Christopher Combs | January 24, 2021

Question: We signed a one-year lease for a Scottsdale condominium for $2,800 a month. The lease was from April 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021. Last week we signed a purchase contract to buy a Chandler home. The close of escrow on the Chandler home will be January 31, 2021. We have notified our landlord that we will be moving out of our Scottsdale condominium on January 31, 2021. The landlord was not happy, however, and said that we are still liable for the $2,800 a month rent for the last two months of our lease. Our understanding is that,…

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…

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…

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!…

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…