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…


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…

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,…