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Real Estate: Arizona/Tenant refuses to pay for missing pool fence

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Question
We have pictures a few weeks before tenants moved in to our home in Scottsdale, showing the pool was enclosed by a fence. After tenants moved out, it was noticed a few portions of the fence are missing. Tenant claims the fences were always missing. We believe if the fence went missing while they lived there, it was under their watch, like any other appliance, door, window and their responsibility. They did not state anything was missing when they moved in. Can we deduct the cost from their deposit? The lease doesn't specifically mention the fence.

Answer
Under Arizona law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit, with an itemized statement of deductions, within 14 days after the tenant has moved out.  It would be wise to send the move in pictures and pictures at the move out for the fence.  An estimate or receipt for repair of the fence would also be a good idea.  Send that to tenants and see what the response.  If they disagree it would become a civil issue for them to pursue the monies in small claims court.  A judge would then decide.  The move in pictures may jog the tenants memory showing the condition of the fence.  This is not legal advice and I am not an attorney.

Real Estate: Arizona

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Bill Iannelli

Expertise

Anything to do with residental real estate: Disclosure, title issues, buyer and seller representation, foreclosure, ethics, rentals, landlord rights, evictions, inspection, time frames, Arizona purchase contract. For buying and selling in Arizona contact me at www.realestatematters.org

Experience

27 years in the business. Broker owner of Iannelli and Associates. Radio host, expert witness and certified real estate instructor at the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business. Own my own portfolio of real estate, developer of apartments, commercial real estate and single family homes.

Organizations
National Association of Realtors, Member of both the Phoenix and Prescott multiple listing service.

Publications
Desert Advocate Newspaper Carefree Arizona. Question and answer column. Broker agent news, TV and radio stations.

Education/Credentials
Licensed Real Estate Broker, BS in Education, certified real estate instructor for the Arizona School of Real Estate.

Awards and Honors
Don't want to brag. Not important to the public. They want answers and advice not me telling them how many millions of dollars of real estate I have sold.

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