I am a former resident of an apartment complex located in Flagstaff, AZ known as "The Villages at Lake Mary Apartments". For six months, my wife and I were residents of this facility and felt the accomodations, although fairly expensive, were reasonalbe for the area. Most of the issues that did arise were minor and were resolved in a timely fashion.
The issue for which this report has been created deals with our treatment after vacating the premises at the end of our lease period. Before moving in we placed a significant rental deposit in order to resolve any excessive damages to our residence. Upon moving out, my wife and I left the apartment in a condition similar as to our move-in.
Since there were no major damages, stains, or other issues to detract from the appartment's rentability, we expected that the balance of the deposit would be returned to us immediately. However, upon receiving a check for the rental deposit balance we noticed an amount of $175 was deducted. We called the apartment complex for an explanation and were told that the apartment required a "full cleaning". We asked for an explanation of this charge and were told that no further information could be provided. The only notation in the "move-out form" was that the apartment had to be cleaned.
Since the office staff at "The Villages at Lake Mary Apartments" could provide no further assistance, we contacted the management company - Centurion Management in Scottsdale, AZ. I spoke with one of their office personnel and she informed me that a full accounting of the charges would be sent as soon as possible. According to Arizona state law, a full accounting of rental deposit deductions must be provided within 14 days. It has been over two weeks and I still do not have this information.
I have requested that Centurion Management refund the amount due to me or provide a detailed explanation of the cleaning charges. To this date, they haven't done either. Arizona state law provides for remedies in the amount of 2 times the amount owed if the information I've requested is not provided. This is the remedy I am now seeking.
33-1321. Security deposits
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.
E. If the landlord fails to comply with subsection D of this section the tenant may recover the property and money due the tenant together with damages in an amount equal to twice the amount wrongfully withheld.