I hope this gives enough detail, tried to be concise:
1 year lease with a total of five tenants. Lease ends, walk through occurs, portion of security deposit refunded by check. Amount is disputed, check is never deposited, and landlord does not properly address the dispute. New 1 year lease signed with 1 tenant from previous lease and 2 new tenants. New tenants encounter issues with landlord, are evicted/break lease after approximately four months. Landlord sends list of damages to both sets of tenants with total of damages higher than the sum of both security deposits. Threatens to send all tenants to collections if the remaining alleged damages are not paid. Can the landlord do this?
I think I understand the issue. Under ARS 33-1321, the landlord must provide an accounting within 14 days of termination of the tenancy regarding damages to the premises and where she has applied the security deposit. Thus, she will not be able to make a claim against the first tenants. Also, if the damages existed before tenants moved in, tenants are not responsible for them. She cannot simply sue each of the tenants and say, in essence, 'you figure out who did the damage.' She bears the burden of proof that the tenant she sued is responsible for the damages.
Depends. After the original walk through, did the tenants get anything in writing regarding the condition of the property after they moved out. I would strongly suggest that you hire a local attorney that specializes in real estate. It sounds like you may need a letter written by an attorney to defend your interest.