I was charged nearly $1,000 from my current landlord (at an Apartment complex) for a carpet replacement that they claim was necessary upon move-out. There was no time left on the lease to perform a walk through with them. No security deposit was collected, nor was it required/mandatory when moving in.
The bill states that the carpet life expectancy is at least 5-6 years, saying too that they had brand new carpet installed when we moved in. We were only there on a 6 month lease term. Signed a new lease for a different unit with the same complex before receiving this bill, due to a new tenant moving into the unit with the carpet they replaced. Unknown if they made any attempt to clean it themselves before replacing it entirely. No photos or evidence was gathered, mainly taking their word.
Also, the law in Arizona provides that you cannot be charged for the replacement of items due to normal wear and tear (i.e., if the carpet had been there for five years and you moved in for six months and they determined that it needed to be replaced - most likely normal wear and tear). With new carpet immediately before you moved in and replaced immediately after at the end of a six month term it is not likely to be wear and tear; however, make them show you the invoice - receipt, or other documentation of the new carpet (prior to move in) and the documentation for the current replacement carpet. You may wish to consult with an attorney.
This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. An attorney licensed in your jurisdiction can answer questions specific to your specific fact situation and provide you appropriate advice as necessary based on the specific facts of your matter and the jurisdiction in which you reside.
It depends on the language contained in your lease. However, the Arizona statutes that would provide some guidance for your specific situation are ARS 33-1341 (Tenant to maintain dwelling) and ARS 33-1321 (Security Deposits). I am assuming that your security deposit was charged for the cost of the carpet. If you were billed for the cost and do not pay, then the landlord may be faced with pursuing his/her claim against you in court. On the other hand, if the landlord deducted it from your deposit, then you will be required to file a complaint in a justice court for landlord's wrongful withholding of your deposit - see 33-1321(E).
ARS 33-1321 contains the following phrase "upon move in a landlord shall furnish the tenant with a signed copy of the lease, a move-in form for specifying any existing damages to the dwelling unit and written notification to the tenant that the tenant may be present at the move-out inspection. Upon request by the tenant, the landlord shall notify the tenant when the landlord's move-out inspection will occur." I recommend that you provide the landlord with a written move-out inspection request, though it may be too late now. If you made a verbal one and it was denied, then you may have a claim under the statute.
With the facts you have provided, you may have a claim, but it depends on your lease and behavior during the process - some of your rights may be foreclosed for one reason or another, which you should carefully review those statute section I provided above for more information relevant to the events of your specific situation.
Contact a lawyer to assist you with a claim.
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