Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: I rented a home in December 2010. At the time it had no cooling of any kind except ceiling fans. Landlord said at time she took out window A/C 's because previous tentans did not take care of them. Can I break a 1 year lease for lack of cooling if she doesnt put some A/C units in?

Answer:

If a landlord fails to provide running water, gas and/or electrical service, or fails to provide reasonable amounts of hot water, heat and/or cooling, then the tenant may give notice to the landlord that he is in breach of the lease. (A.R.S. § 33-1364) At that point, the tenant has one of the following three options:

 Option One: The tenant can arrange for utilities on his own and deduct the cost from the rent. With the utility company’s approval, a tenant group or group of tenants can pay a landlord’s delinquent utility bill and deduct that amount from their rent.

Option Two: The tenant can file suit and recover damages based on the decreased fair rental value of the residence.

Option Three: The tenant can find substitute housing (e.g. a motel) during the period of the landlord’s noncompliance. If this occurs, the tenant is excused from paying rent for as long as the landlord does not provide the essential service.

If you decide you need an attorney for detail legal advice, please visit our website for legal aid options that may be available to you. 

QUESTIONS

  • I rented a home in December 2010. At the time it had no cooling of any kind except ceiling fans. Landlord said at time she took out window A/C 's because previous tentans did not take care of them. Can I break a 1 year lease for lack of cooling if she doesnt put some A/C units in?

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