Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: My son just rented an apartment in a nice complex. He was supposed to move in on a Monday, when roaches were found in the apartment. They sprayed right before he was to move in, but today, four days later, there are baby roaches everywhere. They are supposed to fumigate the complex on Friday, but he's concerned. Can he break the lease if the fumigation fails to get rid of the roaches? He's put out ranch traps all week, and the baby roaches are multiplying.

Answer: A good place to start the analysis is the lease and the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act, which governs issues on which the lease is silent and limits the landlord's abilities to contract around certain obligations. You can find it online here: https://housing.az.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/AZ%20Residential%20Landlord%20and%20Tenant%20Act%20-%20Revised%20July%203%202015.pdf Without having access to the lease, under the ARLTA, specifically A.R.S. 33-1324, a landlord is required to maintain fit and habitable premises. If the landlord fails to do so, your son may consider giving the landlord written notice of noncompliance under A.R.S. 33-1361. I would argue in this case that it is a case that materially affects health and safety, thus, if the landlord fails to cure the problem within 5 days after service of the notice, the lease would terminate. You can usually find sample 5-day notices on-line, but just citing the statutes referenced here and being sure to hand-deliver it or have it served (with proof of same) is the most important. Please note that I am providing general information based on the limited information available to me. I am unable to provide legal advice under these circumstances, and no attorney-client relationship is hereby created.

QUESTIONS

  • My son just rented an apartment in a nice complex. He was supposed to move in on a Monday, when roaches were found in the apartment. They sprayed right before he was to move in, but today, four days later, there are baby roaches everywhere. They are supposed to fumigate the complex on Friday, but he's concerned. Can he break the lease if the fumigation fails to get rid of the roaches? He's put out ranch traps all week, and the baby roaches are multiplying.

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