Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: When we first moved into our apartment we noticed a bug but didnt know what it was, we killed it and flushed it, a couple weeks later we started getting bit and a couple days after that we caught 2 bugs, we told the office and they "set us up with a heat treat" 2 months later we got that heat treat! We were suppose to get 3 follow up sprays, one every week for 3 weeks. It had been a month since they heat treated and we only got one of those sprays! Now were getting bit like crazy again, 2 weeks ago we told the office we were getting bit and now its worse, Can we get out of our lease? HELP

Answer: Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, landlords are required to “maintain fit premises,” that is, to ensure that the dwellings that they rent out to tenants are kept in a clean and safe (or “habitable”) condition (A.R.S. 33-1324). They therefore may not lease a dwelling that is known to have a bedbug infestation (A.R.S. 33-1319). (Your question does not specify whether bedbugs are the problem in this particular case.) As a general rule, if a landlord fails to comply with the landlord’s obligations in a way that has a very serious and negative impact on the “habitability” of the dwelling, then the tenant has the option of providing written notice of the problem to the landlord and stating that if the problem is not fixed within 10 days, then the lease will be terminated. If the problem is materially affecting the health and safety of the tenant, then the same letter can state that the lease will end in 5 days (A.R.S. 13-1361). (However, the lease cannot be terminated in this way if the problem either (a) was originally caused by the tenant or a guest or (b) can be fixed before the specified date.) You may wish to send the landlord identified in your lease a formal written letter stating that you observed the bug problem when you moved in (that is to say, that you are not responsible for the infestation); that the treatment that you requested, and which was promised, was not delivered; and that, unless a complete and proper treatment is administered as soon as possible, you will consider your options for terminating the lease.

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • When we first moved into our apartment we noticed a bug but didnt know what it was, we killed it and flushed it, a couple weeks later we started getting bit and a couple days after that we caught 2 bugs, we told the office and they "set us up with a heat treat" 2 months later we got that heat treat! We were suppose to get 3 follow up sprays, one every week for 3 weeks. It had been a month since they heat treated and we only got one of those sprays! Now were getting bit like crazy again, 2 weeks ago we told the office we were getting bit and now its worse, Can we get out of our lease? HELP

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