Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: I leased house and signed an agreement before doing a walkthrough. I told him I could begin moving the next day, but decided to wait until repairs and cleaning are done. The property manager said it would take a week to do repairs. He will not change the move in date, which will cost me $300 for a week I am not there. Can I withhold a week’s rent next month for the delay or am I bound by the lease date?

Answer: As a general rule, a tenant who agrees to pay rent beginning on a specific date is obligated to pay rent beginning on that date even if he/she does not move in on that date. However, under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. 33 Chapter 10), a landlord is required by law to deliver possession of the premises to the tenant in a manner that complies with the landlord’s obligation to maintain the premises in a “fit and habitable condition” (A.R.S. 33-1324), which means that everything should be clean and safe and in good working order at the beginning of the rental period. Withholding rent is never a good idea, but a tenant who believes that he/she is being asked to pay more than the fair rental value of the dwelling while needed repairs are being made may have a strong argument for asking the landlord for an appropriate and reasonable amount of rent relief. A tenant has the right to go to court to ask for such relief if essential services are involved (A.R.S. § 33-1364).

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QUESTIONS

  • I leased house and signed an agreement before doing a walkthrough. I told him I could begin moving the next day, but decided to wait until repairs and cleaning are done. The property manager said it would take a week to do repairs. He will not change the move in date, which will cost me $300 for a week I am not there. Can I withhold a week’s rent next month for the delay or am I bound by the lease date?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
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    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
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