Eviction

questions & answers

Question: Our landlord has not fixed out hot water or stove. It has been over a month and she has not fixed the items. I have text telling her they they were not working and she never sent anyone to fix it. She told me I have 30 days to move because there are too many problems. I am withholding my rent because it is not fixed. Can she evict me

Answer: Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. Title 33 Chapter 10), a landlord may seek the eviction of a tenant in three situations:
(1) when a tenant fails to pay rent;
 (2) when a tenant fails to adequately maintain the rented premises; and
 (3) when a tenant violates the rental agreement or other legal obligations (A.R.S. 33-1368).
 If a tenant withholds rent, that tenant may be evicted, so, except under very specific circumstances, it is never a good idea to withhold rent. Under A.R.S. 33-1324, a landlord is required to ensure that the rented premises remain in a “fit and habitable” condition. This includes maintaining in good and safe working order all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning systems and equipment and supplying reasonable amounts of hot water at all times.

A landlord who fails to make the required repairs within a reasonable period of time after notification of the problem(s) by a tenant is in violation of the landlord’s obligations under Arizona law. In this situation, if the problem can be fixed for less than either $300 or an amount equal to one-half of the monthly rent (whichever is greater), a tenant who wishes to continue residing in the dwelling may deliver to the landlord (by hand or registered mail) a dated letter stating the nature of the problem(s) and informing the landlord that the tenant intends to fix the problem(s) him/herself at the landlord’s expense. If the landlord receives written notice of the tenant’s intention to fix the problem(s) and still does nothing – either after 10 days if the problem is not too serious or as soon as necessary in the case of an emergency – then the tenant may have the work done by a licensed contractor and, after submitting the bill (including an itemized statement of the work completed) to the landlord, deduct from his/her rent the actual and reasonable cost of the work from the tenant’s next rent payment (A.R.S. § 33-1363).

 If a landlord insists on terminating a rental agreement on the grounds that the rented premises have become uninhabitable, the tenant may be able to recover monetary damages for any resulting inconvenience. In such a situation, it would be wise to seek legal advice. There are links to organizations offering free or low-cost legal services on this website.

QUESTIONS

  • Our landlord has not fixed out hot water or stove. It has been over a month and she has not fixed the items. I have text telling her they they were not working and she never sent anyone to fix it. She told me I have 30 days to move because there are too many problems. I am withholding my rent because it is not fixed. Can she evict me

STORIES

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