questions & answers
Question: In a new rental, pet urine smell is very strong, when entering the home. Management rep had stated over the phone that the carpets have been professionally cleaned and has proof, the smell is still overwhelming. Does the property owner have to replace the carpets? is this a cosmetic or sanitary issue?
Answer: Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. 33 Chapter 10), landlords are required to ensure that the properties that they lease to tenants are kept in a “fit and habitable condition” (A.R.S. 33-1324). If the pet urine smell is disturbing your use and enjoyment of the property – and the problem was neither caused nor exacerbated by you (the tenant) or by any of your guests – then the landlord should be responsible for ensuring its removal whether or not the smell is, strictly speaking, a physical health threat. You may wish to request – through a signed and dated letter describing the severity of the problem – that the landlord try (again) to have the carpets thoroughly cleaned. If, after a reasonable period of time, the landlord does nothing – and if you believe that the problem constitutes a breach of the landlord’s obligation to maintain the property in a “fit and habitable condition” – then you also have the option of notifying the landlord that you intend to fix the problem yourself. If a landlord receives written notice of a tenant’s intention to fix a problem, and, after 10 days has passed, still does nothing, 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 the tenant’s rent the actual and reasonable cost of the work – up to $300 or an amount equal to one-half of the monthly rent (whichever is greater) – from the tenant’s next rent payment (A.R.S. 33-1363).
In a new rental, pet urine smell is very strong, when entering the home. Management rep had stated over the phone that the carpets have been professionally cleaned and has proof, the smell is still overwhelming. Does the property owner have to replace the carpets? is this a cosmetic or sanitary issue?
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