Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: We are currently living in a mobile home and are being invaded by rats. Two months of the last five months we cannot use our heat or AC unit due to rat feces and them trying to nest in the vents. We have a dead rat smell in the home and my daughter is currently sleeping on the couch because of the smell. We have given a 10 day and it is past that time frame. We do not have a deposit to move. What can we do?

Answer: Under the Arizona Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. Title 33 Chapter 11), mobile home park landlords have a legal obligation to “maintain fit premises” (A.R.S. 33-1434). They are required (among other things) to “comply with the requirements of all applicable city, county and state codes materially affecting health and safety” and “make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.” If, after a tenant has already provided formal notice to the landlord – ideally in the form of a signed and dated written letter describing the problem(s) in detail and requesting that the problem(s) be fixed as soon as reasonably possible – the landlord continues to do nothing to fix a problem that is “materially affecting health and safety,” then the tenant has three basic options: (1) inform the landlord of the tenant’s intention to terminate the rental agreement and move out on a date at least twenty days in the future if the landlord does not comply with the landlord’s obligations within the next ten days (A.R.S. 33-1471(A)); (2) inform the landlord of the tenant’s intention to hire a licensed contractor to make the required repairs and deduct “the actual and reasonable cost of the work” from the tenant’s next rent payment if the landlord does not comply with the landlord’s obligations within the next twenty days (or as soon as necessary in the case of an emergency) (A.R.S. 33-1473); or (3) sue the landlord in court (A.R.S. 33-1471(B)). If you would like the advice or assistance of a lawyer, there are links to organizations offering free or low-cost legal services on this website.

QUESTIONS

  • We are currently living in a mobile home and are being invaded by rats. Two months of the last five months we cannot use our heat or AC unit due to rat feces and them trying to nest in the vents. We have a dead rat smell in the home and my daughter is currently sleeping on the couch because of the smell. We have given a 10 day and it is past that time frame. We do not have a deposit to move. What can we do?

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