Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: A large cactus in the backyard fell on September 1st; two days later the landlord acknowledged the fallen cactus. It is now October 13th and no one has come by for an estimate to remove it. Our son cannot go outside because he just wants to touch it. Do we hire someone to remove it and take it out of the rent? They also never reimbursed us for the exterminators who camea few times when we first moved in. They have never acknowledged, and denied the issue of the bugs. This had been an ongoing issue with them.

Answer: Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, a landlord is required to “make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition” and “keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition” (A.R.S. 33-1324). If a landlord is in breach of this obligation, but refuses to fix the problem despite a request by the tenant, then the tenant may pay for the problem to be fixed by a licensed contractor – but only up to an amount equal to 1/2 of the monthly rent and only after notifying the landlord in writing of the tenant’s intention to fix the problem at the landlord’s expense if the problem is not fixed within ten days (or sooner in the case of a genuine emergency) after notice is delivered. If the landlord still fails to fix the problem, then the tenant may have the work done by a licensed contractor, and, after submitting to the landlord an itemized statement and a waiver of lien, deduct from the tenant’s rent the actual and reasonable cost of the work, not exceeding 1/2 of the monthly rent (A.R.S. 33-1363).

QUESTIONS

  • A large cactus in the backyard fell on September 1st; two days later the landlord acknowledged the fallen cactus. It is now October 13th and no one has come by for an estimate to remove it. Our son cannot go outside because he just wants to touch it. Do we hire someone to remove it and take it out of the rent? They also never reimbursed us for the exterminators who camea few times when we first moved in. They have never acknowledged, and denied the issue of the bugs. This had been an ongoing issue with them.

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