Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: After I moved into my apartment, I found that when it rained hard, my closet had water coming in on the floor and my window was no sealed properly. They say they are working on getting bids but it has been 3 months and no repairs. Also, 2 weeks ago, I reported termite tuunnels in the said closet and have pointed out that they are growing in number an d length and still no date of treatment. What are my rights as a tenant?

Answer: Arizona law does not permit tenants to withhold rent in order to compel their landlords to make required repairs. Tenants are advised to document any problems they experience as well as the requests they make to have those problems fixed – and to make those requests in writing. If the problem is serious enough, then the tenant may have a basis on which to sue the landlord for damages resulting from the diminished value of the rented unit or even terminate the lease (after first giving the landlord an additional opportunity to fix the problem). If the problem is something that the tenant himself/herself could get fixed for less than the equivalent of 1/2 of the monthly rent, then the tenant may notify 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 up to an amount that is equal to 1/2 of the monthly rent (A.R.S. 33-1363).

QUESTIONS

  • After I moved into my apartment, I found that when it rained hard, my closet had water coming in on the floor and my window was no sealed properly. They say they are working on getting bids but it has been 3 months and no repairs. Also, 2 weeks ago, I reported termite tuunnels in the said closet and have pointed out that they are growing in number an d length and still no date of treatment. What are my rights as a tenant?

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