Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: Do I have legal grounds to request that I don't pay my last month's rent at my apartment because of the state of the AC? My AC started leaking so bad that I had to remove the cover from the ceiling, which had been so rusted, that it was dripping out of the rust holes. I found that the condensation pan has a tear that was patched with caulking and it's not even aligned properly! It's an inch thick of rust and it looks as if the air filter has never been changed, so that is why it froze and is now leaking.

Answer: Under Arizona law, a tenant is free to ask the landlord to agree – in writing, signed and dated by both parties – to accept a reduction in rent due to some problem either caused or not properly fixed by the landlord (in breach of the landlord’s obligations under A.R.S. 33-1324), but what a tenant may NOT do is unilaterally withhold either all or part of their rent from the landlord in order to compel the landlord to make required repairs. A tenant who wishes to keep their future legal options open should make all requests for repairs to the landlord in writing, signed and dated by the tenant (keeping a copy for the tenant’s own records). Every legal option first requires that the landlord be notified of the problem, asked to fix it as soon as reasonably possible, and given a reasonable amount of time (except in the case of a genuine emergency) to fix it, and the tenant should keep a detailed record of this process.

QUESTIONS

  • Do I have legal grounds to request that I don't pay my last month's rent at my apartment because of the state of the AC? My AC started leaking so bad that I had to remove the cover from the ceiling, which had been so rusted, that it was dripping out of the rust holes. I found that the condensation pan has a tear that was patched with caulking and it's not even aligned properly! It's an inch thick of rust and it looks as if the air filter has never been changed, so that is why it froze and is now leaking.

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
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