Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: The main sewer line serving the home gets totally blocked 4 times in 7 months. Each time the owner's home warranty company unblocks it, usually within 12 hrs, until it happens again. Each time all toilets, showers and sinks are unusable. Can the own be required to correct the blockage to prevent this from occurring so frequently?

Answer: Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, a landlord is required to “comply with the requirements of applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety”; “make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition”; “maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him”; and “supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times, reasonable heat and reasonable air-conditioning or cooling where such units are installed and offered, when required by seasonal weather conditions...” (A.R.S. 33-1324). A tenant whose landlord is failing to fulfill the landlord’s obligations under A.R.S. 33-1324 can always send a signed and dated letter to the landlord describing the problem in detail and the requesting that the problem be fixed as soon as reasonably possible, but the tenant may not withhold rent in order to compel the landlord to make the requested repair. Under Arizona law, a tenant has very few options unless the tenant decides to move out on the basis that the premises are not “fit and habitable.”

QUESTIONS

  • The main sewer line serving the home gets totally blocked 4 times in 7 months. Each time the owner's home warranty company unblocks it, usually within 12 hrs, until it happens again. Each time all toilets, showers and sinks are unusable. Can the own be required to correct the blockage to prevent this from occurring so frequently?

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