Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: We unknowingly moved into a complex that is infested with bedbugs. They management here is fully aware of this problem and never told us. Almost a year later I have had to throw everything away. 1 bunk bed, 2 toddler beds, and my queen bed. I asked for a copy of my file and have been refused. I served the office with a 10 day compliance notice and sent one certified mail. The office manager laughed in my face and told me he was just going to evict me. There are several units that broke leases due to bedbugs. What is my next step?

Answer: The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. Title 33 Chapter 10) prohibits landlords from knowingly renting out dwellings with current bedbug infestations (A.R.S. 33-1319). Unfortunately, it does not specifically require that landlords pay to exterminate bedbugs or compensate tenants whose dwellings were or become infested. Landlords are, however, required to “do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition” (A.R.S. 33-1324). A tenant who believes that their landlord is in violation of this obligation may send a written notice to their landlord identifying the violation and stating that the rental agreement will terminate ten days after receipt of the notice if the violation is not fixed within ten days (or, if the problem is materially affecting the tenant’s health and safety, that the rental agreement will terminate five days after receipt of the notice if the violation is not fixed within five days) (A.R.S. 33-1361(A)). A tenant who has suffered monetary losses as a result of their landlord’s violation also has the option of suing the landlord in court (A.R.S. 33-1361(B)). If you wish to speak with an attorney about your particular situation, there are links to free and low-cost legal services on this website.

QUESTIONS

  • We unknowingly moved into a complex that is infested with bedbugs. They management here is fully aware of this problem and never told us. Almost a year later I have had to throw everything away. 1 bunk bed, 2 toddler beds, and my queen bed. I asked for a copy of my file and have been refused. I served the office with a 10 day compliance notice and sent one certified mail. The office manager laughed in my face and told me he was just going to evict me. There are several units that broke leases due to bedbugs. What is my next step?

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