Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: 3 days ago I signed a year long lease. Now, 3 days after singing, the rent price has dropped substantially due to Covid19. I am also being cut back on hours drastically at work. I am wondering if i have any rights for them to honor the current rent price or if I have any rights due to extreme financial crisis. Since I can’t work, I can’t get paid or pay my rent. My lease has a statement of Force Majeure but it seems that’s only beneficial for the landlord. Any options as to how I legally not be in trouble for missed payments or termination of lease?

Answer: “Force majeure” clauses in contracts are designed to help someone avoid being legally responsible for performing their obligations under the contract if and when performing those obligations becomes impossible due to some external event beyond their control. Ordinarily, “impossibility” rather than “inability” is the standard. In addition, “force majeure” clauses tend to be interpreted quite narrowly, meaning that only those specific events that are listed in the contract will trigger the “force majeure” clause. Any Arizona residential tenant who is currently unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 crisis may be protected from an eviction order for nonpayment of rent by recent temporary statewide policy changes. A copy of the Governor’s Executive Order is available here: https://azgovernor.gov/sites/default/files/eo_2020-14_0.pdf. Anyone who would like legal advice may apply for free or low-cost legal services here: http://www.azlawhelp.org/accessToJustice).

QUESTIONS

  • 3 days ago I signed a year long lease. Now, 3 days after singing, the rent price has dropped substantially due to Covid19. I am also being cut back on hours drastically at work. I am wondering if i have any rights for them to honor the current rent price or if I have any rights due to extreme financial crisis. Since I can’t work, I can’t get paid or pay my rent. My lease has a statement of Force Majeure but it seems that’s only beneficial for the landlord. Any options as to how I legally not be in trouble for missed payments or termination of lease?

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