Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: I have been moved in my apt since 3/26/2020 and I haven't received my mailbox key as of today. I've been inquiring about it. My mailbox needs repairs to get a key and get my nail. My mail is being returned to sending because the office lady won't allow my mail to be left with the office people. So I'm not able to get my mail. They had maintenance fix mailboxes few weeks back but they never got to my and the office lady was unable to give me another date when maintenance plans on fixing mine. Am I obligated to pay rent since my mailbox is broken so I'm unable to receive any mail.

Answer: Under Arizona law, a tenant whose landlord is not making required repairs may not simply withhold either all or part of their rent (A.R.S. § 33-1368(B)). Instead, the tenant must follow a specific procedure. As a general rule, a tenant’s first step is to send a signed and dated written notice to the landlord, describing the problem in detail and requesting that the problem be fixed as soon as possible. The tenant should keep a copy of all such notices for the tenant’s own records. If the landlord fails to fix the problem within a reasonable period of time, the tenant has options. The tenant may sue the landlord in court to recover any monetary losses suffered by the tenant due to the landlord’s failure to make the required repairs (A.R.S. § 33-1361(B)). The tenant also may ask the court for an injunction to require the landlord to make the repairs (A.R.S. § 33-1361(B)). If the tenant could have the repairs made themselves at a cost of no more than 1/2 of the tenant’s usual monthly rent payment, then the tenant may notify the landlord in writing that the tenant intends to have the required repairs made at the landlord’s expense. If, even after being notified by the tenant in writing of the tenant’s intention to pay for the work then charge the landlord for it, the landlord still fails to make the required repairs within 10 days, the tenant may have the work done by a licensed contractor, submit to the landlord an itemized statement and a waiver of lien, then deduct from the tenant’s next rent payment the actual and reasonable cost of the work (equal to no more than 1/2 of the tenant’s usual monthly rent payment) (A.R.S. 33-1363(A)). If any tenant would like legal advice, there are links to free and low-cost legal services on this website at http://www.azlawhelp.org/accessToJustice.

QUESTIONS

  • I have been moved in my apt since 3/26/2020 and I haven't received my mailbox key as of today. I've been inquiring about it. My mailbox needs repairs to get a key and get my nail. My mail is being returned to sending because the office lady won't allow my mail to be left with the office people. So I'm not able to get my mail. They had maintenance fix mailboxes few weeks back but they never got to my and the office lady was unable to give me another date when maintenance plans on fixing mine. Am I obligated to pay rent since my mailbox is broken so I'm unable to receive any mail.

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    Referral number 602-257-4434
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