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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUTYOUR LANDLORD'S OBLIGATION TO MAINTAIN THE PREMISES

Arizona's Residential Landlord Tenant Act requires landlords to maintain rental premises to certain standards. If your landlord fails to properly maintain your apartment or house, the law provides you with a remedy.

YOUR LANDLORD'S OBLIGATIONS

Arizona Revised Statutes Section 33-1324 requires landlords to: (This is a partial summary, not the full text of A.R.S. Section 33-1324.)

YOUR REMEDIES IF THE LANDLORD FAILS TO MAINTAIN THE PREMISES

If your landlord fails to maintain the premises, you have several options, depending upon the problem you are experiencing.
  • A. Self-Help for Minor Defects

  • A.R.S. Section 33-1363 provides a self-help remedy for minor defects, if the reasonable cost of repair or compliance is less than $150.00 or one-half month's rent (whichever is greater). If you want to pursue self-help, you must do the following:
  • B. Termination of the Rental Agreement

  • Another provision of the Landlord/Tenant Act, A.R.S. Section 33-1361, allows a tenant to terminate the rental agreement if there is what the statute calls "material noncompliance" by the landlord with the agreement. Since by law, all of the provisions of the Landlord/Tenant Act are considered part of the rental agreement, this includes the landlord's failure to properly maintain the premises as described above. In order to terminate the rental agreement for material noncompliance you must do the following:
  • C. Lawsuit for Damages

  • In addition to, or instead of terminating the rental agreement, you may sue the landlord for damages. Instead of using self-help, you may also sue for damages. Some examples of damages you might be able to recover would include damage to your personal property, and the diminished rental value of the property.
    EXAMPLE: The roof of your apartment leaks badly in several. places. During a particularly bad rainstorm, the leakage breaks through in a new place and damages all of your books. Despite your repeated requests, the landlord does not fix the roof and it continues to leak every time it rains. A problem of this type would be grounds for termination of the rental agreement, a claim for damages or both. If you filed a lawsuit your damages would be the value of the books that were destroyed and the diminished rental value of the premises because of the chronic leaking roof.
  • D. Wrongful Failure to Supply Heat, Air Conditioning, Cooling, Water, Hot Water or Essential Services
  • Please note: you cannot avail yourself of any of these remedies if the problem was caused by you -- negligently or deliberately -- or by a member of your family or someone on the premises with your permission.

    A NOTE ABOUT "NOTICE"

    The Arizona Landlord/Tenant Act, A.R.S. Section 33-1313, states that a landlord receives notice when it is delivered by hand or mailed by registered or certified mail to the place of business of the landlord through which the rental agreement was made, any place held out by the landlord as the place for the receipt of communications, or to anyone who is his agent (such as the apartment manager or property manager).

    If you have questions about the issues addressed in this pamphlet or any other landlord/tenant issue, stop by the Center for Veterans and Off-Campus Students on the third floor of the Student Union to pick up a copy of the Renters Handbook, or call Legal Services at 621-2782 for an appointment.