Question: I rented a home in December 2010. At the time it had no cooling of any kind except ceiling fans. Landlord said at time she took out window A/C 's because previous tentans did not take care of them. Can I break a 1 year lease for lack of cooling if she doesnt put some A/C units in?
If a landlord fails to provide running water, gas and/or electrical service, or fails to provide reasonable amounts of hot water, heat and/or cooling, then the tenant may give notice to the landlord that he is in breach of the lease. (A.R.S. § 33-1364) At that point, the tenant has one of the following three options:
Option One: The tenant can arrange for utilities on his own and deduct the cost from the rent. With the utility company’s approval, a tenant group or group of tenants can pay a landlord’s delinquent utility bill and deduct that amount from their rent.
Option Two: The tenant can file suit and recover damages based on the decreased fair rental value of the residence.
Option Three: The tenant can find substitute housing (e.g. a motel) during the period of the landlord’s noncompliance. If this occurs, the tenant is excused from paying rent for as long as the landlord does not provide the essential service.
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May 16, 2011