Question: I just signed a lease and took possession of a property I'm renting. When I did the walk through I found that the house only had 2 screens on the windows. I called to tell the broker and was informed that window screens were not included. The house is also missing cupboard knobs, smoke detectors are broken and other issues. I came into this deal in good faith, but I am very afraid that I am dealing with a slum lord. What can I do?
The following is provided for general information only. To find out how the law applies to a specific situation, contact an attorney directly.
The Rights and Responsibilities of a Landlord and Tenant are largely governed by the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. ARS 33-1324
requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a “fit and habitable condition.” Specifically, ARS 33-1324(4) requires that the landlord maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied by him. The landlord generally has a reasonable timeframe to make the necessary repairs to ensure the premises are in a “fit and habitable condition.” It is a good idea for a renter to notify the landlord, in writing, of the problems with the rental property. A sample general Request for Repairs
and a Request for Repairs related to health and safety can be found on this website. Additionally, ARS 33-1363(A)
states, "[i]f the landlord fails to comply with section 33-1324, and the reasonable cost of compliance is less than three hundred dollars, or an amount equal to one-half of the monthly rent, whichever amount is greater, the tenant may notify the landlord of the tenant's intention to correct the condition at the landlord's expense." The tenant’s notice of intention to correct the condition must be in writing to the landlord and the landlord must be given ten days after the reciept of notice to correct the problem. This statute allows a tenant then to make minor repairs to the premises at the landlord’s expense. However, please be aware of the $300 limitation per ARS 33-1363(A).
April 27, 2012