Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: What is the acceptable temperature for an air conditioning unit to be set at a rental?

Answer: There is not a specific temperature at which the law requires rental unis to be.  However, the law does recognize that air conditioning is a critical part of the unit being habitable.  

According to the Landlord Tenant Act (Title 33, Chapter 10, Article 2, Section 33-1324):

A. The landlord shall:  
1. Comply with the requirements of applicable building  codes materially affecting health and safety as  prescribed in section 9-1303.  
2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put  and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.  
3. Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition.  
4. 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 or required to  be supplied by him.  
5. Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage,  rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of  the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal.  
6. Supply running water and reasonable amounts of  hot water at all times, reasonable heat and reasonable  air-conditioning or cooling where such units are  installed and offered, when required by seasonal  weather conditions, except where the building that  includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be  equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is so  constructed that heat, air-conditioning, cooling or hot  water is generated by an installation within the  exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct  public utility connection.  
B. If the duty imposed by subsection A, paragraph 1 of  this section is greater than any duty imposed by an y  other paragraph of this section, the landlord's du y  shall be determined by reference to that paragraph.
C. The landlord and tenant of a single family residence  may agree in writing, supported by adequate  consideration, that the tenant perform the landlord 's  duties specified in subsection A, paragraphs 5 and  6 of  this section, and also specified repairs, maintenance   tasks, alterations and remodeling, but only if the  transaction is entered into in good faith, not for  the  purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord  and  the work is not necessary to cure noncompliance with  subsection A, paragraphs 1 and 2 of this section.  
D. The landlord and tenant of any dwelling unit other  than a single family residence may agree that the  tenant is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations or remodeling only if:  
1. The agreement of the parties is entered into in  good  faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations  of the landlord and is set forth in a separate writing  signed by the parties and supported by adequate  consideration.  
2. The work is not necessary to cure noncompliance  with subsection A, paragraphs 1 and 2 of this section.  
3. The agreement does not diminish or affect the  obligation of the landlord to other tenants in the  premises.   

Penalties for failure to maintain services are outlined in Article 4 Section 33-1364

A. If contrary to the rental agreement or section 3 3- 1324 the landlord deliberately or negligently fails to  supply running water, gas or electrical service, or both  if applicable, and reasonable amounts of hot water  or  heat, air-conditioning or cooling, where such units are  installed and offered, or essential services, the tenant  may give reasonable notice to the landlord specifying  the breach and may do one of the following:
1. Procure reasonable amounts of hot water, running water, heat and essential services during the period of  the landlord's noncompliance and deduct their actual  reasonable cost from the rent. If the landlord has  failed  to provide any of the utility services specified in this  section due to nonpayment of the landlord's utility bill  for the premises, and if there is no separate utility  meter for each tenant in the premises such that the tenant could avoid a utility shutoff by arranging to have  services transferred to the tenant's name, the tenant  may either individually or collectively with other  tenants  arrange with the utility company to pay the utility bill  after written notice to the landlord of the tenant' s intent  to do so. With the utility company's approval the tenant  or tenants may pay the landlord's delinquent utility bill  and deduct from any rent owed to the landlord the  actual cost of the payment the tenant made to resto re  utility services. The tenant or tenants may continue to  make such payments to the utility company until the landlord has provided adequate assurances to the  tenant that the above utility services will be maintained.  
2. Recover damages based upon the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit.  
3. Procure reasonable substitute housing during the period of the landlord's noncompliance, in which ca se  the tenant is excused from paying rent for the period of  the landlord's noncompliance. In the event the periodic cost of such substitute housing exceeds the amount  of  the periodic rent, upon delivery by tenant of proof of  payment for such substitute housing, tenant may  recover from landlord such excess costs up to an  amount not to exceed twenty-five per cent of the  periodic rent which has been excused pursuant to this  paragraph.  
B. A landlord shall provide all utilities and services  specified in the lease agreement.  
C. A landlord shall not terminate utility services  as  specified in subsection A of this section which are provided to the tenant as part of the rental agreement,  except as necessary to make needed repairs or as  provided in section 33-1368. Subsequent to the  execution of the rental agreement, a landlord may not  transfer the responsibility for payment of such utility  services to the tenant without the tenant's written consent.  
D. If a landlord is in violation of subsection C of this  section, the tenant may recover damages, costs and  reasonable attorney’s fees and obtain injunctive relief.  Nothing in this section shall preclude a tenant's  right to  recover damages as specified in section 33-1367.  
E. A lease agreement shall not contain any terms  contrary to this section.  
F. In addition to the remedy provided in paragraph  3 of  subsection A of this section, in the event the land lord's  noncompliance is deliberate, the tenant may recover the actual and reasonable cost or fair and reasonable  value of the substitute housing not in excess of an amount equal to the periodic rent.  
G. If the tenant proceeds under this section, he ma y  not proceed under section 33-1361 or section 33-136 3  as to that breach, except as to damages which occur prior to the tenant proceeding under subsection A o r B  of this section.  
H. The rights under this section do not arise until the  tenant has given notice to the landlord and such rights  do not include the right to repair. Such rights do  not  arise if the condition was caused by the deliberate or  negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of  the tenant's family or other person on the premises with the tenant's consent.  

For the full text of the Landlord Tenant Act:

For a summary of the rights and responsibilities of residents:


  • What is the acceptable temperature for an air conditioning unit to be set at a rental?





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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
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