Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: how soon should appliance be repaired refrigerator not working

Answer: Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. 33 Chapter 10), landlords are required to make all repairs that are necessary to ensure that the rented premises remain in a “fit and habitable” condition. This includes maintaining in good and safe working order all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning systems and appliances (A.R.S. 33-1324).

The “clock” ordinarily begins to run once the landlord has received notice of the problem from the tenant. (A dated written letter always works best.) The law only specifies that such repairs be completed within a “reasonable” period of time.

 After a “reasonable” period of time has passed, the tenant has several options, each of which requires that the tenant deliver written notice to the landlord
(1) identifying the problem and
(2) informing the landlord that if the problem is not fixed, the tenant will take further action. If the cost of repairs will be less than either $300 or an amount equal to one-half of the monthly rent (whichever is greater), then the tenant has the option of notifying the landlord of the tenant’s intention to fix the problem him/herself at the landlord’s expense.

If the landlord receives written notice of the tenant’s intention to fix the problem, and still does nothing – either after 10 days if the problem is not too serious or as soon as necessary in the case of an emergency – then the tenant may have the work done by a licensed contractor and, after submitting the bill (including an itemized statement of the work completed) to the landlord, deduct from his rent the actual and reasonable cost of the work from the tenant’s next rent payment (A.R.S. § 33-1363). Regardless of the cost of repairs, if the problem continues to go unfixed, the tenant may be able to recover damages based on the decreased fair rental value of the dwelling (A.R.S. § 33-1364) or even terminate the lease on the grounds of material non-compliance with the rental agreement by the landlord (A.R.S. 33-1361).

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