Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: The AC for my rental property went out (single family property) and I recieved a text message from the tenant that evening (no written notice of any sort). I could not find anyone to come out and fix it the next day. So tenant had no ac for one full day. They rented a hotel room for one night and deducted it plus food from the next monthly rent. My question is, under section 33-1364 the amount can not exceed 125% of periodic rent, what does "periodic rent" mean? Monthly rent amount or daily rent amount (monthly rent divided by 30 or 31 days)? Thank you so much

Answer: Especially in the case of a reasonably urgent situation – such as a lack of A/C in much of Arizona in June – a text message that the landlord receives as a general rule should suffice as an appropriate form of notice (A.R.S 33-1313). The bigger question relates to the tenant’s decision to make use of A.R.S. 33-1364(A)(3) in order to get a hotel room. The key issues – all of which are fact-specific (and admittedly somewhat subjective) are (1) whether the landlord has *“deliberately or negligently”* failed to provide the essential service (relevant here: the statute permits the tenant to obtain substitute housing not simply when the A/C goes out but rather only when the landlord fails to comply with landlord’s obligation to “maintain fit premises” (A.R.S. 33-1324) either deliberately or negligently); (2) the ‘reasonableness’ of the notice with which you as the landlord were provided (relevant here: whether it was impossible for you to repair the A/C right away; whether you informed the tenant of this fact; whether you assured the tenant that the A/C would be fixed the following day; whether the tenant informed you of the tenant’s intention to make use of A.R.S. 33-1364(A)(3); etc.); (3) the ‘reasonableness’ of the substitute housing that the tenant obtained (relevant here: given that tenants, just like landlords, have a duty to act in “good faith” (A.R.S. 33-1311) in exercising any right or remedy under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, the substitute housing should be modest and impose as little unnecessary hardship on the landlord as possible); and (4) the specific monetary amount that the tenant may deduct from the tenant’s next rent payment (up to a maximum, as you note, of 125% of “the periodic rent”), which is the proportion of the monthly rent amount equivalent to the number of days in which the essential service was not being provided. (one day, or 1/30th or 1/31st of the monthly rent + up to 25%.) Food is not covered.

QUESTIONS

  • The AC for my rental property went out (single family property) and I recieved a text message from the tenant that evening (no written notice of any sort). I could not find anyone to come out and fix it the next day. So tenant had no ac for one full day. They rented a hotel room for one night and deducted it plus food from the next monthly rent. My question is, under section 33-1364 the amount can not exceed 125% of periodic rent, what does "periodic rent" mean? Monthly rent amount or daily rent amount (monthly rent divided by 30 or 31 days)? Thank you so much

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