Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: My air condition unit went out. I contacted my landlord told him the problem. He called his maintenance/repair guy he fixed the problem 24 hours later. Now the landlord wants me to pay $800 in repairs/labor saying it was my fault due to not changing filters every month. I did change the filters every 60 days even though the filters I buy say they last up to 3 months. What's the right way to go about this situation?

Answer: The best general advice for tenants in such situations is to keep careful records of all their communications with their landlords and to correspond as much as possible through formal signed and dated writings – whether on paper or via email. Being firm but polite and as detailed as possible is always a good idea. This will serve as useful evidence in support of your position just in case the issue ends up in court. (In this context, documents such as receipts for used filters also would help, even if it seems unlikely that a judge would hold you responsible, except perhaps in the improbable scenario that your rental agreement expressly specified that a failure by the tenant to regularly change the filters could result in expensive repairs for which the tenant would be charged. Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. Title 33 Chapter 10), a tenant is simply required to “use in a reasonable manner” all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances and to “not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises” (A.R.S. 33-1341).)

QUESTIONS

  • My air condition unit went out. I contacted my landlord told him the problem. He called his maintenance/repair guy he fixed the problem 24 hours later. Now the landlord wants me to pay $800 in repairs/labor saying it was my fault due to not changing filters every month. I did change the filters every 60 days even though the filters I buy say they last up to 3 months. What's the right way to go about this situation?

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