Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: How long does my landlord have to fix my air conditioning?

Answer: Under the A.R.S. 33-1324 of the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. Title 33 Chapter 10), landlords are required (among other things) to “comply with the requirements of applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety,” which includes the provision of “adequate heating and cooling”; to “make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition”; to “maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances […] supplied or required to be supplied by him”; and to “supply […] reasonable heat and reasonable air-conditioning or cooling where such units are installed and offered, when required by seasonal weather conditions […].” Unfortunately, the period of time that landlords are permitted to take to fix a broken air-conditioning unit is not specified – but as a general rule, a “reasonableness” standard applies. So if a landlord does not fix the air-conditioning unit within a “reasonable” period of time, then that landlord is likely in violation of A.R.S. 33-1324. If a landlord is not in compliance with A.R.S. 33-1324 and the problem can be fixed for less than $300 or an amount equal to one-half of the monthly rent – whichever is greater – then the tenant may deliver to the landlord a letter notifying the landlord of the tenant’s intention to fix the problem at the landlord’s expense (by having the work done by a licensed contractor and, after submitting to the landlord an itemized statement and a waiver of lien, deducting from the tenant’s next rent payment the actual and reasonable cost of the work) if the landlord fails to do so with ten days (A.R.S. 33-1363). If a landlord is not in compliance with A.R.S. 33-1324 through a deliberate or negligent failure to provide reasonable amounts of air-conditioning (where such units are installed and offered), or any other essential service, then the tenant may provide written notice to the landlord identifying the problem and informing the landlord that the landlord is in breach of the rental agreement (A.R.S. § 33-1364). If, after what Arizona law describes only as “reasonable notice,” the landlord still has not restored the essential service, then a tenant who wishes to continue to live in the dwelling has three options: Option One: The tenant may arrange for the required utilities on the tenant’s own (if such a thing is possible) and deduct the cost of those utilities from the tenant’s next monthly rent payment. Option Two: The tenant may file a claim in court to recover damages based on the decreased fair rental value of the dwelling during the period in which the essential service was absent. Option Three: The tenant may find “reasonable substitute housing” (an inexpensive motel, for example) until the landlord restores the essential service. What this means is that when the tenant pays his/her rent for the following month, the tenant may pay a “prorated” amount. (So, for example, if the monthly rent is $900 (or $30/day), and the tenant is forced to stay in a motel for 5 days, then the tenant may reduce the next month’s rent payment by $150.) If the cost of this substitute housing exceeds the amount of the tenant’s rent for the period, then the tenant also may recover up to 25% (but no more) of the additional expense from the landlord. (These last three options apply only if the landlord has acted either deliberately or negligently.) If you would like to discuss your specific situation with an attorney, there are links to organizations offering free or low-cost legal services on this website, and the LegalLEARN Helpline toll-free telephone number is 1-866-637-5341.


  • How long does my landlord have to fix my air conditioning?




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