Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: Landlord shut off gas and water to residence - while occupied. Verbal agreement between landlord and occupants. Intend to move out but need time to find a place.

Answer: Ordinarily, a residential landlord may not cut off a tenant’s access to utilities until after the rental agreement has ended and (if the tenant continues to occupy the premises) a court of law has issued a writ of restitution returning possession of the premises to the landlord. The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act says the following: “If the landlord unlawfully removes or excludes the tenant from the premises or wilfully diminishes services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of electric, gas, water or other essential service to the tenant, the tenant may recover possession or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover an amount not more than two months’ periodic rent or twice the actual damages sustained by him, whichever is greater. If the rental agreement is terminated the landlord shall return all security recoverable under section 33-1321” (A.R.S. 33-1367).

QUESTIONS

  • Landlord shut off gas and water to residence - while occupied. Verbal agreement between landlord and occupants. Intend to move out but need time to find a place.

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