Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: This is our 2nd year of renting in a Phoenix apartment building. Over the past few months the smell of marijuana or some kind of drugs is consuming our apartment, through the a/c vents. On a daily basis, our family has headaches and we are concerned for our 18 month grandchild. Our lease ends in 8 months and cannot deal with this for that long. What rights do we have and is it legal for us to break our lease without action taken against us?

Answer: Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (ARLTA), a landlord must keep their tenants’ dwellings “in a fit and habitable condition” (A.R.S § 33-1324(A)). A landlord must also ensure that their tenants do not disturb their neighbors’ “peaceful enjoyment” of their own dwellings (A.R.S. § 33-1341). Under the ARLTA, if a tenant’s neighbor is doing something that is preventing the tenant from being able to live comfortably in their own dwelling, the tenant may notify the landlord in writing. In this written notice, which the tenant should sign and date (keeping a copy for their own records), the tenant may describe the problem in detail, request that the problem be fixed as soon as possible, and, if the tenant can show that the problem is a truly serious one, inform the landlord that if the problem is not fixed within 10 days, then the rental agreement will terminate and the tenant will move out (A.R.S. § 33-1361(A)). If you would like legal advice, there are links to free and low-cost legal services on this website at http://www.azlawhelp.org/accessToJustice.

QUESTIONS

  • This is our 2nd year of renting in a Phoenix apartment building. Over the past few months the smell of marijuana or some kind of drugs is consuming our apartment, through the a/c vents. On a daily basis, our family has headaches and we are concerned for our 18 month grandchild. Our lease ends in 8 months and cannot deal with this for that long. What rights do we have and is it legal for us to break our lease without action taken against us?

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