In Arizona, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by ARS §33.1341. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.
|Landlord Responsibilities||Hot/Cold Water, HVAC, Trash Can, Electrical, Stairs/Railings, Fire Exits, Floors, Smoke/Monoxide Detectors|
|Time Limit for Repairs||10 Days|
|Tenant Recourse Options||
Applicable Dwelling Types in Arizona
The implied warranty of habitability in Arizona does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.
|Dwelling Type||Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?|
|Mobile home parks||No|
Rented mobile homes and rented mobile home spaces within mobile home parks are governed by the Arizona Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. Title 33 Chapter 11).
Landlord Responsibilities in Arizona
The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability. Not all of them are requirements in Arizona, as indicated below.
Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.
|Habitability Issue||Landlord Responsibility?|
|Provide windows and doors that are in good repair.||Not addressed|
|Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks.||Not addressed|
|Provide hot and cold running water.||Yes|
|Provide working HVAC equipment.||Yes|
|Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting.||Yes|
|Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking||Not addressed|
|Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet).||Not addressed|
|Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services).||Yes|
|Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe.||Yes|
|Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe.||Yes|
|Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean.||Yes|
|Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials.||Yes|
|Provide working smoke detectors||Yes|
|Provide a mailbox.||No|
|Provide working wiring for one telephone jack.||No|
|Provide working kitchen appliances.||No (written agreement)|
|Provide working carbon monoxide detector.||Yes|
|Provide a working washer/dryer.||No (written agreement)|
Landlords may provide kitchen appliances and/or washers and dryers, but they are not required to provide any of these appliances and services. The landlord and tenant of single-family properties can have a written agreement that requires the tenant to be responsible for providing running water, heat and AC, and trash service and any repair or maintenance tasks.
Landlords are required to ensure that rental units are not infested with rodents, insects, or “vermin.” Landlords are also prohibited from renting multi-family units known to have bedbugs and are required to provide a tenant with educational material about bed bugs.
Tenant’s Right to Repairs in Arizona
Landlords are required under Arizona law to make repairs and do what is necessary to keep the property in a fit and habitable condition.
- Sending Notice – If a tenant requests repairs, they must put their request in writing to the landlord. The landlord shall be given 10 days within receipt of the notice to fix the problem.
- Landlord Access – Under ordinary circumstances, the landlord shall provide at least two days’ notice before entering the premises and is only allowed to do so at reasonable times. In case of an emergency, the landlord may enter the property without the permission or notice to the tenant.
Tenant’s Options if Repairs Aren’t Made in Arizona
If repairs aren’t made within 10 days, the tenant has a few possible options for resolving the issue.
- Withhold Rent – Under Arizona laws, the tenant has the right to withhold rent if the landlord fails to make repairs in a timely manner.
- Repair and Deduct
- Self-help for Minor Defects – If the issue can be fixed for less than $300 or half the monthly rent, the tenant has the right to notify the landlord in writing of the issue to recover damages for the breach or the tenant may notify the landlord with the intent to correct the issue at the landlord’s expense. If within 10 days the issue is not fixed, the tenant may contact a licensed contractor after submitting an itemized statement and a waiver of lien. The tenant shall deduct the cost of work from the rent to repair the issue from the following month’s rent.
- Substitute Housing – Tenants also have the option to look for reasonable substitute housing until the landlord fixes any habitability issue. The tenant may pay a prorated amount for the rent. Additionally, the cost of the substitute housing may be deducted from the following month’s rent or if the cost for substitute housing exceeds the amount of the rent for that period, the tenant may also recover up to 25% of the exceeding amount.
- Lawsuit – Tenants may file a claim in court to recover damages if landlord fails to take care of important and essential repairs.
- Reporting to Public Officials – landlords can be reported to a government authority in the event of any building or health code violation.
Landlord Retaliation in Arizona
Under Arizona laws, landlords are prohibited from harassing or retaliating against tenants who exercise their rights by:
- Filing an official complaint to a Government Authority about a building or health code violation.
- Being involved in a tenant’s organization or joining a tenants’ union.
- Withholding rent.
- Filing an action against the landlord in the appropriate court.
Retaliation will be assumed if the landlord responds negatively within six months. Retaliatory actions by the landlord include:
- Raising the rent.
- Trying to remove or evict the tenant from the property.
- Cutting off essential services such as gas or water supply.
- Interfering with other rights given to the tenant under the lease.