Arizona Habitability Laws

The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act governs all landlord/tenant issues in the state. 

Quick Facts for Arizona

Who Does The Warranty of Habitability Apply To?

The Warranty of Habitability in the Arizona Residential Landlord Act applies to short-term and long-term rental properties, as well as long-term residents of hotels/motels. Fraternity and sorority houses are not covered under the Act.

How Long Do Tenants Have to Make Repairs?

14 days to remedy before eviction. Renters cannot withhold rent but can deduct the amount of repairs they paid for from their monthly rent.

What Are Tenants Responsible For?

Tenants are responsible for providing running water, heat/AC, and trash service—but only if the rental property is a single family residence.

What are Landlords Responsible For Providing?

Running hot water, working HVAC equipment, plumbing, electrical, sanitation facilities, and elevators (in buildings that have them), as well as a trash can (for trash pickup services).

How Long Do Landlords Have to Fix Something?

Tenants must request repairs to landlords in writing. After receipt, landlords have 5 days to complete the requested repairs.

Understanding the Law


In Arizona, landlords are responsible for ensuring that any common areas of rented or leased multifamily properties are clean and safe. 

NOTE

For all residential properties (single or multifamily), landlords are required to ensure the property complies with any and all building codes and housing codes as they relate to the safety of the building and/or the health of the residents.

They’re also required to make and pay for any necessary repairs to make the residence habitable that are not caused by the tenant. 

Tenants are required to pay for any repairs caused by their own negligence or intentional acts, which may come out of the security deposit or be paid back as “additional rent.”

Rental agreements cannot contain any provisions waiving the tenant’s right to live in a habitable residence.

Landlord Responsibilities

Landlords must:

  • Provide running hot water
  • Provide working HVAC equipment
  • Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets order
  • Provide working sanitation facilities (a toilet and bathtub/shower)
  • Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services)
  • Provide working elevators (in buildings that have them)
NOTE

However, tenants and landlords can have a written agreement that requires the tenant to be responsible for providing running water, heat/AC, and trash service—but only if the rental property is a single family residence.

Landlords may provide kitchen appliances and/or washers/dryers, but they are not required to under the law. 

Addressing Habitability Issues


For any repairs you are required to make due to the tenant’s actions, you can:

  • Reclaim any funds you used to pay for repairs by charging the costs as extra “rent” until the amount is paid in full.
  • Use the tenant’s security deposit to pay for any damage to the property when the tenant moves out.
  • End the lease early because of the tenant’s failure to properly maintain the property/evict the tenant.

Under the law, tenants are allowed to have 14 days to correct any issues in the notice, including repairing any damage they have caused.

If your tenants request repairs, they must put their request in writing to you.

NOTE

You will then have five days to make any necessary repairs after receiving written notice from your tenant.

Your tenants are required to give you access to the property to make necessary repairs.  However, you must give tenants at least two days’ notice unless:

  • The renter abandons the property.
  • It’s an emergency.
  • There’s a court order granting you access. 

If you fail to make the requested repairs within five days, your tenant has the right to terminate the lease within five days of your receipt of the notice for repairs. 

However, if the costs of any repairs are less than $300 or half the monthly rent, then your tenant can choose to repair the issue themselves.  (You will have ten days after receiving written notice to correct the item before the tenant can make their own repairs.)


They can then deduct the amount of the repair from their rent payment after sending you an itemized receipt of the work that was done.

If a landlord intentionally or negligently fails to provide heat, water, electricity, sewer services, or working plumbing, tenants are allowed to:

  • Repair the issue themselves and deduct the cost of the repair from their monthly rent payments.  (In Arizona, this includes paying utility bills you, as the landlord, have failed to pay, and deducting that amount from the monthly rent until you begin paying the utility bills again.)
  • Move into temporary housing until you correct the issue.  The tenant is not required to pay any rent to you while in temporary housing, and if the cost of the temporary housing is higher than their rent payments to you, you are required to pay your tenant for the increase in rent they had to pay at the temporary location.
  • Terminate the lease.
  • Pursue legal action.

Finally, if the costs for any repairs were taken out of your tenant’s security deposit, you are required to give them an itemized list of everything paid for from the deposit within 14 days of the lease’s termination, or you will be required to pay your tenant double the amount that was withheld from the security deposit.

Sources:

  1. Arizona Department of Housing, “Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.”

Other Resources for Arizona Landlords