In Arizona, tenants have rights when it comes to air conditioning. According to the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, air conditioning is classified as a basic need that all property owners are required to provide and maintain. Unfortunately, some landlords are slow to respond or entirely negligent when a tenant tries to report a broken air conditioner.
The Arizona Tenants Advocates, located in Tempe, fields at least a dozen complaints every day, with the calls peaking during the summer months, concerning landlords failing to respond to tenants complaints about broken air conditioners. According to the law, the landlord must respond and either repair, or be in the process of repairing, within 48 hours.
If you have notified your landlord about an air conditioning issue and they aren’t responding, there are some steps that can take to get them to hopefully comply with the law. You’ll want to document the steps that you take in case of any future legal issues with your landlord.
Formally notify them in writing to document both the problem and the date. You can also email them. Property owners are aware of their obligations under the law, and will usually comply once they know that you know your rights as well.
In some instances, unfortunately, landlords will still not respond. At this point, you do have the legal option of having the air conditioning fixed yourself. The landlord is responsible for up to $299.99, or half of your monthly rent, whichever is greater. You can send your landlord a copy of the receipt and deduct what you spent from your monthly rent payment.
You can also temporarily move out and stay with family or friends, or even in a hotel. You’ll want to notify your landlord via certified mail or have it legally served. You won’t be responsible for paying the rent for the hot days that you aren’t able to live there because of no air conditioning.
Hopefully, it won’t get to this point. But, if it does, you will have all of the documentation that you will need if you find yourself in a position of fighting a legal battle with your landlord.
For more details about your rights, you can find the landlord tenant act online at azhousing.gov. You can also visit arizonatenants.com or call 480-557-8905.