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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33708
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I am wanting to terminate my lease such as my apartment

Customer Question

I am wanting to terminate my lease for reasons such as my apartment caught on fire and my lease was terminated until the found another unit i could move into, there were terrorists (or people associated with Isis) living in my complex causing the apartments to be evacuated while FBI flew in to investigate, and then bugs, bugs, bugs!! They won't do anything about the bugs. What are my rights here?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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You state that your lease was terminated until they found another apartment for you..
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Did you sign a new written lease for the new apartment that you moved to?
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Have you contacted the local Code Enforcement or Housing Inspector regarding any insect infestation?
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Has the landlord made any attempts to have the infestation exterminated?
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They advised me that my lease had been terminated and that i needed to find housing elsewhere. They just so happened to have had another tenant leave a couple days after the fire opening up a new unit for me. I did sign a new lease for that apartment, however, the lease did NOT start over. They just wanted paperwork to reflect the correct apartment. Could i afford to, i would've gone somewhere else.
I have not contacted anybody so far. I've been trying to research all of this and have come up empty handed.
As far as the bugs go, it took my dog getting stung by a scorpion for them to send someone out to spray. They did so, but it hasn't helped. Every day i come home there is a new bug to kill. I have a family, or cemetery better yet, of crickets living in my bathroom light, i've killed a scorpion wasp as well as some cockroaches.Thank you for responding.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, under AZ law, (AZ 33.1324 and1361) the landlord must:
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Comply with the requirements of applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety
· Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition
· Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition
· Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him
· Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal
· Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times, reasonable heat and reasonable air-conditioning or cooling where such units are installed and offered, when required by seasonal weather conditions, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat, air-conditioning, cooling or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection.
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So if the landlord is allowing an insect infestation, then this would violate his legal duty to provide a fit and habitable dwelling.
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If there is a noncompliance by the landlord with section 33-1324 materially affecting health and safety, the tenant may deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than five days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in five days. The tenant may also sue for damages and an injunction.
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So your recourse here is to give them a written 5 day notice to cure the problems or you will terminate the lease and pursue legal action against them for any damages for breach of contract.
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, I am going to terminate regardless. I don't want them to fix the issues. I want to move out. When i spoke to the office people about terminating, they told me, in regards ***** ***** bugs, that this is Arizona and we live next to a mountain and they can't make promises. Well, I've lived next to dirt fields and not had issues. Rounded off, they told me to terminate it will be $2300, up front, and needed 60 day notice. So i did that.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
If you give them the 5 day notice and they don't cure the problem then you have legal grounds to terminate without any further notice and without paying the termination fee.
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So I would go that route rather than paying them to terminate a lease on a property that is uninhabitable..
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So, i write them a letter saying they have 5 days to fix the bug issue, and if they don't, then i have the law on my side, so to speak?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Yes, that is correct. Make sure you take lots of pictures of the various insects so as to have that as proof in case they tried to object to you terminating and claim that you breached the contract without justification.
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay. Well thank you for your help. I appreciate it.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome. Glad to help any time..
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If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me.
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thanks much
Barrister