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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 102505
Experience:  Attorney
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I have been renting a home in Camp Verde AZ since August of

Customer Question

I have been renting a home in Camp Verde AZ since August of 2010. After the first couple of years the owner stop paying for any maintenance or repair inside or out. I have paid for everything out of pocket with no reimbursement. I also run my very busy business out of this residence and I'm dependent on the situation. On April 7 a pipe broke and flooded the lower level of this residence. Everything was torn up, dried, and inspected for mold spore activity making sure my employees were not inhaling dangerous levels of mold spores. There was a fee charged by the Certified Air Quality Representative which I deducted from the rent. The owner through a fit and has stopped all activity in the direction of repairing the damage so I can use the lower lever of the house. Is there any protection for me in this situation? Please advise my best course of action.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:
(A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. This is repeated in numerous disclaimers throughout the site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am sorry to hear about this situation. Did you send a letter to the landlord asking for them to pay for the Certified Air Quality Representative prior to the deduction?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, a letter was included with the May rent payment and a complete overview of the Air Quality Report.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
A letter for reimbursement, or a letter to pay? And what month was the deduction made?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
A letter of request was not sent to the landlord prior to the test being done, however, the man working for the landlord locally was the person who set up the tests.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The deduction was made for the May rent.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
A landlord owes a tenant a "warranty of habitability," meaning providing a clean and livable space. In AZ, per Arizona Rev. Stats. §33.1324 et seq, the landlord has to:
-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.
Now if the landlord does not do the above - and let us say that the issues you mention fall under that - the tenant has to:
-send a letter asking that the landlord fix any issues within a 5 day period, and if the landlord does not
-the tenant can either SUE the landlord for the cost, and/or, end the lease without penalty. However, no automatic deduction is allowed.
So the landlord may not be following the law here, but you as tenant have no automatic right to deduct per AZ law. So what someone in your situation wants to do is to sue in small claims court for the cost and/or consider ending the tenancy (which may still demand a visit to small claims if the landlord tries to keep the deposit, claiming you defaulted without a reason).
See here. Good luck.
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