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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55454
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I have a landlord tenant dispute in AZ. I am the tenant. AZ,

Customer Question

I have a landlord tenant dispute in AZ. I am the tenant.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: AZ
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: yes
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 10 months ago.

Hi! My name is Richard & I will be helping you today! It will take me a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  Richard replied 10 months ago.

How can I help? :)

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Long story short. I have been without hot water and AC since August. I also have black mold inside my bathroom walls. I sent written request for repairs to the landlord 8/16 for which no response was received. Landlords have not made any attempt to contact me or arrange for repairs. I reported to the city of Phoenix on 8/26 and they have since conducted 2 interior inspections and issued citations for 6 violations. In response to be cited by the city the landlords came into my home 10/2 without prior notice. They brought a gun and tried to force me out of my home. The police were contacted and landlords were told to leave. They posted a 5 day notice that night on my window demanding rent, late fees, posting fees, and "no show" fees. My rent is current. Oct rent was paid on 9/30 and they have not once made any attempt to contact me or make repairs so "no show" fees are not valid. I feel they did this in retaliation. Alongside the 5 day notice, they also attached a 30 day notice that lease will not continue. I am currently on a month to month. My year lease just ended on 9/30.
Expert:  Richard replied 10 months ago.

I tried to accept your request for a phone call, but received the following message: "Payment for this service failed, please do not fulfill yet. We will attempt to reach this customer to fix the situation."

I'll be happy to discuss this with you by phone or through this thread. :)

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
my credit information is already on file?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I just re-entered it. It should work now.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
are you still there?
Expert:  Richard replied 10 months ago.

Yes, I'm typing my response. Thanks for your patience. :)

Expert:  Richard replied 10 months ago.

The landlord is the party in default here. And, you have plenty of recourse. First, with regard to your continued occupancy, should you need more time. Now that you are a month to month tenant, you must be given at least 30 days written notice to terminate your tenancy. Then, if you do not leave, the law does not allow the owner to forcibly evict you without obtaining an eviction order from a court. What that means is that if termination date comes and you do not move out, the owner cannot simply change the locks or throw your things out. Rather, what the owner has to do is to then deliver a 5-Day Notice to quit...which basically says you have 5 days to leave or face eviction. But, if you still have not left, the owner must then file an unlawful detainer petition with the court for an eviction order. Depending upon the court's docket, it can take anywhere from about 15 days to a couple of months to get a hearing. Only when a judge has issued the eviction order can the owner have you evicted. That will buy you a good bit of time.

Second, the landlord is legally prevented from terminating your tenancy in rataliation. Given your facts, this is clearly what the landlord is trying to do. Under Arizona law, any attempt to terminate your tenancy and evict you within 6 months of you reporting a problem is illegal. So, if the landlord files for an eviction, you will get notice and should attend the hearing. There you can contest based upon retaliation and the petition will be dismissed and you will be awarded damages.

Third, with every rental comes the implied warranty of habitability, which includes the tenant's right to the safe, healthy, peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the rented premises. Where you have a situation with mold which directly puts your health in peril and all your other issues, a tenant would clearly not be afforded such enjoyment of the premises....and therefore the landlord would be in breach of the implied warranty of habitability. This puts the landlord in default. This gives you the right to terminate the lease and sue for damages, including the cost of moving plus include reimbursement of a portion of all prior rent to date to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the reduced benefit of your rental bargain due to the inhabitability. Furthermore, although you have the right to terminate the lease due to the breach, you are not required to do so. Rather, you can file a claim against the landlord for damages due to this breach. Damages would include reimbursement of a portion of all prior rent to date to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the problems, and to either reduce the rent going forward or pay you for temporary living expenses, at your option, until the problem is fully remediated.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as Good or Excellent (hopefully Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!