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Topical Articles When Tenants Must Conduct Repairs Often tenants call the Arizona Tenants Advocates office, concerned about being liable for the cost of performing repairs or paying for services relative to the rental premises.
Usually the party who is responsible for this is identified in the lease. That seems pretty clear to the tenants, but invariably things are not as they appear. This liability extends to actions of guests that violate the lease agreement, or the rules or regulations. However, such is the case only if the tenant could reasonably be expected to be aware that such guest actions might occur and did not attempt to prevent those actions to the best of his or her ability.
Otherwise, there is no liability for actions of guests. See A. Should the tenant fail to comply, the landlord can have the work done, present a bill to the tenant, and require the tenant to cover the cost with the next rental payment or immediately if the lease is terminated.
A landlord has duties to maintain and repair that cannot be assigned to the renter. He must comply with applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety as prescribed in A. These duties cover issues of: sanitation; ventilation; structural hazards; electrical wiring; plumbing; mechanical equipment; vents; weather protection; fire hazards or protection; faulty materials or construction; hazardous or unsanitary premises; unsafe building; conditions that render air, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to health; inadequate exits; and occupancy that exceeds the maximum allowable load.
Also, a landlord must make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the rental premises in a fit and habitable condition. The agreement must be in writing. If in a single family residence, it can be integrated into the lease. Otherwise, it must be a separate document, such as an addendum or other contract, that is signed by the parties. For what constitutes a single family residence, see A.
The work to be performed must be specifically identified. It is too general to hold the tenant responsible for all repairs under a certain value, or other vague requirements. An example of a reasonably specific duty is responsibility for pest control. It can include repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations and remodeling.
For a single family residence, it can also include: providing and maintaining appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arranging for their removal; supplying 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.
The landlord must provide adequate consideration to the tenant for performing the services. This can take different forms, such as a discount in the rent, an actual stipend, or anything else of value.
Some of these factors are vague and contradictory, and landlords push it to the limit. For example, the prohibition of performing work related to sanitation, mechanical equipment, vents, and weather protection corresponds with what is permissible, namely repairs and maintenance tasks. OR NOT So, when evaluating whether the threshold has been met for the tenant to be held liable, it is best to focus on unambiguous deficiencies.
The most fundamental and common deficiency is the lack of any consideration having been provided. Almost always there is none, which by itself renders invalid assignment of the duty. Often the agreement does not sufficiently specify the duty, such as requiring that the tenant pay a deductible on all repairs. Commonly landlords will refuse the rent payment without inclusion of the ill-gotten proceeds. The pressure is extortion: either pay the extra, or face having to mount a defense in an eviction action alleging rent nonpayment.
Invariably, tenants capitulate. Any such provision is unenforceable. This would include unlawfully trying to hold the tenant liable for maintenance or repairs. Stand up for your rights. Stand up against the abuse. Refuse to be a patsy for your landlord foisting his obligations on you. All rights reserved.
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Arizona Landlord Tenant Rights
Erin Eberlin Updated October 23, A security deposit is a sum of money placed with a landlord to protect against damages a tenant might cause to a rental property. It can also compensate for unpaid rent in some jurisdictions. So why would a tenant voluntary pay more? The tenant might be willing to agree to effectively pay rent in advance this way if he really wanted to rent the premises. Can a Landlord Charge a Nonrefundable Deposit? She must also explain the purpose of the fee or deposit.
Arizona Residential Lease Agreement
What is a Residential Lease Agreement? A residential lease is a legally binding agreement between a landlord and a tenant who intends to rent a specific property. It is an all-inclusive document created to outline the expectations of both parties and address any special circumstances that may arise during the length of the agreement. It also clearly states the potential consequences for not adhering to the stated terms. For maximum legal credibility, it is critical that this document be produced in writing, reviewed and signed by both parties prior to occupancy.