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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Oct 8, 2015

With such a volatile housing market here in Arizona, more people than ever are choosing to rent homes and apartments instead of buying. That means more dealings with landlords and the potential complications that can arise from those dealings. Sometimes, landlords can be less than cooperative when it comes to tenant requests. Here’s a look at some of the most common issues.

Landlord won’t make necessary repairs.

In a perfect world, you pick up the phone when there’s a problem with the property and your landlord responds right away. Unfortunately, every so often, a necessary repair request is ignored, and that’s when you have a problem. In the event that your rental is uninhabitable without the repair, you have rights. Here’s what you can do:

  • call state or local building or health inspectors
    withhold rent payments.
  • make the repair yourself or have a professional make the repair and deduct the cost from your rent.
  • pay the rent and then suing the landlord for the difference between the rent you paid and the value of the defective premises.

These actions are considered tougher measures to dealing with an unruly landlord. Make sure that the situation is serious enough to warrant them, such as a problem that threatens your health or safety.

Landlord won’t return security deposit.
When you sign your lease, there’s typically a clause for “normal wear and tear.” That means that your landlord cannot keep any part of your security deposit for worn carpets or dingy paint. Items beyond that can be deducted from your deposit, such as broken windows, holes in the walls or trash left behind.

If you leave a rental in perfect shape and your landlord refuses to return your deposit, there are steps you can take. Another stiff-arm move that should be used only when necessary is to send a security deposit request in writing. In Arizona, the landlord has 14 days upon receipt (certified mail is the best way to confirm this) to return the deposit in full or an itemized list of deductions.

If you’ve dealt with a consistently difficult landlord that has violated your rights, it’s important to stand up and protect them, especially when your health is threatened. While courts often side with property owners, having an experienced attorney on your side can help you seek the justice you deserve.