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Repair and Deduct Laws in Arizona

If a landlord in Arizona hasn’t fixed a serious issue in 5-10 days, a tenant is allowed to make the repair themselves and deduct the money from their next rent payment.

Most states have some version of “repair and deduct,” a tactic that tenants can use to deal with a landlord who won’t fix major problems with their rental unit. As the name suggests, tenants are allowed by law to make repairs on their own and then deduct that amount from the rent. In Arizona, the timeline for repair and deduct is relatively short—once a tenant notifies their landlord of the problem, they have between five and 10 days to deal with it before the tenant can take matters into their own hands.

Not every problem with a rental is eligible for repair and deduct

A lot of things can go wrong in an apartment—but not every problem qualifies for repair and deduct. All landlords in the U.S. are required to abide by something called the “implied warranty of habitability,” which guarantees that they’ll keep the rental property safe, clean, and habitable for tenants. In Arizona, this means the building is up to code, all appliances that came with the space are in working order, the utilities work properly, and trash is regularly removed.1 If the problem violates the warranty of habitability, the tenant can use repair and deduct.

Also, for Arizona’s repair and deduct law to go into effect, the issue cannot have been caused by the tenant or their family, pets, or guests.2

Tenants must follow a specific process in order to repair and deduct

In order to repair and deduct, a tenant must start by sending their landlord a written demand for the repair. The letter should note that if the repair isn’t made within a certain timeframe, a licensed contractor will be hired. (For an example, see Form D-1 at the end of the Arizona Tenants' Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.)

Serious health and safety concerns, like a lack of running water or no working electricity, must be fixed within five days. Everything else—think broken appliances or a leaky faucet—must be fixed within 10.

If the landlord has not made a repair within either five or 10 days, a tenant can hire a licensed contractor, who will sign a “waiver of lien”—a document confirming the contractor can’t come after the tenant for payment. (See Form D-2 for an example of the waiver.)

Finally, the tenant should give their landlord a written confirmation that the repairs are done (see Form D-3). The tenant should also include an itemized bill for the repair and the signed waiver of lien. Once that’s complete, the tenant can deduct the cost of the repair from next month’s rent.3

Repairs cannot cost more than $300 or half a month’s rent

To use repair and deduct, the cost must be less than $300 or half a month’s rent (whichever is greater).4 So, if a tenant's monthly rent is $500, they could deduct up to $300. If their monthly rent is $1,200, they could deduct up to $600.

Tenants in Arizona have more options if the repair involves utilities

If there’s a utility problem—meaning the water, gas, electric, or central AC isn't working—the tenant first needs to notify the landlord about the problem in writing. The landlord then has five days to fix the issue. If they don’t, then the tenant can do one of three things:5

  1. Track the receipts for what it’s costing to obtain the missing service, and deduct that cost from the next month’s rent
  2. Sue the landlord to force them to provide services, and also to compensate for a decrease in rental value while the services weren’t available
  3. Temporarily move out, if necessary. Tenants do not have to pay rent to their landlord while living elsewhere. When the repairs are done, if the cost of temporary housing was higher than rent, the tenant can be reimbursed for up to 25% of the difference

[1] A.R.S. § 33-1324(A)(1)

[2] A.R.S. § 33-1361(B)

[3] A.R.S. § 33-1363(A)

[4] A.R.S. § 33-1363(A)

[5] A.R.S. § 33-1364

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.