Renters’ Rights to Minor Repairs in Arizona

Renting a home or apartment is a common option for many, but it can pose problems regarding who is liable for repairs. Thus, tenants must know their rights and responsibilities when it comes to maintaining their rental property. In Arizona, renters’ rights to minor repairs are governed by the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Here are some key points about how these laws typically apply:

Renters’ Rights to Minor Repairs According to the Law

In Arizona, the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act primarily governs the relationship between renters and landlords. This law specifies that landlords are required to maintain the rental property in a fit and habitable condition. So, minor repairs that affect habitability usually fall under the landlord’s responsibility. Specifically, landlords must:

  • Comply with all applicable building codes
  • Make necessary repairs
  • Keep common areas safe
  • Maintain all electrical, plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning systems

For renters, this means that if a minor repair is needed to keep the property safe and habitable, the landlord is typically responsible for making those repairs. This includes issues like fixing a leaking faucet, repairing a broken air conditioner, or addressing pest infestations.

Tenant’s Responsibilities

As a tenant, you also have responsibilities. You must keep the property clean and use electrical and plumbing fixtures properly. You must also comply with all housing, health, and safety codes, and avoid damaging the property. For minor cosmetic repairs due to the tenant’s misuse, the tenant may be responsible. Thus, if damage occurs because of abuse or negligence on your part, you may be required to pay for the repairs. Moreover, you need to report any issues promptly to avoid exacerbating the problem.

How to Request for Repairs

It’s common practice for tenants to request repairs in writing, giving the landlord a chance to address the issue within a reasonable time frame. This can vary but is often around 30 days for non-emergency repairs.

When a minor repair is needed, here’s a simple step-by-step process you can follow:

  1. Notify Your Landlord: Inform your landlord about the issue. It’s best to do this in writing (either through email or a letter) so you have a record of your request.
  2. Give Reasonable Time: After notification, give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to address the issue. Although the law doesn’t specify exact timelines, generally, a week or two might be reasonable for minor repairs.
  3. Follow-Up: If your landlord does not respond or refuses to make the repair, you may have further legal options.

Examples of Minor Repairs

Let’s consider a few examples to clarify what might be considered minor repairs:

  • Your kitchen faucet starts leaking. This is a minor repair necessary for maintaining basic plumbing standards.
  • One of the burners on your stove stops working. Since this may affect your ability to cook and use your kitchen properly, it should be addressed by the landlord.
  • If your bathroom’s ventilation fan stops working, this could lead to moisture issues and mold, thus it would also be categorized as a minor but essential repair.

Emergency Repairs

There are emergencies, however, such as repairs that affect the tenant’s safety or the habitability of the property. For example, if it’s a broken heater in winter or a severe plumbing leak, landlords are typically required to respond and address the issue more quickly.

Response Time

For essential services (like water, electricity, and heat), the landlord is typically required to make repairs within a reasonable time frame, which may be as soon as necessary under the circumstances. For less urgent repairs, landlords are expected to respond within 10 days after receiving written notification from the tenant.

Legal Options If Repairs Aren’t Made

If your landlord fails to make necessary repairs after reasonable notice, you might have a few options:

  • Repair and Deduct: In some cases, you might be able to repair the issue yourself and deduct the cost from your rent. It’s important to check local regulations and perhaps consult with a lawyer before taking this step. In Arizona, tenants may be able to pay for the repairs themselves and deduct the cost from the rent, provided the cost of repairs does not exceed $300 or half the monthly rent, whichever is greater. This can only be done once in any 12-month period.
  • Withhold Rent: In more severe cases, you might be entitled to withhold rent until the repair is made. This can be legally risky, so it’s wise to seek legal advice first.
  • Break the Lease: If the landlord’s failure to repair affects the habitability of the property, you may be able to break your lease without penalty.


Understanding renters’ rights to minor repairs can help you better manage your rental situation. Always communicate clearly with your landlord about any issues.  Keep records of your communications and attempts to resolve repair issues. If you feel overwhelmed, seek guidance from legal aid organizations or an attorney specializing in Arizona’s tenant laws.

By knowing your rights and how to act on them, you can ensure a safer, more comfortable living environment, and a more positive relationship with your landlord.