Arizona Renters Have Right To A Cool House In Summer Heat

By Mariana Dale
Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 11:17pm
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2018 - 9:49am
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
Ken Volk founded Arizona Tenants Advocates, a group that fights for renters’ rights.

Recent Valley temperatures have climbed to 116 degrees. Without air conditioning, a home can get dangerously hot fast.

If a renter’s AC breaks, the landlord is legally has to fix it. It’s part of the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

“That’s one of the obligations of the landlord, to supply essential services, including, for example, electricity, water, heat, cooling,” said Ken Volk, founder of Arizona Tenants Advocates, a group that fights for renters’ rights.

Both Tempe and Phoenix have additional ordinances that require air conditioning be able to chill the house to 82 degrees.

Here’s what Volk recommends renters do if they don’t have any of these “essential services:”

“You wanna prove that, one, there is the problem. Two, maybe the extent of the problem. And three, that the landlord’s being notified.”

If your landlord is unresponsive, Volk recommends renters document their problems and send complaints via certified mail, instead of calling or texting.

“What’s easy might not hold up in court if need be,” Volk said.

If a landlord “deliberately or negligently” does not repair the air conditioning, renters can be reimbursed for several things, such as renting an air conditioning unit, paying for the repair, or staying in a hotel or elsewhere.

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