Arizona Tenants Rights: Mold & Water Damage

Find Out More about Your Tenant’s Rights Concerning Water Damage in Arizona

In the list of all those natural disasters that have hit the United States, floods have to be at the top. The problem is that even other “acts of God”, including tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes, could lead to flooding. All this will lead to water damage, but interestingly, water damage in your rental home could also be an outcome of an “act of landlord” – it happens when drains clog, pipes break, and roofs leak. If you are property owner in the disaster-prone state of Arizona, you should be aware of your tenant’s rights concerning water damage.

Floods are quite common in Arizona, mainly due to certain geographical features, desert expanses and inland floodplains. The Central Valley is more at risk, usually because snowstorms in the Sierra Mountains melt quickly and these together with the rainy season lead to flooding. However, it’s worth mentioning that no home in the entire state is safe from water damage because it can take different forms and have varying effects – it could be a result of regular wear and tear to a water heater or your roof. Therefore, it’s important to understand your tenant’s rights about water damage whether you live in a condominium, apartment, or rental home in any Arizona city like Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Goodyear, Mesa, Tucson, Gilbert and Queen Creek.

Why You Should Worry About Water Damage?

The thing about water damage is that even minor leaks will lead to major property damage, as the water intrusion can cause pest infestations, rotting, and stains – a musty odor is also noticeable in these properties. The most annoying thing is that mold and mildew, especially black mold (Stachybotrys) can get hold of your property within 24 hours of a water damage event. Rotting is another issue, as rotted sections can affect the structural integrity of your property. Therefore, if you don’t have a clue about your rights, you might end up dealing with the bill of repairs.

Learn about Your Renter’s Rights in Arizona

Unlike Arkansas and Colorado, you will always have the right to get needed repairs carried out by your property owner within a reasonable time. However, there are a few considerations. For instance, you, as a tenant, need to inform your landlord in writing that the property needs repair – send your request by certified mail to maintain a record. If it’s not an emergency, your property owner will have between 14 and 30 days to acknowledge your request. But do keep in mind that your landlord in Arizona is not responsible for repairing any damage resulting from personal property. Similarly, they will not be held responsible for taking no action if the damage took place due to your negligence or negligent behavior.

You, as a tenant, have the right to live in an environment that is inhabitable, safe, and meets all applicable housing requirements/codes. It means that if water damage has encouraged infestation of mold or termites, your landlord will have to take necessary step to eradicate the issue. But again, if your rental unit is uninhabitable mainly because you allow trash to accumulate in your apartment, it will be considered your negligence and the landlord is not responsible for taking any action.

It’s important to point out that renters in Arizona have rights to a limited “repair and deduct remedy”. It implies that if you request a serious repair and your landlord doesn’t acknowledge your request, you can get the repair done on your own and deduct the amount from your regular rent payment. However, some stipulations do apply here, like the cost of the repair should not exceed the monthly cost of rent, and you, as a tenant, can perform a “repair and deduct” only once a year.

A “rent withholding remedy” is another option in certain circumstances. Here, you may refuse to pay full or a portion of the rent until your property owner fixes a repair. Moreover, an “abandonment remedy” may also be implemented in some cases – here, you’re allowed to leave the rental unit considering it’s no longer habitable.

Certain Policies/Rights may Change from City to City

You, as a renter, should check the Arizona Tenants Guide to get to know of the basic rights you have in the state of Arizona. The basic rules are always the same, but you may notice some variations in county and city-specific policies. Some cities are more favorable for landlords, while others favor renters. For instance, a tenant in San Francisco cannot proceed with ‘deduct and repair’ and ‘rent withholding’ remedies until an inspector from the Department of Building Inspections comes to review your property.

Renter’s Insurance for Water Damage

In Arizona, flooding is so common, which is one big reason why some insurance companies don’t over water damage coverage through standard insurance policies. Therefore, you, as a renter in Arizona, should pick a renter’s insurance policy that not only protects you from losses like fire, burglary, etc., but also includes coverage for water damage.

Hiring a Specialist for Water Damage Restoration Company in the Phoenix Area

Even if you think the water damage is not serious, you should still consider hiring a professional to handle restoration. It doesn’t take long after water damage to see mold and mildew grow in certain areas of your house. Inhaling mold spores will lead to certain health implications, which is why you should hire a mold remediation specialist, as they use special gear and equipment for the quick and effective removal of mold.

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