How can I report an Apartment complex for negligence?

Asked about 2 years ago - Phoenix, AZ

My apartment complex is a complete and total wreck. Since I've moved in, My ceiling has collapsed due to a leaky pipe which still has not been fixed; and the drywall is completely infested with mold; and the entire property is littered with garbage and infested with roaches and other pests. The ownership Doesnt do anything. I've submitted requests to get things fixed but I suspect that theyve always gone in the trash; as they can never "seem to find" my work order. If I report them will anything even be done; or would I have to move to litigation?

Additional information

I've been living in this apartment for two months. All of my requests have been submitted in writing. I've had non other choice than to move to this complex and I do not seek a release from my lease. I simply want my problems fixed as I have no where else to go. I'm a 19 year old culinary student. I work a full time job but I dont make enough money to live in a nicer place... or a place of equal price even due to having to be close to school.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Anne Brady

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . One thing you can do is start fixing things yourself and deducting the cost of repairs from the rent you pay, pursuant to ARS 33-1363. You can spend up to $300/month or one-half of the rent to make such repairs. You must notify the landlord 10 days in advance of your intention to make such repairs if the landlord fails to do so.

  2. Carlton C Casler

    Pro

    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . I agree with Ms. Brady that you can deduct the greater of $300 or one-half months rent for repairs that you have done to your rental unit, but you must STRICTLY comply with the requirements of ARS Section 33-1363 (written notice to landlord, done by licensed contractor, lien release, etc.). I have included a link to that statute and another link to the complete Arizona LL/T Act. Although this action is lawful, you should expect the landlord to react unfavorably and may take steps to evict you. As long as you comply with the statute, you should win in court, but you will have to take time off from work/school and spend time and money to handle your defense. You may want to reconsider your decision to stay. Read ARS Section 33-1361 for the procedure to terminate and move for a material noncompliance by the landlord. Finally, you have to take responsibility for your predicament. You have only been in the rental unit two months. It is doubtful that all the conditions you described happened in two months, which means they all existed when you signed the lease. You should not be too surprised when the landlord is reluctant to make changes or remedy issues that existed at the time you signed the lease. Your situation is analogous to buying a used car and then complaining because it does not drive, feel or smell like a new car. If your current living conditions are intolerable, then your best solution is to terminate the lease and move (after complying with ARS Section 33-1361) to a rental unit that is affordable AND that ALREADY HAS has living conditions that are acceptable to you.

    The foregoing is based on Arizona law and the limited facts that appear in the question.

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