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What legal action can I take against my apartment complex, or what are my options?

Phoenix, AZ |

Our apartment complex advertises a safe facility with security, 24/7 surveillance and a gated facility. Since April, the gates have not worked, inviting crime from the freeways to come in and last week my car was hit in the parking lot, I asked the leasing office for the security tapes and they advised me that they had conveniently quit working about 3-4 months ago. We as residents were never notified about this and I'm frustrated that this happened along with many other bad experiences, they have time to notify us that the pools were closed but not that security is broken, it baffles me, is there anything I can do? I just don't feel like they are holding up their end of the deal when we signed our lease.

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Attorney answers 2


Oftentimes, people's initial inclination is to seek legal remedies to landlord-tenant problems. While this is a case in which you may in fact seek legal remedies in the future, I would strongly recommend you sitting down with the landlord and discussing the conditions of the property prior to seeking legal resolutions.

According to A.R.S. 33-1324, landlords have a duty to maintain fit premises for tenants. Depending on the extent of the conditions at your complex, the landlord here may have breached his or her duty to you. Schedule an appointment with your landlord; sit down and discuss how the complex was marketed to you and - in turn - the realities of the complex now; and vaguely allude to the landlord's duty to maintain fit premises. Often times, I have seen landlords motivated by this tactic. They might even comp your rent for a month or two as well.

If nothing changes, I'd recommend speaking with an attorney. You also need to consider what your goal would be with regard to a legal action (i.e. terminating the lease; compensation for breach of contract; encouraging repairs; etc.).

This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship


I agree with the prior answer that the landlord may be in breach of the lease and/or in violation of ARS 33-1324. In addition to meeting with the landlord, in order to preserve your rights including the potential option to terminate the lease you may wish to provide a ten day notice to the landlord of the noncompliance pursuant to ARS 33-1361. Because of the potential liabilities you may face if you improperly terminate the lease early, I strongly recommend you discuss the matter with a lawyer before doing so.

This answer is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation and does not constitute legal advice. I believe you should discuss the details of your specific case with an attorney. I am admitted in the States of Arizona and Idaho only. You should not rely on the information provided here in lieu of a personal consultation with a lawyer. Nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

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