Our air conditioner recently broke in the middle of summer and it is near unbearably hot here in Arizona. We've lived here the past 2 years and it was working fine. Our landlord is refusing to fix it and is putting the repair cost on us. Is this legal or does he have to repair it?
Your Arizona legislators are as adamant about the summer heat as you are. They made residential landlords responsible for maintaining not only the usual aspects of a rental (such as the roof and plumbing, electrical, and heating systems), but the air conditioning as well. (Az. Rev. Stat. § 33-1324(a)(4).) If the unit broke through normal use and the result of normal wear and tear, your landlord must fix it. (If you broke it, that’s another story.)
If your landlord refuses to repair the unit, you have some options. Under Arizona law, failure to maintain the air conditioner makes the unit “unfit.” That’s a powerful term—it means that you can avail yourself of any of the following remedies.
Repairing the unit and deducting its cost from your rent is clearly the best option, because it will not involve a move or the risk of an eviction lawsuit (even one in which you’d have a good defense).