I had lodged a complaint against landlord for not getting the gas pipelines fixed.
The landlord is filing for evicting me from my rented apartment. I had lodged a complaint against him for grossly neglecting the need to get the gas pipelines to my apartment fixed. They had rusted and were a serious threat to my safety. I had given two notices regarding the concern which he blatantly ignored. Do I have any rights per the tenancy laws in Arizona?12/13/2016 | Category: Landlord Ten... » Lease Violat... | State: Arizona | #28021
“A. The landlord shall:
1. Comply with the requirements of applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety as prescribed in section 9-1303.
2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.
3. Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition.
4. Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him.
5. Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal.
6. Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times, reasonable heat and reasonable air-conditioning or cooling where such units are installed and offered, when required by seasonal weather conditions, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat, air-conditioning, cooling or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection.
If the tenant takes a legal measure to ensure that the landlord adheres and carries out his duties, they are protected from any retaliatory action by the landlord for doing so per A.R.S. § 33-1381. It reads:
“A. Except as provided in this section, a landlord may not retaliate by increasing rent or decreasing services or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession after any of the following:
1. The tenant has complained to a governmental agency charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building or housing code of a violation applicable to the premises materially affecting health and safety.
2. The tenant has complained to the landlord of a violation under section 33-1324.
3. The tenant has organized or become a member of a tenants' union or similar organization.
4. The tenant has complained to a governmental agency charged with the responsibility for enforcement of the wage-price stabilization act.
B. If the landlord acts in violation of subsection A of this section, the tenant is entitled to the remedies provided in section 33-1367 and has a defense in action against him for possession. In an action by or against the tenant, evidence of a complaint within six months prior to the alleged act of retaliation creates a presumption that the landlord's conduct was in retaliation. The presumption does not arise if the tenant made the complaint after notice of termination of the rental agreement. "Presumption", in this subsection, means that the trier of fact must find the existence of the fact presumed unless and until evidence is introduced which would support a finding of its nonexistence.
Therefore, the tenant in the present case may terminate the rental agreement and recover an amount not more than two months' periodic rent or twice the actual damages sustained by him, whichever is greater per A.R.S. § 33-1367. It reads:
“If the landlord unlawfully removes or excludes the tenant from the premises or wilfully diminishes services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of electric, gas, water or other essential service to the tenant, the tenant may recover possession or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover an amount not more than two months' periodic rent or twice the actual damages sustained by him, whichever is greater. If the rental agreement is terminated the landlord shall return all security recoverable under section 33-1321.”