If you suspect mold in the rental unit, in this article you will find everything you need to know about tenant and landlord responsibilities.
Arizona State law binds the tenant to notify the landlord of any situation or occurrence that requires the landlord to provide maintenance, make repairs, or otherwise take action.
Additionally, a landlord could raise a tenant’s failure to provide such notice as a defense in case of mold injuries.
There are some precautions that landlords should take to maintain fit premises:
- Comply with the requirements of the applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety as prescribed in sections 9-1303;
- Make all necessary repairs in order to ensure fit and habitable conditions on the premises;
- All common areas should be kept in a clean and safe condition;
- Also, all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances such as elevators must be maintained in good and safe working order;
- 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.
It must also be noted that combating mold is a shared responsibility between both the landlord and the tenant. Landlords must ensure a livable home without water leaks or water damage from previous leaks.
On the other hand, tenants have the responsibilities to use the provided ventilation system in both the kitchen and the backroom to reduce the condensation from cooking, running the dishwasher, and hot baths and showers.
Who is responsible for cleaning the mold in Arizona State?
Even with a lack of specific laws governing mold landlords can be held responsible for mold problems. As I have already mentioned a landlord has the responsibility to provide safe and livable housing.
Renters have just as much responsibility to keep mold under control as the landlord and can be the liable party if the mold is a result of their neglectful behavior.
Tenant rights in Arizona State regarding mold
The first thing the tenant must do if the mold appears in the apartment is to document the problem.
Few more actions to take
- Take pictures of visible mold growth on walls and floors. Photos can be very helpful when it comes time to prove that there is mold in your apartment;
- If you have conducted mold testing document the results;
- Check if the previous tenants may have had mold issues too;
- In case you want to get out of your lease due to mold, it is recommended to find out legal assistance.
In some cases, you can easily break the lease because of mold if you can show proof that it poses an “imminent threat” to their health, while there are cases where tenants are required to submit a medical certificate or documentation from an environmental testing firm such as would be able to terminate the contract without penalties.
How long does the landlord have to fix a mold problem in Arizona State?
When mold is found, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The landlord must make all the necessary repairs within 10 days of written notice according to A.R.S. §33-1363.
If the landlord fails to make repairs within the required time frame, the renter has the right to use the self-helping repair statute. This allows the tenant to notify the landlord that he will be fixing the mold problem himself and deduct the cost from the future rents.
Additionally, tenants can move out without being responsible for paying the rent in the future if the landlord neglects his responsibilities for performing the repairs.
Can the rental lease be terminated due to mold in Arizona?
If the tenant can prove that the mold is dangerous they can break their lease by vacating earlier, but it is very important if the landlord can fix or not the mold problem if not he must release the tenant from the lease without the penalty.
The tenant can’t be held responsible for the mold problem if he/she has done everything possible to prevent and avoid mold growth.
In general, most states will rule in favor of releasing the tenants from their rental agreement if the evidence point toward the tenant being forced out because of the health problems caused by mold.
Can you sue the landlord for mold exposure in Arizona State?
Yes, it is possible to sue the landlord in Arizona State regarding mold issues. To do that you must first prove that the landlord has breached his or her duty to protect your health and safety and violated the rental agreement. Some landlords include mold clauses in rental agreements which provide the landlord with an exemption from liability in the event of illness caused by mold.
The tenant can hope for success in the lawsuit if the mold damage and exposure were caused by the negligence of the landlord or due to failure to uphold legal responsibilities.
Suing is always tough, so you must have all of the necessary evidence to support the case. Before moving forward with a mold lawsuit, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible regarding the conditions of the rental property.