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The landlord and tenant entered into an Arizona REALTORS® Residential Lease Agreement, which requires the landlord to provide heat and air conditioning, water, gas, and electricity.  The air conditioning equipment is older and breaks down frequently.  The landlord has been advised to replace the unit but refuses to do so.  The tenant withheld approximately 10% of the rent due for May and June based on the improperly functioning air conditioner.  The landlord has negotiated the rent checks but “forgot” to pay the electric bill such that the home now has no electricity.  The landlord claims that failure to pay the bill was a mistake and that it will be at least two weeks before the power will be turned on based on “delays” at the electric company.  


Must the tenant establish that the landlord acted intentionally or in bad faith to establish claims against the landlord?




If the landlord “deliberately or negligently fails to supply… electrical service… or air-conditioning or cooling…” the tenants have multiple remedies as specified in A.R.S. § 33-1364.  Those remedies include procuring electrical service or air-conditioning, recovering damages based on the diminished fair rental value of obtaining substitute housing.  The tenant is not required to establish that the landlord acted intentionally in the failure to provide electrical service; he need only establish that the landlord was negligent.  

Independent legal counsel should be consulted.