4 things you need to know about rental rights

Posted at 6:44 PM, Feb 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-25 22:59:10-05

I get complaint after complaint about bugs, water leaks, no heat and no air from renters who don't know their rights.

To be clear, you have the right to a safe, clean, inhabitable rental home with hot water, and working appliances including heat and air.

But if you can't get the landlord to fix it, you also have the right to take action.

Start by putting your request in writing.

That's when the clock starts ticking.

Send a certified letter detailing exactly how the landlord is breaching lease.

By law they have ten calendar days to fix the problem or you can void the lease and move out.

If it affects health or safety, that time frame shortened to five day.

You have the right to know exactly why you did not get your deposit back.

The landlord has 14 business days to send you an itemized list of why you did or did not have your deposit refunded.

Request receipts verifying how much was spent and where.

Don't agree with the decision? 

You've got the right to take the landlord to court and let a judge decide.  

Sounds like a lot of work but make sure you have all correspondence and pictures to help prove your case.

You do not have the right to withhold rent.  It's tempting but it will get you nowhere. Keep paying your rent on time, send your certified letter, give them time to fix it, and be prepared to move out if they don't.

Need my help? Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 1-855-323-1515. You can also send me an email, or a video email where you attach a video explaining the problem.
And you can reach me on Twitter or "like" the Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.

AND WE NEED YOUR HELP!  If you want to be a volunteer and help other consumers, let me know.