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Where to get free help with landlord-tenant issues in Arizona

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Posted at 4:21 AM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 14:59:26-05

PHOENIX — From flooded apartments to pest problems, the Let Joe Know Team has seen countless issues tenants are facing across the Valley.

So, where can you go for free help getting a solution?

Stephanie Nader has heard it all; renters needing help to understand their rights and landlords requesting assistance to protect their investments.

"People are struggling out there. They're having a hard time," said Nader.

She supervises the City of Phoenix's Landlord-Tenant Program. It's a free service open to anyone across the state and there are no income requirements.

"We talk to not just tenants, but landlords, when they're running into difficulties, or they have any questions about what their rights and responsibilities are," said Nader.

Nader says while her staff cannot provide legal advice, they can connect people with rental assistance programs or legal assistance, like Community Legal Services.

If it's a repair issue, they can walk you through steps to take outlined by Arizona's Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.

One renter wrote us saying his apartment flooded several times this past weekend.

No maintenance crews came out and no repairs have been made.

"The landlord-tenant counselor would tell him okay, what is the process for requesting repairs," said Nader. "Then also if those repairs aren't done, [a counselor could tell them] what they can do in order to either break the lease or do the repairs themselves."

Arizona law states if it's an issue "affecting health and safety," a tenant can deliver a written notice to the landlord. It needs to outline the repairs needed to be made. If they're not completed within five days, the renter can terminate the lease.

In the case of inaction by a landlord, renters can also take things into their own hands and go through a process trying to deduct it from the rent at a later time.

"Always pay rent, but then we can move forward in getting those repairs done. They are not one and the same and you can't withhold rent in order to get your repairs done," said Nader.

When in doubt, Nader says to reach out for some guidance. It's free.

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