What to do if my A/C unit nearly caught on fire recently and if it wasn’t for my wife being awake the place would have caught on fire and potently taken her life?

I have gone to the management team many times about my unit not working and causing extremely high electric bill. They sent in a worker and all he did was check to see how cool the air was blowing and left, after months of complaining about the unit it almost caught on fire. I had to go with out A/C for 2 full days in this extreme heat. The maintenance guy who came to take a look at the smokey unite said it was very old and it could have caught on fire. Do I have a solid case in small claims court?

Asked on July 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It does not sound like you currently have a case in small claims court because you do not have any monetary damages.  However, under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, you do have a right to self-help.  The landlord is required to make all repairs necessary to keep the rental unit in a fit and habitable condition.  If he does not, you need to notify him in writing of the needed repair.  If he does not fix it within 10 days, you are entitled to fix it yourself and then deduct the cost of the repair -- up to $300 or half of the monthly rent, whichever is greater -- from the rent you pay the next month.

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