What can I force my landlord to do if he doesn’t carry out his legal obligations?

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What can I force my landlord to do if he doesn’t carry out his legal obligations?

I have lived here 4 1/2 years. When I moved in I was told the maintenance on the trailer park would be done. However nothing has been done in all this time. The tires on my vehicles has been slashed, items have been stolen from me and everything in the park is a mess. I have also found out that the park is at least 6 months behind in their bills. How does that effect me?

Asked on April 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the trailer park is becoming uninhabitable, or key facilities unusuable, due to a lack of maintenance, you may be able to force the landlord to take action (or you may be able to receive compensation) because the landlord is violating the "implied warranty of habitability." Howevever, minor maintenance problems, some general shabbiness, etc. does not violate this warranty and does not give you any legal rights.

If the landlord is not providing the common or more-or-less standard level of security for property of this type, then that also might constitute a violation of the implied warranty of hability and give you the right to require more security and/or seek compensation. But if the landlord is doing whatever is typically done for property of this type, in regards to security, you have no cause of action--the landlord is only responsible for not providing reasonable security, and is not otherwise responsible for the criminal acts of unrelated third parties.

There is also, unfortunately, no legal right to force the landlord to pay his bills, at least until and unless it fringes on some right of yours--for example, should there be a utility shut-off which affacts you, at that point, you may be able to take legal action.


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