3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Heat wave rental rights

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(Source: KTVK) (Source: KTVK)
(Source: KTVK) (Source: KTVK)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

One of the more common complaints 3 On Your Side gets is in regards to non-working air conditioners and landlords who turn a blind eye because they don't want to pay to repair the problem.

"It's been hotter inside the house than it has been outside," said tenant Kimberly Edens. 

It's pretty hot right now and air conditioners big and small are doing what they can to keep you cool.

"This little window unit hasn't been working so well," Edens said.

She said her apartment AC frequently goes out and as a result, the inside temperature sizzles.

"It has been so hot that I've lost 20 fish, they boiled to death." Edens said.

She's losing fish and her patience. Her neighbor, Jason Kovach, says he also has AC problems.

"The air conditioning went out, it was working fine then that Friday evening it just died it quit working," Kovach said.

It took an entire week but Kovach says his AC was finally repaired.

With that in mind, if you're a renter and you have an air conditioner problem, what rights do you have?

First of all, Arizona state law requires landlords to maintain your AC and to ensure it's in safe, working order. If it's not, you have to inform your landlord in writing that your air conditioner is broken and that it needs to be fixed.

"I've learned that the best thing to do is always put something in writing and get everything in writing, otherwise they can come back and state, 'Oh I never did this. Oh you were never here,'" Kovach said.

Landlords have up to 10 days to fix the problem starting from when they receive a written notice, but that's cut in half if your health is in jeopardy.

Jose Alarcon is a landlord-tenant counselor with the City of Phoenix.

"The landlord has 5 days starting from the day they received written notice for a repair that constitutes a health and safety hazard," he said.

But what's considered a health and safety hazard?  Well, in the City of Phoenix, anyway, Alarcon says there's a thresh-hold.

"If there's an air conditioning in the unit that it must cool to at least 82 degrees and if there's an evaporative cooler it must cool to at least 86 degrees," he said.

Last year, the Neighborhood Services Department provided free counseling to nearly 4,000 tenants and more than 400 landlords

With the summer heat cranking up, it's going to be a busy.  

"Feels good, fulfilling to be able to give people information, empower them what their rights and the process to kind of exercise their rights."

For more information about tenant and landlord rights visit: https://www.phoenix.gov/nsd/programs/landlord-tenant-counseling

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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