GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - An issue of tenants' rights is now surrounding a Glendale family and a condo complex. You may remember we told you about the Glendale family who has been paying to live in hotels for about a month after their apartment stairs collapsed.
The money has been coming out of their own pocket, so we wanted to find out what rights they may have in this situation they didn't cause. The stairs were rebuilt, but the City of Glendale said some of the old material was used, so it's unsafe. They're being rebuilt again and there's no timeline when these families will get back in their homes.
The community came through for the Trombetta family in a big way, donating over $7,000 to help them with hotel costs in just 24 hours. "Thank you, Phoenix, thank you, everyone. Everyone that donated, thank you, everyone in this state that even just saw our story and cared. Like thank you, thank you so so much," Cameron Trombetta said.
Those collapsed stairs should have been repaired by now, but instead, there's now no timeline of when these families can get back to their home.
The family has been displaced from their Glendale apartment since June 30, after the stairs collapsed and they had to be rescued to get out. The units in the Cactus Flats condos are all individually owned, and Trombetta said his property manager has not been paying for them to be in hotels while they wait for the repair to be done.
"I just want to take these guys to court for reimbursement of what we've lost," Trombetta said. Is that even possible? Arizona's Family took the case to the president of the Arizona Tenants Advocates, Kenneth Volk. Volk said even though there are HOAs involved and the city, this is between the tenant and the landlord.
He said a lot of this comes down to the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act and a specific statute.
" [It] allows a tenant, provides for a tenant, to actually sue the landlord for a) monetary damages and b) for injunctive relief," said Volk. He said usually you need a five to 10-day notice to terminate a lease. "But they don't need that to terminate because they have a continuing casualty," he said.
At this point, they have no idea when the repair of the stairs will be done, so Trombetta is so thankful for the community's help. "Man, I'm so thankful for it. I'm so thankful," he said. "I know one day in the future, when somebody else is going through this and I can help, I'm going to be there."
This isn't the first time there's been a stair issue here.
Arizona's Family again reached out to the Trombetta family's property manager but still have not heard back. Ultimately if they were to sue the landlord, a judge would then decide how much money they would be awarded if they won the case.