By Mark Zinman | Zona Law
Question: As a property owner in Phoenix, I never thought I would have to ask this question, but is there a law regarding what temperature I must keep my rental? We have been having heater issues in the rental, it’s taking a while to fix, and the temperature outside keeps dropping.
Answer: There is no statewide set temperature you have to follow, but there are requirements in different cities. The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act say that a property owner must maintain the property in “fit and habitable condition” and maintain in “good and safe working order” all cooling and heating appliances. That does not set forth a specific temperate, but rather a generalized rule. Cities, though, do have specific requirements, and most judges will follow Phoenix city code when in doubt. Phoenix’s city ordinance says that “Heating requirements. Every rental housing unit where such systems are installed shall have heating capable of safely heating all habitable rooms, and bathrooms and flushing toilet rooms to a temperature of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit at a distance three feet above floor level in the center of the room. Required heating shall be provided by permanently installed heating facilities.” This language doesn’t say you have to put in new equipment, but you have to maintain what is there already and it gives direction on where the heat should be measured.