by Phoenix attorney Christopher A. Combs, partner with Combs Law Group, P.C.

Question: In November, my wife and I decided on the “spur of the moment” to move from Wisconsin to Phoenix with our two-year-old son. The first day we arrived in Phoenix we signed a one-year lease for a small home with a swimming pool. There was no fence around this swimming pool, but the landlord said that Phoenix had swimming pool barrier laws and that he would install a fence. Summer is now approaching and the fence has still not been installed. We keep our back door locked at all times, and basically do not have the use of our backyard because of our fear about our two-year old son being near the swimming pool. When we confronted the landlord about his promise to install a fence, he denied even having a conversation about the fence. Does the landlord have to install a fence to comply with Phoenix swimming pool barrier laws?

Answer: The obligation to comply with swimming pool barrier laws in Arizona is on the occupant, not the owner, of the property. In other words, you and your wife as the occupants of the home have the obligation to install a fence or otherwise comply with Phoenix swimming pool barrier laws. You should then have a claim against your landlord in justice court for your cost of compliance based on his misrepresentation to you.