Eviction Article


Evictions

What is an Eviction?

Eviction cases in Arizona are called Special Detainer Actions or Forcible Entry and Detainer. It is when a landlord says a tenant has not done something that is spelled out in the lease or rental agreement and the landlord wants the tenant to leave so that s/he can take the rental property back under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (ARLTA). Most eviction actions happen when the tenant has not paid rent on time.

The Eviction Process for Unpaid Rent

  • Notice is the first step in the eviction process.
  • Notice must be in writing and given in person or by certified mail to the tenant.
  • The landlord can give notice to the tenant that he will terminate the lease if the rent is not paid within five days.
  • On day six, the landlord can file suit. The tenant’s inability to pay the rent is not a legal defense to the lawsuit.

Part Payments

If the landlord accepts a part of the total amount owed after the five day notice is served, the landlord will need to get a written waiver signed by the tenant that allows the landlord to keep going with the eviction if the rest of the amount owed is not paid. Without the written waiver, the landlord gives up the right to end the rental agreement for non-payment of rent during the month.  A.R.S. § 33-1371.

Options for the Tenant

  • The tenant has the right to reinstate the rental agreement by paying the rent due, in full, and any reasonable late fees set out in the lease. Taking this action will avoid eviction if done before the complaint is filed.
  • The tenant has the right to reinstate the rental agreement after the complaint has been filed but before a judgment is entered by paying the rent due, in full, any reasonable late fees set out in the lease, the landlord’s costs and attorney fees. If the tenant does so before a judgment is entered, he can avoid eviction.
  • The tenant does not have a right to reinstate the rental agreement after a judgment has been entered. The landlord has sole discretion over this.

Defenses 

As a general rule, the only defense to an allegation of nonpayment of rent is that the rent was actually paid, in the manner and in the amount provided in the lease. In order to better protect your rights, keep copies of all payments and notices exchanged between your landlord and yourself. Additionally, require your landlord to put all agreements in a writing s/he signs and dates. If you think you will have a problem, try to get additional evidence, such as witnesses or photographs. . If you receive an eviction notice, you are encouraged to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.


Comments:

On 7/29/07
Joseph said
installment sales agreement. buyer has not paid mortage for 2 months, and cannot pay the third. contracts stipulates that if late 2 months contract becomes null and void. Do rules apply for this as they do for tenant/landlord?

On 1/13/07
Cindy said
I am appearing in court Jan 16 for a 2nd time in a year due to a Forcable Detainer. In both cases the landlord viewed me as a threat simply because I expect them to pay for necessary repairs to keep my home safe.I was harassed & threatened by them.

On 9/7/06
Patrick said
Excellent information...Thank you for this website. My tenant will be out shortly..

QUESTIONS

  • We are the owners of a property in Tucson, Arizona. We received a judgment of eviction on the current tenents. The constable served them the papers. My question is the tenents have not removed anything from the property. What can I do? I need to go and clean the property to try and rent it out again.
  • How do i find out if my landlord filed eviction papers
  • I RECEIVED CMPLAINT FORCIBLE/SPECIAL DETAINER(41-133798)ALTHOUGH HAD GIVEN A PARTIAL RENT PAYMENT WITH ARRANGEMENTS TO BE MADE ON PAYING THE BALANCE. MY MANAGER ACCEPTED THE PARTIAL PAYMENT AND NEVER GOT BACK TO ME. SHE IS ON VACATION AT THIS TIME AND I FOUND THE NOTICE ON MY DOOR 7/17/2008. THE PARTIAL PAYMENT WAS ACCEPTED 7/10/2008. WHAT LEGAL RIGHTS DO I HAVE AND HOW DO I CLAIM SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES(MY BOYFRIEND HAD A MASSIVE STROKE 7/04/08).
  • What do we as landlords need to include in an eviction letter? 
  • My boyfriend was renting a condo, he was the only one on the lease, he got arrested and the landlord talked to him amd he gave the ok to add me to the lease. She sent me an amendment to the lease (she couldn't print it), accepted partial payment of rent and came back 2 days later with cops telling me to leave the property since im not on the lease. Can she do that? What are my rights? ?
  • can they charge me for the a/cthat they put on top of the house if it is there responsabilty as the landlord to provide a/c and heating
  • Can a landlord still evict me if I pay the full amount on the court summons before the court date?
  • I rented house for almost four years,fixed house up inside out without any deductions. Landlord kept raising rent after we made home liveable.she's tried to illegally evict us before but we called police.now she's trying to move in on us and evicting us for no reason telling lies that were not paying and already has new tenants she's just moving in to get us out for no reason and I have two small kids and disabled husband what can I do?
  • I paid rent late. Landlord started eviction process. On day of court I didn't know I had to go instead I went to the bank and paid rent, lates fees, court costs, attny fees put into landlords bank account. But as I was not at court judgement was issued. Moved out the end of the month paid in fulleverything But the judgements are stillon my record. HOW DO I GET A JUDGEMENT REMOVED?
  • We are 2 months behind rent minus 100$. he shut off electricity. What should we do

STORIES

  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .
  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .

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  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
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  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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