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

  • I don't have a lease and I just give my roommate cash for the rent. I paid my rent but think my roommate might want to kick me out, does he still have to give me 30 days?
  • I had a boyfriend move from another state into my apartment. It has been about 5 months, since he moved in. Things are not working out between us and I have told him that I don’t want to be with him. He is not on my lease and will not leave my apartment. I have told him several times to leave and even told him he had 30 days to get out of my apartment. He is verbally abusive and scares me. How do I get him out of my home? Can I legally change the locks when he is not there?
  • What is the statues of limitations to sue my landlord for illegal eviction and destroying all my property 7 days later this happened in Jan 2007
  • My wife and I just moved in to an apartment Siera Vista less than a week ago. before this we were homeless for about two years. We are both disabled. The office informed my wife that the application put fourth was denied do to her criminal history. and that we must leave now! My ewife has never been arrestested in her life and has no criminal history, not even a misdemenor! The office refuses to let us view their claim. Can you please assist us A.S.A.P ? We have a registered service dog of 11 years, my wife is a has cancer and is a retired nurse of 25 years, and I am a disabled veteran. Can
  • How do I kick someone out who doesn't pay rent
  • A room in our home was rented on a month-to-month basis. The 1st month was a trial period to see if they were a good "fit." The man intimidated a disabled female in the home and verbally assaulted her the following day (at which time they were given 10 days to vacate), they were caught smoking marijuana in the home (given a verbal warning), their dog bit someone (didn't break skin just bruising and swelling), caught smoking a second time - told to leave immediately and made threats of imminent harm. Have not returned to claim possessions as agreed and claim we owe them money. What do I do?
  • can a complex predate a notice to terminate lease just for not wanting to renew lease? I think this tactic is used because I claim they have unsafe property and gave them 30 day notice to comply with health and safety.
  • I would like to know how to start the eviciton process. What court do I go to, what papers are necessary, do I need to retain a lawyer etc.
  • The house I have been renting month to month has been foreclosed and already been sold to new owners...do I have 90 days to move out and if the new owners ask for rent can they charge me more then what I was paying with me lease or do I not pay them?
  • my home was auctioned in a forclosue on 02/28/14....I am now being evicted by monday.....where is the 70000 equity in my home ?

STORIES

  • 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. . .
  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .

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FIND LEGAL HELP

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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