Eviction Article


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.


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.


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..


  • How much time does a constable or sheriff should give you to leave the apartment after they knock on your door after your evicted?
  • the tenants have had their water turned off twice for non payment. 1st time wsa for 29 days,and the second was for9 days before I found out from the town. the first itime the remedy was pay the bill and get the water turned on. with the second I am going to evict them. I gave them a notice that it was their second time in six months that this has happened. I have to wait ten days before I give them a special detainer fo evection. does this the right way to do this.
  • My lease states that 2 adults are allowed to leave in the premises. I had a friend stay with me and my landlord forced me to kicked them out. He said that having somebody else stay with me without his approval meant I broke the lease and he could evict me. I have always paid rent on time and he is enforcing rules with me that he is not enforcing with the other tenants. I can't afford a lawyer and I fell harassed. What are my options?
  • I let a friend pull a travel trailer on my acre with an oral agreement that he would fix things around the land in exchange for staying there. My brother had to move in with me and I told my friend he would have to move out. I gave him a month and he didn't move. I gave him another 6 weeks and he did not move . then I gave him one more week and that is up in 3 days and it does not look like he is going to move by then. what should I do ? He did not break any agreement, nor did I.
  • How many days do you have to vacate a property after an eviction judgment is granted to a landlord for non payment
  • What process do I need to do to evict a roommate who lives with me and is not on the lease. He is not behind on rent, is gone crazy thinking there are spirits in the house and thinks I have died. Again I am the only one on the lease. Thank you
  • I moved out my apartment a month early and returned all keys. I recently tried to rent a house but landlord said there was a forcible detainer on my record. I moved out in January and record shows landlord filled forcible detainer in May but is shows no money owed. Can a landlord file after your already gone and how can i remove it from my record?
  • My property management company called me yesterday and informed me that I need to go to court for an eviction today.? I NEVER received any summon in the mail and was never severed. I made a partial payment($600 as opposed to the 668 rent amount) via our tenant portal last Friday with a prepaid debit card. My property management company told me yesterday that it hasn t posted even tho I confirmed with the prepaid company yesterday and the tenant portal shows it s cleared. Will a judge grant the eviction?
  • 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
  • I have let my mother live in my residence that I owed with my Father, her ex-husband. He has since past. She is always late on the rent and does not take care of the yard, and smokes in the house. I don't have a lease agreement and I want her out of the house. I am cleaning up his estate and acquiring a loan to fix up the place. How can I legally do this to get her out of the house since I have no signed lease agreement. She is either late or short on the rent at least 3 times in the last year.


  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • 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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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
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