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

  • 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? ?
  • If house is foreclosed on, what does the new owner need to provide to the old owner and how long does the the old owner have to get out by law?
  • My roommate left a month ago to go back East to visit family. When he left as far as I knew he had every intention of returning. I have not heard from him in 3 weeks now. He is not returning my calls. He left his car in my garage & other personal items. I own the house & he rented a room. How long do I have to wait to get rid of his stuff? Also, what do I do with his car?
  • 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).
  • I have been evicted. I have 21 days to get out belongings can my landlord start moving in RVs and hook in my water andand my electric to his RVs while we are still moving our belongings
  • I have lived in a residence in Arizona since 2007. The lease expired in 2009 and by agreement with the owner was allowed to live without a lease and rent free since then. The owner is now trying to get me to sign a new lease or "evict" me. I have continuously maintained the residence and spent money out of pocket for upkeep including major purchases such as replacing the a/c unit, removing trees damaged by storms, painting, etc. Also paid back taxes for a year when the house was close to tax sale. What are my rights?
  • I own my trailer and rent a lot, I got behind in paying my lot fee so am being evicted. What point and time do they(park personel) have the right to go through and take my stuff?
  • I was evicted due to inability to pay due to high medical cost. My landlord allowed the 21 days but took my personal effects to Prescott. Is that possible??? I have lost all due to this disaster. I take responsibility for not paying. I have the funds to pay off the judgment, but have lost all.. Plus a work computer that belongs to my company covered by HIPPA laws. Thank you in advance
  • My husband and I rent a home with my husband's two friends and 4 of us are on the lease, but one of his friends girlfriend is living in our home and is not on the lease and she is disrespectful and causes problems how can we legally evict her?
  • Can I stay longer in a foreclosure property? I am the tenant . The bank is the owner now. I am willing to pay for the extra time until I buy the house, but i need more time, and I dont want to leave. I need four more months. Do I have any rights to stay the extra time?

STORIES

  • 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. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .

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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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