Eviction

questions & answers

Question: In 2011 I was late with my rent payment. I received a notice to pay or vacate. I immediately paid the rent past due and late fees in full. The following month my lease expired, I paid my rent due and moved out. Fast forward to 2013 I find out the apartment filed a forcible/special detainer. Is this legal? Am I able to dispute the judgement? Please help. Thanks

Answer: Under A.R.S. 33-1377, a landlord’s remedy for a tenant’s failure to pay rent is a special detainer action.  When the landlord files a complaint, a summons must be issued to the tenant.  After service is properly completed, the landlord must prove to the court that the tenant failed to pay the rent. If this is proven by a preponderance of the evidence, then the tenant will have to pay damages. Preponderance of the evidence is a legal standard concerning the level of proof that is required to prove a claim. The tenant has the right to dispute the landlord’s claim at the trial. If the tenant prevails, then the tenant is also entitled to recover the costs of defending his case from the landlord. The filing of a special detainer action does not mean that a judgment has been entered. It is merely the beginning of the case. If a judgment has been entered, there may be an appeal process available, depending on what kind of judgment was entered.

QUESTIONS

  • In 2011 I was late with my rent payment. I received a notice to pay or vacate. I immediately paid the rent past due and late fees in full. The following month my lease expired, I paid my rent due and moved out. Fast forward to 2013 I find out the apartment filed a forcible/special detainer. Is this legal? Am I able to dispute the judgement? Please help. Thanks

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