Eviction

questions & answers

Question: We have MAJOR problens in my apartment complex, so we are moving this first or second week of the month. It is now the 6th and I have NOT been given a 5 day pay or quit even tho the landlord told me her boss wants us evicted. I'm mostly worried they will lock us out, but that seems illegal. Can I assume Im allowed to stay here for the month since no 5 days to pay or quit has been given? What should I expect?

Answer: Under Arizona law, a landlord may not lock a tenant out or shut off a tenant’s utilities until after a judge has ordered that tenant’s eviction and subsequently issued a writ of restitution (A.R.S. 33-1368(D)). In fact, if a landlord cuts off a tenant’s access to utilities before a judge has issued a writ of restitution, then tenant may not only recover possession of the dwelling or terminate the rental agreement without penalty, but also, in either case, be awarded an amount equal to two months’ rent or twice any actual damages sustained by the tenant, whichever is greater (A.R.S. 33-1367). If a landlord decides to evict a tenant because that tenant has failed to comply with the rental agreement (for example, by not paying rent), then the landlord must provide the tenant with notice (5 days for nonpayment of rent), and then, after that notice period has ended, file a complaint with the court and serve the tenant with a summons and a copy of the complaint (A.R.S. 33-1368). Even at that point, any lawful lockout of the tenant by the landlord will be several days if not a week or more away (depending upon, among other things, how busy the court is and whether the matter goes to trial after an initial hearing).

QUESTIONS

  • We have MAJOR problens in my apartment complex, so we are moving this first or second week of the month. It is now the 6th and I have NOT been given a 5 day pay or quit even tho the landlord told me her boss wants us evicted. I'm mostly worried they will lock us out, but that seems illegal. Can I assume Im allowed to stay here for the month since no 5 days to pay or quit has been given? What should I expect?

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