General Housing Information

questions & answers

Question: I allowed an ex to move back in while she "got on her feet." She has never paid rent or utilities and we have no written agreement altho it was understood at the time to be a short-term favor. It is now over 2 years and she says she doesn't want to move out until she can afford her own place. When we met 3 years ago she was renting a room in a house which is what I am suggesting she do again now - what are my legal options in terms of requiring her to move out?

Answer: Whenever the question concerns how to remove an unwanted person from a residence, an important distinction is whether that person is a tenant or a guest. Under Arizona law, if the person is (or could be considered to be) entitled by a rental agreement – even just an oral agreement – to occupy the dwelling, then in theory that person is a tenant (A.R.S. 33-1310(16)) who thus has a right to be provided with 30 days advance written notice (A.R.S. 33-1375). Providing a person with 30 days notice is always the safest option. If the person is, in fact, a tenant, then only a judge can order that person’s eviction, after the 30-day notice has been ignored and the tenant has been served with a summons and eviction complaint. When a person lives in a dwelling for months, and especially years, it is possible that a court could consider that person to be a tenant, regardless of whether or not they have paid any rent. So providing the person with 30 days written notice is always the safest option, because beginning the day after they receive the notice, they will have 30 days to leave the residence or face eviction and a judgment on their record.

QUESTIONS

  • I allowed an ex to move back in while she "got on her feet." She has never paid rent or utilities and we have no written agreement altho it was understood at the time to be a short-term favor. It is now over 2 years and she says she doesn't want to move out until she can afford her own place. When we met 3 years ago she was renting a room in a house which is what I am suggesting she do again now - what are my legal options in terms of requiring her to move out?

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