Landlords in Arizona must closely follow the state’s laws regarding terminating a tenant’s tenancy. This includes giving tenants proper notice prior to beginning an eviction lawsuit.
According to Unbiased Options Real Estate, landlords may move forward with an immediate eviction lawsuit if a tenant violates the law’s warranty of habitability. This can include causing serious damage to the property, not taking out the trash regularly, or inviting bugs and rodents.
Nonpayment of Rent
The landlord can start the eviction process if the tenant doesn’t pay rent. However, the landlord must give the tenant proper notice before doing so. This is typically done by delivering the eviction letter in person or sending it by certified mail. The eviction letter must include the amount the tenant owes, the date the rent is due, and any grace periods that may apply. Landlords must also clearly state that they will begin the eviction process within 5 days if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent or move out of the property.
Arizona law requires landlords to keep their rental properties in “fit and habitable” conditions. If a landlord fails to do this, the tenant can sue for monetary damages. These can cover a tenant’s actual expenses and their mental suffering, anguish, discomfort, and annoyance. Tenants can also recover monetary damages for finding other substitute housing if the landlord’s failure to maintain the leased property caused this.
The landlord must serve a notice before filing an eviction lawsuit. The amount of time required depends on the reason for eviction. For example, if the tenant is violating health and safety standards or providing false information on their rental application, the landlord must provide them with a 5-day notice to cure. If the tenant fixes the issue during this period, the landlord cannot file an eviction lawsuit (special detainer action) against them.
Landlords can also evict tenants immediately if they engage in illegal activity on the property. This can include causing serious destruction to the rental unit, disturbing other tenants, or engaging in activities that threaten anyone’s health and safety. Landlords can terminate a lease immediately if the tenant falsifies basic information on their rental application or repeats a violation of the lease during their tenancy. Landlords are also allowed to destroy or dispose of the tenant’s personal property if they find that it is unsalvageable or would cost more to store or sell than it is worth. However, the landlord must return any nonrefundable fees to the tenant within 14 days of the final inspection.
Repetition of Lease Violations
If a landlord has an active lease with a tenant and that tenant violates several terms of the contract, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings. However, the landlord must follow strict procedures as outlined in Arizona law. The first step is to serve the tenant a proper notice of a breach of the lease. The type of notice a landlord must give the tenant depends on the nature of the violation. For example, a tenant violating the property’s health and safety standards must be served with a notice to cure or vacate. Tenants who violate the warranty of habitability, such as keeping pets in pet-free apartments or providing false information on their application, may not be given a chance to fix the issue and must move out immediately.
If the tenant fails to correct the problem by the end of the notice period, the landlord can file a complaint in court. The complaint will tell the court why a landlord believes the tenant should be evicted. The tenant must also be notified of the eviction hearing by being personally served with a copy, serving it to someone else in the household who is at least 18 years old, or by posting it on their front door.
Landlords must never evict tenants without probable cause or in retaliation. It is illegal for a landlord to try and evict a tenant who complained to a government agency or joined a tenants’ union.
A landlord must also ensure their properties meet all applicable health, safety, and building codes. For example, the property must have working electrical wiring and not provide a harbor for bugs or rodents. If a landlord finds that a tenant has failed to maintain the property to a satisfactory standard, they can file an eviction action with the court.
The eviction process can be time-consuming and expensive for both parties. If a tenant can’t afford to pay their rent, they should seek legal help or apply for a program that helps with housing costs. Tenants can find free or reduced-cost legal assistance by visiting DoorLoop’s Legal Help Page to connect with programs in their area.
In some situations, landlords may be able to immediately evict a tenant for committing illegal activity. This includes crimes committed against the property, crimes committed against other tenants or people on the property, and actions that threaten public safety. For example, if a landlord is concerned about an illegal drug lab on the premises, they can ask the court to immediately evict the tenant without waiting for the standard eviction process. In most cases, however, the landlord must follow the legal procedures that statewide eviction law requires before they can start an unlawful detainer action.
In any case, a landlord cannot evict a tenant simply because they disagree with them or don’t like them. Only a judge can order the eviction, and a sheriff must physically remove the tenant. If a landlord takes matters into their own hands, they can be fined or even arrested for violating state law.
Most of the time, a landlord in Arizona must first give the tenant notice of the reason for the eviction and allow them to remedy the problem before they can file an unlawful detainer action in court. Landlords are required to serve a 5-Day Notice to Pay Rent if the landlord wants to evict for nonpayment of rent and a 10-Day Notice to Comply if the landlord is trying to evict for a violation of lease terms or a breach of health and safety regulations.
If the landlord does not get the desired results from the notice period, they can file a lawsuit in general district court called an unlawful detainer action to immediately evict the tenant. They must also serve a summons telling the tenant when the eviction hearing will occur.
Generally, most eviction cases are heard virtually (you don’t have to actually go to the courtroom), and you can participate by phone or video. If you do decide to attend the eviction hearing, it is important that you are prepared to prove your side of the story. Their attorney will represent the other party; you should have yours too. If you do not have an attorney, you can request that the court continue or postpone your eviction hearing for 10 days to allow you to gather the money you need to fight the eviction.
A landlord can evict a tenant immediately in Arizona if they have legal cause. This includes not paying rent on time, violating lease terms, and committing illegal activity. Landlords must provide proper notice before attempting an eviction, which can take up to six weeks to complete.
A tenant can also be evicted for failing to maintain the property. This can include allowing trash to pile up, inviting rodents into the unit, or letting mold grow. The landlord can serve a 5-Day Notice to Pay or Quit in these cases. This gives the tenant five days to either pay the balance owed or vacate the property. If the tenant doesn’t move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.
Tenants can raise affirmative defenses and counterclaims in an eviction case. For example, tenants can argue that the landlord violated the implied warranty of habitability. This means that a landlord must maintain the property in a safe and livable condition for tenants who have an oral or written agreement to rent it. Tenants can also claim monetary damages if they’re forced to find other housing because of poor conditions at the rental property.
The tenant’s right to a safe and sanitary dwelling is protected by state law and federal law. This means that a landlord can’t evict a tenant in Arizona simply for exercising a legally protected right, such as complaining to the landlord about an issue or contacting a government agency about a problem. The tenant may also be able to claim that the landlord violated their constitutional and statutory rights by discriminating against them on the basis of certain protected characteristics, such as race, gender, familial status, or religion.
A landlord must follow specific eviction procedures to legally remove a tenant in Arizona. They must first serve a tenant with an official complaint and the appropriate notice of eviction, depending on the reason for eviction and the type of tenancy. Once the tenant receives these papers, they must attend an eviction hearing. If the tenant doesn’t attend, the landlord can automatically win the eviction case by default and get a judgment against them for the amount of money damages claimed.