The Eviction Process in Maricopa County Arizona
Arizona evictions can be a lengthy process that if not done within the specific confines of the Arizona Landlord and Tenant Act will cost you time, money and aggravation. Let us help you with your eviction needs.
In Arizona, the eviction process usually begins when a tenant fails to pay rent. If a tenant fails to pay rent and is still occupying the rental property then the landlord must start the eviction process through the court system.
The first step to evicting a tenant in Arizona for failure to pay rent is to provide them with a Five-day notice.
The Five-day notice may be properly served upon the tenant via certified mail or delivered directly to the tenant. However, if the Five-day notice is hand delivered the tenant must sign the notice acknowledging receipt.
The Five-day notice is deemed accepted via certified mail either the date the tenant signs the notice or five days after it is sent.
After serving the Five-day notice on the tenant, the landlord must accept a full payment of rent and late fees tendered by the tenant before the five days elapse. The landlord need not accept partial payments and in fact I strongly recommend that landlords do not accept partial payments. If, as a landlord, you accept even one dollar from a tenant then we cannot evict that person until the following calendar month.
If the tenant fails to pay the total sum due within the five day time period, the next step is to file a forcible detainer action.
Most forcible detainer actions are filed in a Justice Court. The forcible detainer action is considered a “summary proceeding.” The hearing must be held within 3 to 6 days of the date of filing.
At the eviction hearing the landlord presents his information regarding the unpaid rent, and the tenant has the opportunity to present any legal defense for failing to pay rent. In Arizona, there are very few defenses to unpaid rent. The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act clearly defines these limited defenses. If the tenant does not have any valid legal defenses the landlord will be awarded a judgment for the money owed and an order for a writ of restitution.
The judgment can help a landlord recover financial damages from the ousted tenant. The eviction judgment order a tenant to pay; all back rent, late fees, court costs, and attorneys’ fees.
A Writ of Restitution allows a Constable to physically remove the tenant from the leased premises. The earliest a Writ of Restitution may be issued in a nonpayment of rent case in five days after the court hearing. Once the Constable is called to the property, the landlord may have the locks changed and retake possession of the property.
If you have any questions about the Arizona Tenant Eviction Process and how it relates to your specific situation as a landlord or property manager please contact us.