Property owners can evict tenants under Arizona law under specific circumstances. The landlord can begin the eviction process when tenants have failed to pay rent, broken the lease agreement or if the tenant has committed a crime. Property owners can also start the eviction process if the lease has ended and the tenant has refused to leave the property.
When tenants fail to pay rent to the property owner, the landlord is allowed to begin the eviction process. The five-day notice letter is the first step. The letter details the amount of money owed and the amount of time the tenant has to pay the past due rent. Five days is the minimum amount of time that the landlord is required to allow the tenant to make good on the past due balance. The letter must also let the tenant know that the lease will terminate if the amount is not paid.
Tenants who violate the terms of the lease in other ways, such as keeping pets when the lease forbids them, receive a 10-day notice. This allows the tenant to resolve the problem before the property owner continues with the eviction process. The five- and 10-day notice must be delivered properly to provide proof to the courts that the tenant was given proper notice. Hand delivery or a process server can provide testimony that the notice was delivered to the tenant. Registered and certified mail are options for delivery of the notice.
Forcible Detainer Lawsuit
When tenants fail to resolve the problem within the five or ten days, the landlord can file a forcible detainer lawsuit against the tenant. The courts will make a decision regarding who has the right to the property. A forcible detainer lawsuit is filed in the Arizona justice court. The property owner should file the lawsuit in the court precinct for the property.
The property owner must prepare a complaint and summons when filing the forcible detainer lawsuit. The summons form is available at the court where the forcible detainer lawsuit is filed. All tenants named on the lease should be named in the summons and complaint. Property owners should ask for a writ of restitution, the premises returned to the property owner, the past due rent, late fees and the court costs.
The court sets a date for trial within three to six days after the summons and complaint is filed with the justice court. Landlords who accept partial payments during this part of the process waive the right to terminate the lease and evict the tenant. The tenant may pay the full amount due before the court date to avoid eviction.
Writ of Restitution
Judgments made in favor of the landlord will order the return of the premises to the property owner. If the tenant fails to vacate the property, a writ of restitution must be ordered by the court to remove the tenant from the property. The court will not issue a writ of restitution until the sixth day after the judgment.
The writ of restitution allows a sheriff to remove the tenant from the property. The writ also allows property owners to turn off the utilities on the property, which is not allowed until the writ is ordered.