Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Arizona and understand their responsibilities.
Quick Facts for Arizona
- Grounds for Eviction: Failure to pay rent, violation of rental agreement & illegal behaviors
- Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 5-Day Notice to Pay or Quit
- Notice Required to Terminate without Cause: 10- & 30-Day Notice to Vacate (for weekly & monthly renter, respectively)
- Notice Required for Lease Violations: 5- or 10-Day Notice to Cure (length of time depends on nature of offense)
- Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: Immediately, via Unconditional Quit Notice
- Duration for Tenant to Appeal Eviction Ruling: Within 5 days from ruling
How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Arizona?
In the state of Arizona, the eviction process begins with a notice of the landlord’s intention to seek legal recourse. The landlord must file a Special Detainer Action which ends the lease or rental agreement. Prior to eviction the landlord is required to make the tenant aware of his/her intentions with a notice. The length of time tenants have to remedy a situation depends upon the offense. Therefore, there is no one answer to the length of the eviction process.
In some cases, a landlord may deliver a Notice of Immediate Termination to the tenant and file for eviction on the same day. This may be done only in the case of gang activity, discharge of a firearm on the property, or the tenant acting in such as way as to cause serious bodily harm to another tenant or a guest on the rental property.
The fastest a tenant may be legally turned out of a property is two days. The Notice of Immediate Termination and the eviction proceeding may be filed for the same day. If the court rules in the landlord’s favor, he/she may return for a Writ of Restitution the following day. This may only be done when serious illegal behavior has taken place on the rental property in question.
Reasons for Eviction in Arizona
In the state of Arizona, a landlord may seek an eviction for a tenant’s failure to pay rent, violation of the rental agreement or lease, and illegal behaviors the tenant has exhibited on the rental property.
Illegal behaviors for which a tenant may be evicted include:
- Discharging a firearm
- Assaulting or threatening others with harm
- Committing homicide
- Preforming acts of prostitution
- Participating in criminal street gang activity
- Using or selling illegal drugs..
Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent
In order to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent, an Arizona landlord must first give the tenant a 5-Day Notice and the opportunity to pay the owed amount. It the tenant fails to pay the rent in full by the fifth day, the landlord may file for eviction on or after the sixth calendar day after the notice is given.
Eviction if Rent has Been Paid
So long as there is a lease in place and the tenant has paid the past due rent and any late fees within the five days indicated in the Notice to Pay Rent, the landlord may not evict the tenant.
If the tenant is paying month-to-month, the landlord may discontinue renting to the tenant so long as he/she provides the appropriate notice to the tenant regardless of the fact that rent has been paid. A week-to-week renter must be given 10-Days Notice. A month-to-month renter must be given a 30-Day Notice. If the tenant remains beyond this point, the landlord may seek eviction of the tenant, regardless of whether or not rent has been paid.
Evicting a Tenant for Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease
When a tenant has violated the rental agreement/lease, the landlord must present the tenant with a Notice to Cure. The length of time the tenant has to resolve the issue is dependent upon the nature of the offense.
- 5-Day Notice to Cure: If the offense to the lease agreement affects the safety and/or health of other tenants, the landlord is required to give the tenant five days to correct the issue. If the needed maintenance and/or repairs are not made within the 5 days, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
- 10-Day Notice to Cure: All offenses to the lease agreement that do not affect the health and safety of others, require that the landlord gives the tenant ten days to correct the issue. These issues include falsification of information on the lease agreement.
Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior
In the event of illegal behavior, the Arizona landlord is allowed to end the lease with an Unconditional Quit Notice. This notice informs the tenant that the lease is immediately terminated. The landlord may proceed with the eviction process on the same day that the Unconditional Quit Notice is provided.
Due to the rapid nature of the eviction, this remedy may only be used in extreme cases. These cases are noted above under “Reasons for Eviction.”
How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant When There is no Lease?
In the state of Arizona, a tenant who is renting a property without benefit of a lease, or has a lease with no predetermined end date, is considered a “tenant at will.” Generally a tenant will become a “tenant at will” when a lease agreement ends and that agreement specified that the tenant would transition to month-to-month rental at the end of the lease.
Although there are other reasons a landlord may choose not to have a lease agreement with a tenant, the steps for eviction are the same regardless of the reasons the tenant is renting without a lease agreement.
The landlord of a “tenant at will” may evict the tenant even if rent has been paid and there is no negative behavior. In order to do this the landlord must provide the tenant with notice. The length of notice depends upon the way in which the tenant rents the property. A landlord is required to provide 10-Day Notice to a tenant renting weekly and a 30-Day Notice to a tenant renting monthly. If the tenant should withhold rent during the period of the notice, the landlord may then give the tenant a 5-Day Notice and proceed with the eviction process.
When Can a Tenant Not Be Evicted in Arizona?
In the state of Arizona, a landlord may not evict a tenant:
- If the tenant pays their past due rent, fees, and court costs in a dispute with their landlord
- If the tenant has corrected a violation of the lease agreement within the amount of time given in their Notice to Correct
- As an act of discrimination
- For reporting a health code violation
Once Eviction Occurs
Once the court has awarded the landlord an eviction, the tenant may file for appeal. Regardless of the tenant’s filing for appeal, the landlord may return to the court for a Writ of Restitution after five days. This writ will be served by a law enforcement officer. Once the writ has been served, the tenant must leave the property. If the tenant remains or returns to the property without permission of the landlord, he/she may be charged with criminal trespass.
The tenant has five days after the eviction ruling to file for an appeal to the judgement. Filing for an appeal does not allow the tenant to remain on the property in question. In order for the tenant to remain on the rental property a Supersedeas Bond must be filed to stay the Writ of Restitution. If this is done, the tenant may stay on the property during the appeal process. However, the tenant will be required to pay the court the rental money monthly during the appeal process to be allowed to remain on the property.
Once a tenant has vacated the property, the landlord is required to inform the tenant that they have 21 days to claim any property that remains of the property. Reasonable fees may be charged for the storage of the tenant’s property. After 21 days, the landlord may dispose of the remaining property. Any profit from sales of the tenant’s property may be used to cover the costs of storage. Any remaining money must be given to the tenant.
If a tenant has been evicted for a criminal offense, the landlord may return for a Writ of Restitution the day after the court judgement. Therefore, the fastest a tenant may be forced to vacate a property is within two days of an offense.
Make sure to read the Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 33-1368, 33-1375, as well as the Arizona Rules of Procedure for Eviction Action before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.