Arizona Eviction Process

Arizona Eviction Process

Last Updated: January 21, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

In Arizona, all evictions follow the same process:

  1. Landlord serves tenant written notice.
  2. Landlord files complaint.
  3. Court serves tenant.
  4. Tenant response period.
  5. Court hearing and issues judgment.
  6. Writ of Restitution is issued
  7. Possession is returned.

From start to finish, an eviction in Arizona can be completed in one to six weeks. However, it can take longer depending on the reason and whether the tenant contests it.

Questions? To chat with an Arizona eviction attorney, click here

Florida Eviction Grounds   on iPropertyManagement.com

Grounds for an Eviction in Arizona

In Arizona, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include not paying rent on time, staying after the lease expires, violating lease terms, falsifying information on the rental application, falsifying criminal/eviction history and committing illegal activity. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent 5 Days Yes
End of / No Lease 30 Days No
Health / Safety Violation 5 Days Yes
Falsifying Information on Rental Application 10 Days Yes
Falsifying Criminal / Eviction History 10 Days No
Repetitive Conduct 10 Days No
Illegal Activity Immediate No

Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent

In Arizona, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, they must first provide a 5 days notice to quit, which gives the tenant an opportunity to pay or vacate the premises. If the tenant does neither after that time, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each pay period and is considered late in Arizona the day immediately after its due date. So for example, if rent is due on the first day of the month, it is considered late starting on the second day of the month (if not paid in full). There is no right to a legal grace period (i.e., three days).

Once rent is considered late, the landlord can begin the eviction process by serving the tenant with proper notice.

Eviction for No Lease or End of Lease

In Arizona, a landlord can evict a tenant without a lease or with a lease that has ended (known as a “holdover tenant” or “tenant at will”). To do so, they must first terminate the tenancy by giving proper notice to move out (30 calendar days’ for tenants that pay month-to-month).

Once the tenancy ends, if the tenant remains on the property, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Violation of Lease or Responsibilities

In Arizona, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their responsibilities under Arizona landlord tenant law. Some violations allow the tenant to fix (“cure”) the issue to avoid removal. Whereas other violations do not allow the tenant to fix the issue (“incurable”) and the tenant must vacate the premises.

Tenant responsibilities include:

  • Complying with all building codes that materially affect health and safety.
  • Keeping the premises in a clean, safe and sanitary manner.
  • Disposing of any ashes, rubbish, garbage, and other waste in a clean and safe manner.
  • Using electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner.
  • Not deliberately or negligently destroying, removing or damaging any part of the premises.
  • Not disturbing the neighbor’s peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • Notifying the landlord, in writing, of any maintenance or repairs that need to be made.
  • Providing the landlord with accurate and current information on the rental application.
  • Not falsifying or excluding current criminal record, criminal history or eviction history on the rental application.
  • Not repeating the same or a similar lease violation during the term of the lease.
  • Not committing or allowing other persons to commit criminal or illegal activity on the premises.

Eviction for Health / Safety Violation

In Arizona, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating health and safety rules on the premises. To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a 5 days’ notice to comply or vacate. The tenant has the option to fix the issue within the 5-day notice period.

If a tenant violates health or safety rules more than once during the term of the lease, then it is a more serious offense, and the landlord may terminate the tenancy. Refer to the Repetitive Conduct section regarding repeat lease violations.

Examples of health/safety violations include:

  • Failing to keep the premises in a clean, sanitary or safe manner.
  • Using the plumbing, electrical or other fixtures in an unreasonable or unsafe manner.
  • Committing minor property damage (i.e., small holes in the sheetrock or missing blinds).
  • Failing to properly dispose of trash or other waste.
  • Disturbing the peace/enjoyment of other persons on the premises.
  • Failing to promptly notify the landlord of any health/safety issues that require repair or maintenance.

If a tenant deliberately damages the rental unit or disturbs other persons in a threatening or violent manner, the landlord may terminate the tenancy immediately. Refer to the Illegal Activity section for serious violations of the lease or unlawful conduct.

Eviction for Falsifying Information on Rental Application

In Arizona, a landlord can evict a tenant for providing false information on their rental application, which includes the incorrect number of occupants or inaccurate employment/income information. To do so, the landlord must first provide the tenant a 10 days’ notice to comply or vacate. The tenant has a chance to fix the issue within the 10-day notice period.

However, if the tenant falsifies or excludes criminal or eviction history on the rental application, it is a more serious offense and the landlord may terminate the tenancy.

Eviction for Falsifying Criminal / Eviction History

In Arizona, a landlord can evict a tenant for falsifying or excluding current criminal activity, criminal history or eviction history on the rental application. To do so, the landlord must first give the tenant a 10 days’ notice to vacate. The tenant does not have the opportunity to fix the issue and must vacate the premises within the 10-day period.

Eviction for Repetitive Conduct

In Arizona, a landlord can evict a tenant for committing a repeat lease violation (repetitive conduct) during the lease term. To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a 10 days’ notice of noncompliance. The tenant does not have the ability to fix the issue and must vacate the premises within the 10-day period.

        Eviction for Illegal Activity

        In Arizona, if a tenant commits an illegal activity that is both material and irreparable and occurs on the premises, the landlord can issue an immediate notice to vacate. The tenant is not given the opportunity to fix the issue and must move out immediately.

        In Arizona, illegal activity includes:

        • Illegal discharge of a weapon.
        • Homicide.
        • Prostitution.
        • Assault.
        • Criminal street gang activity.
        • Threats or intimidation.
        • Creating or causing a nuisance.
        • Manufacturing, selling, transferring, possessing, using or storing a controlled substance.
        • Endangering the health, welfare, or safety of the landlord, landlord’s agent or another tenant.
        • Deliberate or negligent destruction of the premises.
        warning

        Illegal Evictions in Arizona

        In Arizona, either of the below actions by a landlord are illegal. If the landlord is found liable, the landlord could pay the tenant 2 month’s periodic rent or twice the actual damages sustained, whichever is greater.

        “Self Help” Evictions

        No matter the situation, a landlord is not allowed to forcibly remove a tenant by:

        • Changing the locks.
        • Shutting off utilities.
        • Entering the premises unlawfully.
        • Removing tenant belongings.

        A tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through the formal eviction process.

        Retaliatory Evictions

        It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in response to exercising a legally protected right.

        These rights include:

        • Complaining to the landlord about an issue with the property.
        • Contacting a local or government agency about an issue with the property.
        • Joining, supporting or organizing a tenant union or organization.
        • Pursuing legal action against the landlord.

        Read more

        Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

        Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant

        A landlord can begin the eviction process in Arizona by serving the tenant with written notice. The notice must be delivered by one of the following methods:

        1. Hand delivering the notice to the tenant.
        2. Mailing the notice to the tenant via certified or registered mail with a return receipt.

        It is important for a landlord to always keep the original signed notice and declaration of service as proof of proper service if the case proceeds to court. 

        5-Day Notice to Quit

        If a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial) in Arizona, the landlord can serve them a 5-Day Notice to Quit. This notice gives the tenant 5 calendar days to pay the balance due in full or vacate the premises.

        30-Day Notice to Vacate

        For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Arizona, the landlord must serve them a 30-Day Notice to Vacate to end the tenancy. This lease termination notice allows the tenant 30 calendar days to move out. If the last day of the notice period falls on a weekend or legal holiday, then the notice officially expires on the next judicial day (a day when the courthouse is open).

        However, for tenants that don’t pay monthly, the amount of notice differs:

        Rent Payment Frequency Notice Amount
        Week-to-Week 10 Days
        Month-to-Month 30 Days

        5-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate

        In Arizona, if a tenant violates health and safety standards, the landlord can serve them a 5-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 5 calendar days to fix the issue or move out.

        If a tenant violates health or safety rules more than once during the lease term (repetitive conduct), then it is a more serious offense and the landlord may terminate the tenancy with the 10-Day Notice of Noncompliance.

        10-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate

        In Arizona, if a tenant provides false information on their rental application, which includes the incorrect number of occupants or inaccurate income/employment information, the landlord can serve them a 10-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 10 calendar days to fix the issue or move out.

        However, if a tenant falsifies or excludes their criminal or eviction history on the rental application, it is a more serious offense and the landlord may terminate the tenancy with the 10-Day Notice to Vacate.

        10-Day Notice of Noncompliance

        In Arizona, if a tenant commits a subsequent lease violation of the same or a similar nature (repeat offense/repetitive conduct) during the lease term, the landlord can serve them a 10-Day Notice of Noncompliance. This eviction notice gives the tenant 10 calendar days to move out without the chance to fix the issue.

        10-Day Notice to Vacate

        In Arizona, if a tenant provides false information or excludes their current criminal activity, criminal history or eviction history on the rental application, the landlord can serve them a 10-Day Notice to Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 10 calendar days to move out without the chance to fix the issue.

        Immediate Notice to Vacate

        In Arizona, if a tenant commits an illegal activity, the landlord can serve them an Immediate Notice to Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant an immediate notice to move out without the chance to fix the issue.

        Eviction Complaint Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

        Step 2: Landlord Files Lawsuit

        Once the tenant’s notice expires in Arizona, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit (“Forcible Detainer”) with the court the following business day. Landlords can file in Justice Court for claims under $10,000 (filing fees cost $35) and claims over $10,000 are filed in Superior Court (filing fees cost $218).

        The landlord will need to submit the following items to the court in person or by mail:

        • Complaint Form – a legal document that identifies the parties and the reason(s) for the lawsuit.
        • Summons Form – the tenant’s official notice of an eviction lawsuit and contains important information (i.e., when/where to appear in court).
        • A copy of the notice that was initially provided to the tenant.

        Landlords should make at least 3 copies of each form and if there is more than one tenant involved in the eviction an additional copy should be made for each individual.

        If you aren’t sure which court to file in, click here for a court directory.

        note

        Any complaint that is based on nonpayment of rent, shall state that if the tenant pays all unpaid rent, late fees, court costs and attorneys’ fees (that the landlord has incurred), the eviction will be dismissed.

        Eviction Summons Complaint Served   on iPropertyManagement.com

        Step 3: Court Serves Tenant

        In Arizona, once the documents are filed, the Summons shall be issued to the process server the following judicial day. The process server shall deliver the required documents to each tenant named in the eviction at least 2 judicial days before the hearing.

        The court hearing will be scheduled no more than 5 judicial days from the date the Complaint is filed. However, if a Complaint is filed for a material and irreparable breach, the initial hearing will be set no more than the third day following the filing of the Complaint.

        Each tenant being served will receive a copy of the following documents:

        • Summons
        • Complaint
        • A copy of the lease agreement
        • Residential Eviction Information Sheet
        • The last 6 months of accounting of the charges and attached payments (evictions for nonpayment of rent only)

        The documents must be served to the tenant by a sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, constable’s deputy, a registered private process server, or any other person who is appointed by the court. A Summons service typically costs $16.

        The process server will deliver the documents by using one of the following delivery methods:

        • Delivering a copy to the tenant personally
        • Leaving a copy with someone of suitable age who resides at the dwelling unit.
        • Delivering a copy of each to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process (i.e., the tenant’s attorney).

        Any alternative forms of service must be authorized by the judge.

        If the tenant is not served within 90 days after the complaint is filed, the court can dismiss the case without prejudice. If there was a “good cause” for the failure of service, the court may extend the time for service.

        Eviction Answer Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

        Step 4: Tenant Response Period

        In Arizona, the tenant has the opportunity to answer the landlord’s allegations, as long as the response is submitted on or before the court hearing.  The tenant has the option to respond to the court by submitting an Answer, Counterclaim, or the tenant may choose to simply not answer.

        During the initial appearance, the tenant may respond in any of the following ways:

        Answer is Filed

        The tenant in Arizona can file a written (or oral) Answer with the court as long as it is submitted on or before the initial appearance.

        The tenant can admit or deny the landlord’s allegations. The tenant can ask the court to dismiss the landlord’s Complaint by asserting legal defenses.

        Examples of legal defenses include:

        • The tenant was not properly served with an eviction notice.
        • The tenant is not the person who the Complaint should be made against.
        • The court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case (i.e., the case is heard in Superior Court but the claim is less than $10,000).

        The tenant must bring 3 copies of the Answer form to the court and shall provide a copy to the landlord. There are no filing fees to submit an Answer to a Complaint. The tenant may also submit an oral answer at the initial appearance. If the court finds that the tenant has a legitimate defense, the court will order a trial by the judge.

        Counterclaim and Answer are Filed 

        In addition to filing an Answer, the tenant can file a Counterclaim in Arizona. A Counterclaim can be submitted into court if the tenant believes that the landlord owes them money due to the landlord’s breach of the lease agreement.

        Examples of Counterclaims include:

        If the Counterclaim exceeds $10,000, the case will be transferred to Superior Court.

        The Counterclaim must be filed with the Answer in writing and shall include the following information:

          note

          Note, if the landlord wants to contest the allegations that were made in the tenant’s Counterclaim, they must file a formal written reply with the court clerk and follow these instructions.

          Answer is Not Filed

          In Arizona, a tenant can decide not to provide an answer to the court. If the tenant does not provide an answer, the court can dismiss the case and enter a default judgment in favor of the landlord.

          Continuance is Filed

          Continuance (or otherwise known as a “postponement”) may be requested in Arizona if there is good cause shown by an affidavit. For trials in Justice Court, the postponement may be extended for 3 calendar days and for trials in Superior Court, the postponement may be extended for 10 calendar days.

          Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

          Step 5: Court Holds Hearing & Issues Judgment

          In Arizona, the court hearing will be set no more than 5 judicial days from the date the Complaint is filed.

          note

          Landlords and tenants have the option to participate at the initial appearance by telephone or video conference. To do so, the landlord and/or tenant must inform the court via email, fax or telephone at least 2 hours prior to the hearing. If the court agrees to a remote appearance, all parties must participate remotely.

          Once the hearing begins, the court will review the complaint and the tenant will be asked if they agree or disagree with the allegations. The tenant will answer, and the landlord will have a chance to respond. The court will make the final judgment and rule in favor of the landlord or tenant.

          Possible scenarios in which a judge may rule in favor of the landlord include:

          • If the tenant appears before the court but decides not to answer, pleads guilty, or has no legal defense the court can dismiss the case and enter a default judgment.
          • If the tenant fails to appear, the court can dismiss the case and enter a default judgment.
          • If the tenant does not have a legitimate legal defense, the court can grant a Judgment for Possession in favor of the landlord.
          • If the judge decides that the tenant owes the landlord money, the court can grant a Judgment for Money in favor of the landlord.

          Possible scenarios in which a judge may rule in favor of the tenant include:

          • If the landlord fails to respond to the tenant’s Counterclaim, the court could dismiss the case and enter a default judgment in favor of the tenant.
          • If the judge finds that the tenant has a legal defense or there is a legal dispute, the judge will set the case for trial. If the judge enters the case into trial, the trial could be that day or continued to the next eviction hearing date, depending on courts’ scheduling.

          Once a decision is made, the court will provide a Judgment of Possession and possibly grant a monetary judgment to the prevailing party.

          An Appeal is Filed

          An Arizona tenant or landlord can file a Notice of Appeal (and a bond for the costs of an appeal) with the Justice Court in 5 calendar days of the judgment.

          If the eviction was originally filed in the Justice Court, the Appeal will be transferred and heard in Superior Court (the filing fee is approximately $203 and the bond is determined by the court).

          The appeal process differs depending on the type of case that is being appealed. A party may not file an appeal if there was a default judgment or the party filing the appeal did not show up to the court hearing. For more information on the Appeal process, click here.

          Eviction Writ of Restitution on iPropertyManagement.com

          Step 6: Writ is Restitution is Issued

          In Arizona, a Writ of Restitution is served to a tenant by a constable or sheriff. The writ is issued 5 calendar days after judgment or 12 to 24 hours for “irreparable” breaches. Once the writ is served or posted, the tenant must vacate immediately.

          The filing fee for a writ issuance is $28 and approximately $10 for a service fee. The sheriff or constable must serve the writ “promptly and expeditiously as possible” (unless the court finds there is good reason to delay the eviction; however, it is very rare that the court would delay the eviction).

          Eviction property possession returned on iPropertyManagement.com

          Step 7: Possession is Returned

          In Arizona, once the writ expires the tenant can be charged with criminal trespass in the third degree and the landlord stop utility services the day after the writ is executed.

          A sheriff or constable may charge $48 plus $40 per hour per deputy or constable for actual time spent (in excess of 3 hours) for executing the writ or returning to the property to remove the tenant.

          Tenant’s Personal Property Left Behind

          If the tenant’s property is left behind the landlord must hold the property for 14 days and provide a Notice of Abandonment. If the tenant does not make reasonable effort to recover the items, the landlord may donate or sell the belongings. In Arizona, if animals are left behind, the landlord must immediately bring the animal to a shelter.

          Read more

          Arizona Eviction Process Timeline

          In Arizona, an eviction can be completed in as little as 1 to 6 weeks but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.

          Below are the parts of the Arizona eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.

          Step Estimated Time
          Initial Notice Period 5-30 Calendar Days
          Court Issuing/Serving Summons 2 Business Days
          Court Ruling 3-6 Business Days
          Court Serving Writ of Restitution 12 Hours to 5 Days 
          Final Notice Period None (After Writ is Posted)

          Read more

          Arizona Eviction Process Flowchart on iPropertyManagement.com

          Arizona Eviction Fees

          In Arizona, the total cost of an eviction for all filing, court, and service fees varies heavily. For evictions claims under $10,000 that are filed in Justice Court the average cost is $177. For eviction claims over $10,000 that are filed in Superior Court the average cost is $362.

          Fee Justice  Superior
          Initial Court Filing $35 $218
          Summons Service ~$16 ~$16
          Writ of Restitution Issuance $28 $203
          Writ of Restitution Service $10 or less $10 or less
          Writ of Restitution Execution $48+ $48+
          Notice of Appeal (Optional) $203 $203
          Document Copies (Optional) $0.50/ea $0.50/ea

          Read more

          Questions? To chat with an Arizona eviction attorney, click here

          Sources