Arizona is a great state to own property, though it's no different from any other state when it comes to troublesome renters. You're always going to find a renter in Arizona who either can't or won't pay their rent. Sometimes this is deliberate, and other times it's due to financial circumstances beyond their control.
Either way, you have legal rights to take action quickly if they don't pay rent on time. The same occurs when they violate anything in their initial rental agreement. Before you execute a lease agreement, we do recommend requesting a credit report and background check from any potential tenant. However, if you’re already in a situation with an existing tenant where eviction is on the horizon – how fast can you go in evicting someone? In this quick guide for Arizona landlords, we’ll give you the highlights.
What Kind of Notice of Late Rent Payment Can You Send?
In nearly every U.S. state, landlords have legal right to send a notice of late rent payment. When you create a rental agreement with the tenant to pay by a certain date, you may not use any grace periods. While all states have different types of eviction notice time-frames, Arizona lets you demand rent within five days after being due.
Keep in mind if you don't send this notice in a timely way to the tenant, this five-day demand can't begin until sent. Within this five-day period, the tenant can either pay the rent or move out.
Assuring the Tenant Receives the Notice
To make the notice legal, you have to give it to the tenant either in person, or through certified mail. The reason the latter is so important is you get a receipt back proving you sent the notice. Some problem tenants may say they didn't receive your notice. Now you'll have a documented backup if you take them to court.
On your notice, you have to give reasons why you sent it. Include the date you sent the notice, total amount of rent due, and a note how you sent the document.
Can You Still Evict After the Tenant Pays Rent?
The answer to this is no. If they pay your rent within five days, you can't proceed with an eviction. This includes if they pay the rent and any court fees for you pursuing an eviction in district court. Your only legal grounds for going ahead with an eviction is if the tenant does absolutely nothing. You'll take action legally in your local county courthouse.
What Does an Eviction Summons in Arizona Look Like?
After you file a complaint and summons for eviction, the judge is going to hold a hearing. Take a look at a sample of a Maricopa County Justice Courts summons form. It gives you an idea of what you'll have to fill out to make the eviction legal. While the judge is going to hear both sides, they may request a special detainer action allowing local law enforcement to complete the eviction process.
If you didn't follow Arizona's laws correctly, your tenant has a right to sue you for not complying. They could sue you up to two months' rent, or twice any damages won.
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