Evictions can sometimes be the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. However, having to go through an eviction is something many home owners face when they decide to venture into the business of rentals. Evicting a tenant can be a tedious process made even more difficult with Arizona eviction laws. Here’s what landlords should know about the process.
Regardless of tenant screening processes, no one has a crystal ball to determine what situations may arise that put you in the unlucky position of facing an eviction. Perhaps the tenant has faced an unexpected loss of a job and now can’t afford the rent. Maybe they are facing a medical emergency causing unexpected financial burden. And, in the time of COVID, maybe they just don’t want to pay rent and have fallen for the propaganda that you can’t evict them. Regardless of the reason, you as the landlord are facing the difficult decision of what to do and how to proceed.
So, what do you do? Do you just give them extension after extension or allow them to reside for free? Regardless of the size of your portfolio, you have the expectation when renting your investment property in Phoenix that you will receive the rent. While evictions are not fun there comes a point regardless of the situation behind them that they are necessary.
If you find yourself in this situation, we have put together the following information to help you navigate the process.
Arizona Eviction Process
First, a landlord cannot simply evict a tenant because they feel like it. In other words, that disagreement you had last week about politics that you are still upset about doesn’t give you the right to evict your tenant. You have to have a legal cause to do so. Below are the steps of a common Arizona eviction process.
– Step One: Post a Notice
Depending on your cause, you will have to give legal notice. Here are a few examples:
Legal Notice to Pay or Quit.
This notice is used when your tenant hasn’t paid rent and you would like to terminate the lease agreement. The notice gives the tenant 5 days if hand delivered to pay any owed monies or else the eviction process can be started with the court.
Legal Notice to Cure.
This is the notice you would use if your tenant is not maintaining the property in a way that could pose a threat – be it health or safety – to the tenant or others. If the tenant fails to cure then the eviction process can be started.
Ten Day Notice to Comply.
If you discover that the tenant has violated the lease agreement, such as moving in additional tenants, having pets that aren’t allowed, smoking in the unit, causing damage to the property, or providing false information on their application, etc. then this is the form you would use. If the issue isn’t fixed within that time frame, you can start the eviction process with the court. Be aware that it can be very difficult to evict a tenant under this legal notice as the burden of proof would reside with the landlord to prove the tenants violation.
Unconditional Quit Notice.
If your lease has a crime free addendum and the tenant has performed illegal acts on the property (for example; prostitution, homicide, gang activity, illegal drug use/sale, etc.) then you could use this notice to proceed with an immediate eviction through the courts. Unlike the previous notices mentioned this notice does not allow the tenant to cure or correct prior to court.
– Step Two: File Complaint with the Court
Filing the complaint with the court for one of the reasons above will issue a summons that is to be served on the tenant by a certified process server.
At this time, a hearing will also be set for both parties to appear.
– Step Three: Attend Hearing and Get Ruling
This is the step where you go in front of the judge and receive the ruling. Defenses and objections can be made, as well as a request to continue to a later date. If the judge finds that the landlord has the right to evict the tenant, then a judgement will be granted and you will be given a writ of restation that you can file with the constable in order to forcibly remove the tenant from the property should they not leave on their own.
The CARES Act, COVID, and Arizona Eviction Laws
The entire eviction process in Arizona used to be pretty fast moving with standard evictions being completed within a few weeks of filing. Then we faced a pandemic and everything changed. The CARES Act was designed to help keep our country from facing a devastating blow to the economy. It offered rental assistance and other relief but did little to help landlords.
The federal moratorium on evictions (by order from the CDC) is in place until March 31, 2021, unless extended. When this time is up, there will likely be a large influx in eviction cases filed with the court – causing even more delays. Be sure to check out the CDC’s website for more information about tenants who may or may not qualify for eviction protection.
As the moratorium lifts, it will be up to you to decide whether you want to:
- Write off the missed rent and move forward fresh.
- Allow your tenants to catch up on the missed rent little by little moving forward.
- Demand payment and file for eviction.
There are many things to consider when you make your decision, such as how your tenants were pre-COVID, the current rental market in your area, and so on.
Navigating these Arizona eviction laws can be tedious, and a property manager can support you with your eviction efforts, while ensuring you are compliant and following the necessary laws and legislation. A good property management company will ensure that if you are evicting a tenant, all CARES Act requirements are met and all Arizona eviction laws are followed.
How a Property Manager Can Help
It is one thing being a landlord who collects the rent each month and maybe deals with a repair here and there. But, navigating the waters of all the orders from the government concerning COVID and Arizona eviction laws can be confusing.
As experts in the field of property management, our team at Real Property Management Evolve understands your frustration. That is why we are here to help. After all, managing a property can be tough and stressful on its own sometimes – and then you throw in a worldwide pandemic?
We can help you get things back on track and running smoothly. You take pride in your rental property – and we do, too. That is why we want to see you successfully navigate the eviction process if that is what you are facing. We have been through the process many times and are familiar with each aspect so you don’t have to be.
The RPM Difference
At RPM Evolve, we offer an eviction protection program for landlords that covers the cost of an eviction if you should have to face an eviction (terms and conditions apply). We are also diligent regardless of the situation to get you paid. We don’t wait around hoping the tenant makes a payment.
If rent is not paid on time and the tenant has not setup a payment agreement then we will expeditiously issue the correct legal notice to the tenant so that should the tenant fail to comply we are not losing time if it has to go to the courts. Additionally, we will navigate COVID-19, the CARES Act, and additional Arizona eviction laws for you.
If you are facing an eviction with a problematic tenant don’t go it alone. Hire a property management company to help you through the process and get your rental property back on track.