Steps to an Eviction in Arizona
- Notice to Tenant
- In Arizona, a written notice must be sent to a tenant at the beginning of any residential eviction.
- Timing of the Notice to the Arizona tenant.
- Filing the Eviction Lawsuit
- Eviction Hearing
- Every eviction case has an in-person hearing. One of our attorneys will appear at the hearing on your behalf so you do not have to take time out of your schedule to come to the justice court, courthouse.
- Eviction Trial– Occasionally, an eviction case will be set for trial. An eviction trial is completely different than an eviction hearing.
- Eviction Judgment
- An Eviction Judgment is the goal of the eviction hearing. An Arizona Eviction Judgment is made up of two basic components.
- 1) Monetary Award– This portion of the judgment orders the tenant to pay the landlord all back rent, late fees, court costs, and attorney’s fees.
- 2) Vacate the Property– The second part of the eviction judgment orders the tenants to vacate the rental property within 5 calendar days. If the Arizona tenants do not voluntarily vacate within that time then we must file a Writ of Restitution. This orders a constable to go to the rental property and remove the renters, by force if necessary.
- Writ of Restitution–
- A Writ of Restitution is filed with the Court if the tenant fails to vacate the Arizona rental property within 5 calendar days of us obtaining the eviction judgment.
- The Writ of Restitution is filed with the clerk of court and requires an additional filing fee. As of 2021 the filing fee for the Writ of Restitution in the Maricopa county justice court system is $115.
- Tenant’s Belongings– If a tenant vacates your rental property but leaves behind belongings then an Arizona landlord you must store their belongings for 14-days.
- An Arizona landlord can charge a tenant the actual cost of moving their belongings and the actual cost of storing their belongings. However, the landlord cannot hold a tenant’s belongings hostage demanding that the eviction judgment is paid until the belongings will be released. Again, if an Arizona tenant pays the landlord the actual cost of moving and storing the belongings then they must be returned.
If you have additional questions about the residential eviction process in Arizona then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or HERE.
For several years I worked on a book, What to Expect When You’re Evicting as a tool to help Arizona landlords become better landlords and to avoid the pitfalls of having bad tenants. this book. If you would like a completely free, hard-copy of the book click HERE and send us a message. The book is our gift to you, it’s completely free. You don’t even pay for shipping or handling.
If you are an Arizona landlord and have a landlord – tenant dispute then please contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or send us a message HERE.
What Should You do if a Tenant Files Bankruptcy?
If you receive a notice from the bankruptcy court that a tenant you are trying to evict has filed bankruptcy then stop the process! Bankruptcy law is very complicated with severe penalties for any creditors seeking to take action against someone who has filed for bankruptcy. If a tenant files for bankruptcy before you have obtained the eviction judgment then you must stop with the eviction lawsuit.
As soon as a person files bankruptcy an “automatic stay of protection” goes into effect. The Automatic stay of bankruptcy is an injunction that stops; garnishments, lawsuits, foreclosure, repossession, evictions, etc. It is the equivalent of a restraining order that prevents creditors from taking collection actions.
The Automatic Stay of Bankruptcy is not Absolute
The automatic stay is not an absolute and landlords are given the right to file a Motion with the bankruptcy court requesting a bankruptcy just to “lift” the automatic stay. By having the automatic stay “lifted”, you may begin the eviction process. It takes approximately 30 days for the bankruptcy court to grant permission to proceed with the eviction. If the tenant files an “objection” to the lift-stay motion then a hearing will be set in the bankruptcy court. If a hearing is required then it may be 2 to 3 months before we can get in front of a bankruptcy judge and get permission to continue with the eviction.
Even under the best of scenarios a non-paying tenant who files for bankruptcy can astronomically expensive for the landlord. Don’t try and go it alone, contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE.
What is Considered Normal Wear and Tear?
What is normal wear and tear caused to a rental property by an Arizona tenant? During a rental period a certain amount of wear and tear is to be expected. It is reasonable that the paint on the interior walls will become dingy and that traffic wear will be shown on carpet. However, huge holes, broken windows, missing screens, and stained carpet is not considered normal wear and tear.
A tenant shall exercise diligence to maintain the premises in as good condition as when he took possession, ordinary wear and tear excepted.33-321
If the landlord fails to comply with subsection D of this section, the tenant may recover the property and money due the tenant together with damages in an amount equal to twice the amount wrongfully withheld.33-1321(E)
Normal Wear & Tear and the Security Deposit
The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act states that normal wear and tear cannot be deducted from a tenant’s refundable security deposit. Courts have held that Arizona landlords can expect to repaint interior walls and clean carpets.
However, holes in the walls, large stains on the carpet, and broken appliances are considered to be in excess of normal wear and therefore a landlord can deduct the cost to repair these items from the Security Deposit.
If you need help from an Arizona real estate attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE.