Atypical Evictions Arizona

Our law firm is frequently contacted by Arizonans looking for help with an “atypical eviction”. There are a few keys ingredients that make up an atypical eviction. The first ingredient in an atypical eviction is the actual person we are trying to evict. Often we are evicting an ex-girlfriend, ex-boyfriend, ex-friend, roommates, adult children, relatives, etc.

For example, if a woman moves into her boyfriend’s house, they breakup, boyfriend asks her to leave, and she won’t leave–then we must move forward with a formal eviction to get her out of the house.

The second ingredient that makes these situations unusual is that the person requesting the eviction is often living with the person they are seeking to evict. (This must make for some really awkward conversation around the breakfast table). Tensions can become very high in a home where people are living side by side and one of them is trying to evict the other. In these atypical evictions it’s not uncommon for one of the residents to obtain a restraining order against the other person.

It is important to note that whether it is a “traditional” Arizona eviction or an atypical eviction as described above, we must always follow the same formal process. There are no shortcuts! So resist the temptation to just lock this person out of your house and throw their belongings into the street. Trying to take any shortcuts with the eviction process can; delay the eviction, cost you money, and create more stress in your life. Do it right the first time and you will be able to get this person out of your life.

How Long Will an atypical Eviction Take?

The time it takes to eviction someone from your house depends on a few important variables. One of the most important variables is whether or not there was an agreement for this other person to pay rent. If there was an agreement for this person to pay rent and they were not paying rent then we can send them a typical 5-day notice for non-payment of rent. The entire eviction process for non-payment of rent can take 3 to 4 weeks. So if you have any illusions about your ex-lover/ex-friend/roommate leaving in a day or two you need to re-adjust your thinking.

If there never was agreement for this person to pay rent and there is not a written lease agreement in place then you must send them a 30-day notice to vacate. If they do not leave after the expiration of the 30 days then we can begin the eviction process thru the courts.

If you would like to speak with an experienced eviction attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE.

* The information provided is informational only, does not constitute legal advice, and will not create an attorney-client or attorney-prospective client relationship. Additionally, the Dunaway Law Group, PLC limits its practice to the State of Arizona.

Evicted Tenants’ Belongings

Often, Arizona tenants will leave personal property on the premises after they have been evicted. As a landlord you cannot simply keep or throw away the former tenant’s belongings. The Arizona Landlord-Tenant Act requires the landlord to you maintain their possessions for at least 14 days.

Per A.R.S. § 33-1368(E) a landlord, must hold the evicted tenant’s possessions for a minimum of 14 days from the day the Writ of Restitution was executed (day the constable removed the tenants) issued. 

As A landlord, you may

  • Keep the tenant’s belongings that the rental property for the 14 days,
  • Move the tenant’s belongings to an off-site storage facility,
  • Require the tenant to reimburse you for the actual cost of moving and storing their belongings during the 14-day period,
  • Prohibit the tenants from ever returning to the property without your explicit permission.

As a landlord you may NOT

  • Arizona landlords cannot require their former tenant pay for eviction judgment prior to releasing the belongings to them. Meaning you cannot require a tenant pay you for all back rent, late fees, attorneys’ fees, and court costs prior to returning their belongings. Again, an Arizona landlord may only demand payment for the actual cost of storing and moving the tenants’ belongings.
  • Dispose of the tenant’s property prior to the expiration of the 14 days.  

catalogue the tenants’ belongings

You should itemize everything left behind by the tenants. If you do choose to remove the tenant’s belongings from the rental property, use considerable care, you will be responsible for any damage to their belongings. It is a good idea to photograph (take 100 – 200 pictures), and/or video the rental property so that you have an inventory of what was left behind. This will also give you the opportunity to catalog any damage to the rental unit itself. Take the inventory prior to moving any of the personal property from the rental unit.

After the 14-day period, if there has been no contact from the evicted party, and they have not claimed, or made and agreement to claim their property, an Arizona landlord may sell the items or dispose of the items that were left behind.

If you need help from an Arizona eviction attorney, then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-702-1608 or message us HERE.

These blog posts are not intended, nor shall they be deemed to be the rendering of legal advice. Reading these blog posts does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it impose an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry. The Dunaway Law Group limits its practice to the State of Arizona.

Recovering Future Rents from Tenant

If a tenant that is under a current lease agreement who is evicted or abandons the property; can that landlord sue for all future rents thru the end of the lease? The answer is; “yes”, “no” and “maybe”.

Let me answer this question by using an example. an Arizona Landlord and Arizona Tenant sign a 24 month lease agreement. Tenant promises to pay $2,000 each month for rent. However, 6 months into the lease term the tenant does not pay rent and so the landlord evicts him. Tenant still has 18 months left on his 2 year lease. Can landlord sue tenant for the remaining 18 months? Maybe, I will answer the question in greater detail below.

No, Landlords may not sue for future rents

Hypothetically, if the Arizona landlord finds a new tenant, who begins paying rent the very next month then landlord may not sue the initial previous tenants for the future rent he should have paid. A landlord may not sue an Arizona tenant for future unpaid rents at an eviction hearing. Because the landlord won’t know how long the property will sit empty and therefore the courts award would be based off of speculation. But a landlord can sue for all past rents owed during an eviction lawsuit.

A landlord has a duty to “mitigate” his losses. An Arizona landlord mitigates his losses after an eviction by doing everything possible to re-rent the property. Landlord must take the same actions they would if re-renting the property under normal circumstances. The Arizona landlord cannot simply let the property sit empty for 18 months and then sue the tenant because the property sat empty. He must take all reasonable actions to re-rent the property as soon as possible. Again, a landlord may not sue a tenant for future rent through an eviction lawsuit. However, there is another option a landlord may take to recoup losses from a breaching tenant.

Yes, a Landlord MAY sue a former tenant for unpaid rents.

Yes, a landlord may sue a former tenant for unpaid rents after they were evicted from the Property. However, the Arizona landlord must first market and re-rent the Property before suing the former tenant. The law doesn’t allow for double-dipping, meaning you cannot sue a former tenant for terminating a lease 16 months earlier while collecting rent each month from a new tenant.

However, you can sue a previous tenant for all the months the Property sat vacant until it was re-leased to a new person. Using the example from above, let’s assume the landlord re-rented the Property one month after evicting the previous tenant. In this situation the Property only sat empty for one month and so the previous tenant is only liable to one months rent to the Landlord. Regardless of how many more months or years were left on a previous tenants lease, a landlord can only sue for the months the Property actually sat empty.

If you need help from an Arizona landlord – tenant attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-702-1608 or message us HERE.

The Dunaway Law Group limits its practice to the states of Arizona and New York.