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In Arizona, landlords may remove a renter who does not pay their rent. This is how.

According to the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, this article will detail the steps a landlord must take when evicting a tenant for nonpayment of rent.

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Arizona Rent Due Dates and Eviction Notice Timelines

Unless the landlord and tenant agree differently in the lease or rental agreement, rent is normally due on the first day of each month, regardless of weekends or holidays. This implies that if the first of the month falls on a Saturday and the tenant fails to pay rent until the following Monday, the rent may be deemed late.

A landlord may serve an eviction notice on a tenant the day after the renter fails to pay rent on time. The notice must tell the renter that eviction procedures will commence if the rent is not paid within five days. This document is commonly referred to as a “five-day notice” since it provides the renter five days to pay the rent. The renter will have five days to pay the rent after getting the notice, including weekends and holidays. If the tenant fails to pay the rent within five days, the landlord may file an eviction case in court (see Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 33-1368(B)).

Arizona Eviction Notices Will Contain This Information

The eviction notice for nonpayment of rent must be in writing and contain the following details:

date served on the tenant(s) name(s) and address of the tenant(s) rental unit reason for the notice (that the tenant failed to pay rent for a specified period of time)
entire amount of past-due rent, including any late fees, and where and to whom the rent and late fees should be paid
a declaration that the tenant has five days to pay the rent and late fees (the notice should indicate the precise date by which this must occur) or the landlord will initiate eviction procedures, and a statement describing how the notice was delivered to the tenant.

The Maricopa County Justice Court website has an example eviction notice for Arizona.

In Arizona, the Eviction Notice is served.

According to Arizona state law (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 33-1313(B)), a landlord has two options for serving the eviction notice on the tenant: (1) the landlord or an agent of the landlord can personally serve the notice on the tenant, or (2) the landlord can mail a copy of the notice to the tenant via registered or certified mail; it is always best practice to request a return receipt if using this option.

The landlord must provide the renter the required notice otherwise the five-day period will not begin. If the landlord fails to properly serve the notice, the landlord must serve the notice to the tenant again, using required procedures. The five-day timeframe does not begin until the renter gets the notification properly.
Tenant Options in Arizona When Given an Eviction Notice

Tenant answers to an eviction notice may include:

Pay the rent during the five-day term. The landlord must not continue with the eviction in this circumstance. If the tenant fails to pay the rent on time again in the future, the landlord must go through the full eviction procedure again.

Pay the rent, as well as any late fines and court costs, at any time before the court orders the eviction. In certain conditions, the landlord must refrain from evicting the renter.

Leave the rented apartment without paying the rent. If the tenant vacates the rental unit and fails to pay the rent, the landlord may, if feasible, utilize the tenant’s security deposit to cover the unpaid rent. If the security deposit does not cover the whole amount owed, the landlord may sue the renter for the balance.

Nothing should be done. If the tenant fails to pay the rent and does not vacate the unit, the landlord may file a lawsuit in court to commence the eviction process. This is also known as a special detainer action.

33-1368, Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann (B).

In Arizona, Filing an Eviction Lawsuit

If the tenant does not pay rent or vacate the rental unit within five days of receiving the eviction notice, the landlord may file a complaint and summons in the county where the rental unit is situated. Before the tenant may be removed, the landlord must successfully defend the eviction case.

The Maricopa County Justice Court website has an example Arizona complaint and summons for a special detainer action.

In Arizona, it is unlawful for a landlord to utilize “self-help” tactics to force a tenant out of a rental property, such as changing the locks or turning off the utilities (see Ariz. Rev. Stat. 33-1367). The landlord’s sole choice is to file an eviction case via the court system, and the landlord must meticulously follow all of the formalities while doing so.

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