No matter how carefully you screen potential tenants, there’s always a chance you can end up with a difficult tenant. What makes them difficult can take many forms, but only some can end up being cause for eviction.
Serving an eviction notice is never a desirable ending to a tenant-landlord relationship, but sometimes it’s your only option. The process is complex to provide eviction protection to tenants, so you need to understand how it works so you can properly follow all the steps.
Let’s take a walk through why and how to evict tenants in Phoenix.
Reasons for Evicting Tenants
Your lease or rental agreement should spell out all expectations of your tenants and what they can expect from you in return. It should include details about your rent collection process, prohibited activities, and steps for non-renewal. They serve as the basis for your ability to pursue eviction should it become necessary.
1. Rent payment issues
Your lease should state when rent is due, when it’s considered late, and the consequences for not paying on time. It doesn’t have to be an ongoing problem before you start the process. In Arizona, you have to provide a five-day notice to pay. If they pay in those five days, the eviction process halts.
2. Lease violations
Your lease might have any number of rules the tenant has to comply with. If they violate any of the terms, you can issue a notice to comply to start the eviction process. If they resolve the issue in 10 days, the process stops. Violations could include smoking, having pets, or putting false information on a rental application.
3. Illegal activity
Anything illegal conducted on the property gives you the right to serve a notice to vacate. In this case, the number of days to comply is up to the landlord.
4. Safety violations
If your tenant has violated local codes, you can provide a five-day notice to comply to give them time to fix the problem. This could be as simple as not throwing out the trash or mowing the yard.
5. Non-renewal of lease
Arizona landlords can’t force tenants out or evict them without cause. But landlords do not have to renew a lease when it expires. If a tenant doesn’t leave after the lease ends, the landlord can issue a written notice to start the process.
Landlords have to legally terminate the tenancy before starting the eviction process, usually involving sending a written notice. If the tenant doesn’t leave or fix the issue within the required time, the landlord can proceed with an eviction lawsuit.
In Arizona, the general process involves the following steps:
- Send a clear written notice
- Fill out required forms
- Serve tenant with eviction summons
- Attend eviction trial
- Wait for judgment
The initial notice starts the process by telling your tenant you’ve started an eviction. In Arizona, there are specific notices for specific violations.
Once the deadline to comply passes, you can go to court and file a complaint. The court then issues a summons to the tenant to attend a court hearing between three to six days later. The tenant can attend the hearing to object to the eviction.
If the court rules in your favor, you’ll receive a writ of restitution, which legally gives you the property back. The local sheriff is tasked with enforcing the order and making sure the tenant leaves.
Tenant Evictions in Phoenix
Every eviction is different since the violations vary and the agreements you sign might differ. But in every case, you have to follow the process for evicting tenants carefully. The process is easier for you if you’re keeping meticulous records, both as to the tenant’s behavior and the steps you’re following.
If you’re concerned about properly following the eviction process in Arizona, contact us to see how we can help. Our property management services cover everything from tenant screening to eviction.