With Arizona home prices rising in value in several communities in and around Maricopa County, some owners and investors have opted to become landlords. While there is no shortage in the supply of renters in the Phoenix-area market, this does not mean you will always get the perfect tenant. When things are going wrong with a renter, they can go from bad to worse quickly. Here is what you need to know about getting rid of a bad tenant in Arizona:
Determine the Violation
If you are leasing a home, apartment, or condominium, your relationship with your tenant is governed by the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. This is the set of laws that establishes the landlord’s and tenant’s respective responsibilities. The lease that you signed with your tenant,should have terms that agree with this Act. Your first step in assessing the situation is to establish exactly why this person is a “bad” tenant. Are there small issues such as leaving Christmas decorations up year-round? Are you always getting complaints about loud parties? Do you have more significant problems such as missed or late rent payments or reports of illegal activity on the premises? If it is a breach of a lease term, you can take action.
Once you have assessed the type of violation, you can proceed with giving the tenant notice that they need to fix the problem in a certain amount of time or the lease will end. How long he or she will have to remedy the problem will depend on the type of violation. For instance, if the issue is not paying rent, you have to give the tenant five days’ notice and an opportunity to pay the full amount due before you can file an eviction suit. If the tenant has committed an act that constitutes material non-compliance with the lease such as having unauthorized residents or pets, you need to give them ten days’ notice and time to correct the issue. However, if the act is one of material non-compliance affecting health and safety such as homicide, gang violence, manufacturing a controlled substance on the property, or inflicting serious bodily harm on another, you can immediately terminate the lease agreement without a notice period and move towards eviction.
Once the notice requirements are met, you can file an eviction lawsuit on the basis that the tenant has breached the lease and ask a court to order them to leave the property and pay you what you are owed. The court will schedule a hearing and consider evidence from both sides before issuing a decision. In many cases, evictions involve non-payment of rent. If the tenant can pay all past due rent, late fees, attorneys fees, and court costs, before the court enters judgment, he or she may be able to avoid eviction.
Attorney Laura B. Bramnick is an experienced Arizona real estate attorney who has the expertise to help you evaluate landlord-tenant issues involving your Arizona property. If you are seeking an exceptional, client-driven real estate lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona and throughout the State of Arizona, contact Laura B. Bramnick to schedule your consultation