Eviction

questions & answers

Question: I currently own a home which I live in and have a tenant. There is no signed lease agreement, just a verbal month to month. He has not paid his rent and continues to give me the run around and has not been at the house since the 1st which is when rent is due. I have continually contacted him via text message and told him if he does not pay he leaves. He has promised everyday to pay and has not even come home. Last night he promised via text to pack his stuff and leave if I did not have the money by the end of the day yesterday. Can I just change the locks and pack his stuff?

Answer: Locking him out is called self help. It should be avoided wherever possible (unless there is a health or safety emergency issue). Given that your tenant pays on a monthly basis, he is a month-to-month tenant. In addition to having the right to terminate the tenancy on 30 days notice under A.R.S. 33-1375, where rent is not paid in a timely manner, you have rights under A.R.S. 33-1368(B). Under that statute, you are required to give written notice to the tenant demanding immediate payment and indicating your intent to terminate the rental agreement if rent is not paid within five days after the notice. If rent is not paid within five days, you have the right to file a special detainer action in your local justice court. You can find the court that serves your address here: http://recorder.maricopa.gov/pollingplace/getdistrict.aspx The filing fee is approximately $90. You will be required to provide a copy of a deed or other proof of your ownership of the home in order to file. There are forms available at the justice court. After you file, the court will set a hearing date to take place within a few days. You will be required to serve the tenant with the eviction papers. If the tenant fails to appear for the hearing or fails to pay the past due rent and your court costs prior to the hearing, the judge should enter judgment in your favor. At the hearing, you will need a copy of your written notice to the tenant demanding the late rent. If the tenant has damaged your property in any way, you should also ask for those damages in the lawsuit. If the judge enters a judgment, he or she will provide the tenant with five days to vacate the premises. If he does not vacate the premises in that time period, you may be able to get the sheriff's office to assist in the eviction. Consult the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act for additional information (found here: https://www.azag.gov/sites/default/files/sites/all/docs/civil-rights/fha/TenantRightsResponsibilities.pdf) Please note that this is general information provided based on the facts provided. I do not know all of the facts of your situation and cannot provide you with legal advice. Additionally, providing this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. I wish you the best.

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • I currently own a home which I live in and have a tenant. There is no signed lease agreement, just a verbal month to month. He has not paid his rent and continues to give me the run around and has not been at the house since the 1st which is when rent is due. I have continually contacted him via text message and told him if he does not pay he leaves. He has promised everyday to pay and has not even come home. Last night he promised via text to pack his stuff and leave if I did not have the money by the end of the day yesterday. Can I just change the locks and pack his stuff?

STORIES

  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • Age discrimination in the workplace. . .

LegalLEARN

YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED

  • Welcome to our Newly Redesigned Website! Let us know how we are doing! Please take a couple of minutes to fill out our survey.

FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS