Eviction

questions & answers

Question: My landlord refused my rental payment because it was two days late and is now telling me I have to be out of the house today what are my legal options

Answer: Failure to pay rent is governed by A.R.S. 33-1368. Specifically, subsection B, which reads: B. A tenant may not withhold rent for any reason not authorized by this chapter. If rent is unpaid when due and the tenant fails to pay rent within five days after written notice by the landlord of nonpayment and the landlord's intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid within that period of time, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement by filing a special detainer action pursuant to section 33-1377. Before the filing of a special detainer action the rental agreement shall be reinstated if the tenant tenders all past due and unpaid periodic rent and a reasonable late fee set forth in a written rental agreement. After a special detainer action is filed the rental agreement is reinstated only if the tenant pays all past due rent, reasonable late fees set forth in a written rental agreement, attorney fees and court costs. After a judgment has been entered in a special detainer action in favor of the landlord, any reinstatement of the rental agreement is solely in the discretion of the landlord. Under the statute, you cannot be evicted for failure to pay rent unless you have been given notice that gives you five days to pay the late rent and advises you that if not paid on time, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement. If you paid rent after the five-day notice expired but before the landlord filed a lawsuit against you to evict you, similarly you could not be evicted as long as you pay the rent and a "reasonable late fee set forth in the written rental agreement." If I read your question correctly, it sounds like you were just 2 days late and never received the five-day notice referenced in the statute. If that is the case, and if you are not a holdover (past your lease expiration), or the landlord does not have some other legal basis to evict you (for which you previously received notice), the landlord may not legally evict you and has no legal basis to refuse to accept your rent payment. That being said, you should be able to prove your attempt to pay the rent for example by having a copy of something in writing delivered to the landlord. This will avoid questions if it goes to court and you say you tried to pay and the landlord says you didn't. Here is the link to the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act that may provide additional guidance and will include the statute I referenced above: https://www.azag.gov/sites/default/files/sites/all/docs/civil-rights/fha/TenantRightsResponsibilities.pdf Please note that I am answering your question based on the information provided and, because we do not have an attorney-client relationship and I have only limited information on your situation, my answer does not constitute legal advice. I wish you the best.

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  • My landlord refused my rental payment because it was two days late and is now telling me I have to be out of the house today what are my legal options

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