questions & answers
Question: My girlfriend has lived with me in my house for 2 years. We recently broke up and she refuses to leave my house. Her name is not in my mortgage and she pays no bills and none of the bills in her name. Can I throw her out ?
Answer: When the question involves whether and how a person may be evicted, an important distinction is whether that person is a tenant or a guest. Under Arizona law, if the person is (or could be considered to be) entitled by a rental agreement – even just an oral agreement – to occupy the dwelling, then in theory that person is a tenant (A.R.S. 33-1310(16)) who thus has a right to be provided with 30 days advance written notice (A.R.S. 33-1375). Providing a person with 30 days notice is always the safest option. If the person is, in fact, a tenant, then only a judge can order that person’s eviction, and locking that person out before the rental agreement has terminated – for example, after 30 days has elapsed since receipt of a 30-day notice – will be unlawful unless and until the landlord first goes through the formal process of sending of a 5-day notice to the tenant, then filing a detailed eviction complaint with the court, then serving that complaint and a summons on a tenant, then convincing the judge to grant an eviction. However, if the person is merely an unwanted guest, then the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. Title 33 Chapter 10) says the following: “A person who is a guest of a tenant who is not named on a written lease and who remains on the premises without the permission of the tenant or the landlord is not a lawful tenant and that person’s presence in or on the premises does not constitute residency or tenancy. A person who knowingly remains on the premises without the permission of the tenant or the landlord may be removed by a law enforcement officer at the request of the tenant or the landlord who is entitled to possession of the premises” (A.R.S. 33-1378).
My girlfriend has lived with me in my house for 2 years. We recently broke up and she refuses to leave my house. Her name is not in my mortgage and she pays no bills and none of the bills in her name. Can I throw her out ?
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