Guide to the Eviction Process in Arizona
If you are being evicted in the state of Arizona, you may not know how to proceed. Learning about the eviction process in Arizona can help you understand your rights and options under the law. After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in Arizona and how long each step will take.
In Arizona, you can be given two kinds of initial notice by your landlord that precede eviction proceedings. The first kind of notice is called a “five day notice,” and is issued if you are late paying rent or have not paid rent. The five day notice will tell you how much rent you need to pay in order to keep from having the eviction process in Arizona continue.
If you have breached your lease (for instance, by allowing a pet in a “no pets allowed” apartment) your landlord will give you a “ten day notice” instead. You will have ten days to avoid the eviction process in Arizona by remedying the situation that caused the notice to be served. The notice will inform you how you can cure the breach. If you do not, the eviction process in Arizona will continue in court.
Court Filings and Hearings
If you do not respond to a five or ten day notice letter, your landlord can file what is called a “forcible detainer” suit. Forcible detainer is the legal eviction process in Arizona, and is handled in a justice court, the lowest level of state court in Arizona. Your landlord will file both a summons (to call you to court) and a complaint (detailing why you are being evicted).
You will be served with a copy of the summons and complaint by your landlord, the court, or a process server. At this point, you can prevent the eviction process in Arizona from going forward by paying all past due rent plus your landlord's court costs and attorney fees. If you do not pay, you can choose to attend the hearing and present a defense, or be absent from the hearing. If you are absent, the landlord will win by default.
Writs of Restitution
After your landlord wins in court, a writ of restitution is issued. The writ of restitution is part of the eviction process in Arizona that allows the sheriff to physically remove a tenant who has not vacated after an eviction action.
If your landlord obtains a writ of restitution, he or she can cut off your utilities or even lock you out of your home. Your landlord cannot physically remove you, but if you fail to vacate the premises by the date indicated on the writ of restitution, the eviction process in Arizona will conclude when you are forcibly removed by the sheriff.
If you leave personal property, your landlord must inventory it and attempt to deliver it to you. Your landlord may charge a reasonable amount for this and must use reasonable care when dealing with your property. You will be charged for removal, storage and delivery.