Are you asking yourself: How do I evict my tenant in Phoenix? Are your tenants located in Maricopa County, Arizona and not paying their rent? If so, it is time to start the eviction process and call a Phoenix eviction lawyer. The longer you wait, the more rent you lose. Here is some basic information on evicting residential tenants living in and around Phoenix.
Phoenix eviction cases are civil matters -- as opposed to criminal matters -- heard in the Arizona civil courts. The courts are organized county by county with Phoenix being located in Maricopa County. Evictions are heard by justices of the peace in Justice Courts. For more information on the Justice Courts, see here. The website for the Clerk of Maricopa Justice Court can be found here.
Courthouse Locations: There are approximately ten locations for the Justice Courts in and around Phoenix. Which is the correct courthouse depends on where you live. See here for the locations.
To evict a residential tenant, you must follow these steps:
1. Give Notice (generally 5-day or 10-day) to tenant
2. File an special detainer lawsuit
3. Serve summons of lawsuit on tenant
4. Go to court
5. If tenant does not move out, have the Maricopa County Constable's Office execute a Writ of Restitution
The Maricopa Justice Court has a general information page which can be found here.
In general, you must give some sort of notice to your tenant before you are allowed to file your eviction lawsuit. The type of notice that a landlord must give depends on the reason for evicting the tenant. The various types and reasons are governed by the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, A.R.S. § 33-1301 et seq. Section 33-1368(A) and (B) governs the notices.
If your tenant is not paying his or her rent, a five-day notice is required under section 33-1368(B). If the tenant fully pays within the five days or up until the day you file your eviction lawsuit, then the lease remains in effect. If the tenant fails to pay, then you may filed your eviction in the Maricopa County Justice Court.
If your tenant is making too much noise or not keeping the apartment clean or disturbing the neighbors or is otherwise violating his or her obligations under the lease and under the law AND the violations can be corrected, a five-day notice is required. If the tenant does not remedy the violation(s), then the lease is terminated and the landlord can proceed to file an eviction action.
If, after the first five-day notice, your tenant violates the lease again, a ten-day notice of termination can delivered. The lease is terminated and the tenant has no opportunity to cure.
Has your tenant committed a crime or is doing drugs or selling drugs from your rental property? If the tenant is or has committed various crimes in or on the rental property, section 33-1368(A)(2) allows you, the landlord, to deliver a written notice for immediate termination of the lease. You may proceed immediately to file an eviction lawsuit. The statute lists many crimes that allow for no-day notice of termination including:
This list is non-exhaustive.
No notice is required if your tenant is holding over and is remaining in possession after the lease has expired. You, as a landlord, can begin a lawsuit for possession immediately after the lease expires. ARS 33-1375(C).
Section 33-1313 specifies that the above-described notices are to be "delivered in hand to the tenant or mailed by registered or certified mail..."
To file your lawsuit, you must go to the correct courthouse for Maricopa County Justice Courts and file the following documents:
You will need to attach to your complaint a copy of the lease and a copy of the notice (5-day or 10-day or no-day) that you gave to your tenant.
Although you can fill out a complaint, summons and other forms at the courthouse, to do it correctly, you need to hire an eviction attorney that understand the legal system and the eviction process. Making mistakes will cost you money. Renting property is a business. Lawyer fees and court filing costs are deductible business expenses. Every landlord needs a skilled eviction attorney.
Eviction complaints must be served on your tenant in person. The Maricopa County Constable's Office can attempt personal service or you can hire a private licensed special process server.
There is no reason to delay. Start your eviction today. Every day your tenant remains is a day without rent or a day where your tenant continues to violate your lease, endangering your property and/or being a nuisance to other tenants and neighbor. You need an experienced Phoenix lawyer with the skills and experience to get your tenants evicted.