There are many reasons to evict a tenant, but the most common reason is nonpayment of rent. If your Mesa or Phoenix tenant isn’t paying rent, start the eviction process as soon as possible. You should do everything you can to work with your tenants on getting the payment in, but be prepared to evict. You don’t want to lose any extra time or money.
Today, we’re explaining some of the most important elements of Arizona eviction law. We strongly recommend that if you have to evict, you work with an experienced Mesa property management company that has excellent legal resources.
Start the Eviction with a Five Day Notice
The first step in the eviction process in Mesa and Arizona is to serve a notice to your tenants that rent has not been paid. This is called a Five Day Notice because it gives your tenants five days from the date that they receive the notice to pay rent or leave the property.
You cannot serve this notice until rent is overdue. For example, if rent is due on the first of each month and late on the second of the month, you can serve the 5 Day Notice on the second.
There are two forms of legal service when it comes to delivering this notice to your tenant.
- Personal Delivery. This is when the notice is hand-delivered to the tenant of record by a process server or your Mesa property management company.
- Certified Mail. If the notice is not personally delivered, it must be sent by certified mail, which adds five more days to the eviction timeline.
Once the tenant has been served the Five Day Notice, the time starts ticking for them to pay the amount they owe in full. If you accept a partial payment, this may delay or stop the eviction process.
Mesa Property Management: Filing for Eviction
When the five-day period comes and goes and the tenant still has not paid, you can file for eviction on the sixth day. Your Mesa property manager can do this for you, but an attorney is required to represent the landlord during an eviction. Ask your property manager to provide the attorney with the following:
- Copy of the Five Day Notice
- Lease and any addenda
- Ledger that shows the tenant’s past due account
With all of this information, your attorney will file a Summons and Complaint with the court. As soon as the court receives the filing, a process server will serve the Summons and Complaint to your tenant. It may take about a week to get a court date.
Arizona Eviction Court Hearings
The attorney will go to court on your behalf, and may ask your Mesa property manager to be present as well, in case the tenant tries to dispute the eviction or any of its facts.
As soon as you receive your judgment, the tenants will receive a Writ Date, which is usually three or four days later to vacate the property. If the tenants still refuse to leave, a Writ of Restitution will be filed so that you can regain possession of your property. At this point, the sheriff or constable will lock the tenant out of the property and allow you to change the locks.
Usually, tenants will vacate before a Writ of Restitution is necessary. We encourage you to screen tenants well, enforce a strict rent collection policy, and work with a qualified Mesa property management company.
If you have any further questions about tenant evictions in Phoenix and the surrounding areas, please contact us at Bennett Property Management.