An eviction can be lengthy and complex for both renters and property owners. However, despite the hurdles and challenges an eviction brings, the practice is actually on the rise in certain parts of Arizona. According to recent data, the number of evictions is averaging about 115 per 10,000 rental households in Phoenix, increasing from pre-pandemic levels. In 2022 alone, property owners served over 67,000 notices to renters.
As a property owner, it helps to know the eviction process in case you find yourself receiving a notice from your renter. While you do have rights as a property owner, it’s imperative to understand what an eviction notice entails and what rights you have as a property owner. To that end, let’s look at 30-day eviction notices and see how common they are for Arizona rental properties.
What is a 30-Day Eviction in Arizona?
A 30-day eviction only happens when a tenant is on a month-to-month lease. In this case, if the property owner wishes to evict the tenant, they must provide a 30-day notice of their intent. This notice is simply that the lease will not be renewed in 30 days, so the tenant must move out to avoid an eviction filing.
If a tenant doesn’t move out after 30 days, the property owner can send an eviction notice and file a complaint with the court. Once that happens, the eviction process begins, and several variables can affect the outcome.
Can Property Owners Send a 30-Day Eviction Notice Anytime?
No, only tenants with a month-to-month lease can receive a 30-day notice. If a tenant has a fixed lease agreement (i.e., six or 12 months), the property owner can choose not to renew the lease and force the tenant to move out once the agreement expires.
If a property owner wishes to evict a tenant before their agreement ends, they must provide sufficient evidence for the process to begin. Because tenants have certain inalienable rights, a property owner can’t just kick a tenant out whenever they like. As discussed in the next section, some specific circumstances must be met before a property owner can start the eviction process.
When Can Property Owners Evict a Tenant?
Generally speaking, as long as a tenant isn’t violating rules or committing crimes, property owners can’t kick them out of a rental property. The specific instances when a property owner can serve an eviction notice include:
Failure to Pay Rent
Sometimes, renters can’t pay rent for one reason or another. Typically, the best option is to notify the property owner ahead of time to discuss possible payment options or delayed due dates. For example, the tenant may have an additional grace period or be able to pay late with an additional fee.
However, if no such arrangement has been established, a property owner can send a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. After sending this notice, the tenant has five days to pay the rent or move out and end the lease. Otherwise, the property owner can start the eviction process. Even if the tenant leaves without paying rent, the property owner can sue for any amount owed.
Lack of Rental Maintenance
Although the property owner is responsible for most of the infrastructure within the rental unit, the tenant is also responsible for taking care of elements like appliances, walls, doors, windows, and more. If any of these pieces are in disrepair or threaten the health the safety of anyone on the property, the property owner can send a Notice to Cure or Quit.
This notice also has a five-day grace period in which the tenant can fix the issue (or start the repair process) and avoid an eviction proceeding. Alternatively, the tenant can leave the premises within five days, although the property owner can still sue for damages.
Violation of Lease Agreement
The tenant must read through the lease agreement to ensure they don’t violate any of its terms. Property Owners can put special provisions in the agreement, such as:
- No Pets
- No Overnight Guests
- No Business Activity
- No Subletting
- No Smoking Drug Usage (i.e., cannabis)
In some cases, tenants unfamiliar with the terms of their lease may unwittingly violate the agreement. In these cases, the property owner can send a 10-Day Notice to Cure or Quit. Depending on the condition of the violation, tenants may have to prove that they’re not doing anything wrong or simply avoid another incident in the future.
A property owner can file an unconditional quit notice if a tenant violates the agreement a second time during the lease. In this instance, the tenant does not have any chance to fix or “cure” the issue. These notices can also occur if it’s discovered that a tenant lied on their rental application or lease agreement.
Conducting Illegal Activity
Regardless of any lease agreement, tenants must still obey the law. So, if a tenant is conducting any illegal activity (i.e., prostitution, illicit drugs, trafficking, etc.), a property owner can send an immediate, unconditional quit notice. In this case, law enforcement may be involved, and the tenant has to move out immediately. Depending on the activity, a property owner may sue for damages, cleaning, or repairs.
Health or Safety Violation
As mentioned, tenants are responsible for keeping the rental unit in good working condition. So, if any actions (i.e., neglect) lead to health and safety violations, property owners can send a five-day cure or quit notice. Examples of these violations can include:
- Exposed plumbing or wiring
- Noticeable signs of pest or mold infestations
- Trash piling up inside and/or outside the rental property
- Other damage to a unit’s infrastructure, such as broken plumbing, electrical wiring, or cracks in the roof or walls
If these issues were caused by neglect or mistreatment by the property owner, a tenant can appeal the notice and force the property owner to pay or reimburse for repairs. For example, if the roof was damaged in a storm and the tenant notified the property owner, the property owner is responsible for fixing it.
Non-Renewal of Lease Agreement
Finally, if a tenant does not choose to renew or extend their lease agreement, they must move out of the rental unit at the end of the lease. Failure to do so can result in an unconditional quit notice or an eviction claim with the court.
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