What are the Grounds for Immediate Eviction in Arizona?

Issuing an eviction notice is a complicated process in Arizona (as with other states), but what matters most are the circumstances surrounding the eviction. The entire process can typically take a few weeks, during which the tenant may still live on the premises. However, in some cases, the property owner can file for an immediate eviction.

Because you don’t want to wait forever to reclaim your rental unit, it’s imperative to understand which circumstances can force an immediate eviction and which may cause you to wait until a court order. Knowing the difference can make the whole process smoother and give you peace of mind.

What is an Immediate Eviction?

An eviction typically takes five to 30 days in Arizona, given how many steps are involved, including back-and-forth correspondence between you, the court, and the tenant.

However, an immediate eviction means the tenant has to vacate the premises within 24 hours or be removed by the local sheriff. If you’re a property owner paying a mortgage on a property, you don’t want to wait 30 days to start renting the unit again (if possible). So, knowing the grounds for an immediate eviction can save you a lot of hassle and aggravation as you wait for the tenant to give you back your property.

What Actions Qualify for Immediate Eviction?

No matter what, tenants have rights, and property owners can’t kick a tenant out immediately for any reason. Even if the tenant has not renewed their lease or paid their rent, you still have to go through the due process to evict them legally.

With that in mind, the circumstances generally lead to an immediate eviction (24 hours). However, these situations are not always so cut and dry, so keep that in mind. For example, if you are the only eyewitness to a crime being committed on the property (or you only suspect a crime has occurred), you have to wait for the police to verify that evidence. Until then, the tenant still has rights until proven guilty by law.

Criminal Activity

Illegal activity can include drug possession, drug use, carrying illegal firearms, discharging firearms, assault and battery, and many other crimes.

That said, if you can’t supply physical evidence, such as security camera footage or photo documentation, you may have to wait for the police to investigate before they remove the tenant.

Alternatively, if you can prove a crime happened with lawfully acquired evidence, you may be able to expedite the process. Remember that breaking into the rental unit (i.e., accessing it without prior notice) or filming the tenant without their knowledge may result in illegal or inadmissible evidence.

Overall, it should be pretty easy to tell that a crime (or crimes) happened on-site. Otherwise, once an investigation proves that the tenant committed a crime, police officers can remove them from the property.

Health and Safety Violations

As a property owner, you must ensure the rental unit is safe for human habitation. However, if the tenant causes the unit to fall into disrepair or become unsafe, that could be grounds for immediate eviction.

Keep in mind that a dirty or unkempt property doesn’t qualify. Instead, the circumstances must be extreme enough to pose a danger to anyone on or near the premises. For example, if there is raw sewage pooling outside or within the unit, that could be sufficient enough to force an eviction.

Another health or safety violation could be if the tenant is keeping children and/or pets on-site in hazardous conditions. For example, if they’re malnourished or chained against the wall against their will. If you can supply evidence, you could trigger an immediate eviction.

Severe Property Damage

While keeping the property in good condition, you can’t control if or when a tenant will damage the unit. Severe property damage can include intentional catastrophes like:

·   Water pipe bursting

·   Collapsed roof

·   Damaged or destroyed walls

·   Severe fire damage

Because some of these incidents could be accidental, they wouldn’t trigger an eviction claim. Instead, you would need to file a property insurance claim, and the tenant must file a claim with their renters’ insurance provider.

Overall, it can be pretty hard to prove that a tenant acted in such a way as to trigger an immediate eviction. Instead, you may need to accept that you’ll have to wait for the court system to work in due process.

Other Actions That Can Lead to an Eviction

Just because you can’t issue an immediate eviction doesn’t mean other reasons exist to evict a tenant. The most common reasons to start this process can include:

Non-Payment of Rent

As a rule, if a tenant doesn’t pay their rent on time, you can issue a five-day notice to quit. In this case, the tenant has up to five days to “cure” the issue or pay the rent.

If a tenant fails to pay rent multiple times during their lease, the property owner may be able to file a 10-day non-compliance notice. In this case, the tenant can’t pay their rent and avoid eviction. Instead, they have to appeal to the court.

Non-Renewal of Lease Agreement

Most leases are annual, although you may issue a month-to-month lease instead. If a tenant doesn’t renew the lease (or you choose not to renew), they must move out as soon as the lease ends.

If the tenant fails to move out once the lease ends, the property owner can file an eviction notice with the court as soon as the beginning of the first day after the lease termination date.

When you have a month-to-month tenant, you must provide a 30-day notice at the beginning of a month. The tenant has 30 days to vacate the property, or you can file an eviction notice.

Violation of Lease Agreement

Because lease agreements differ from one property owner to the next, only you will know what constitutes a violation. However, some common violations can include:

·   Having pets

·   Damaging property (unless accidental)

·   Hosting parties

·   Consuming illicit substances (i.e., alcohol or marijuana)

If a tenant violates the lease, you must provide sufficient evidence when filing an eviction claim. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the lease ends before forcing them to leave the rental unit.

Get Eviction Assistance from Unbiased Options

Filing an eviction in Arizona is time-consuming and complex, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Unbiased Options is your best assistant during this trying time, and we’ll help you navigate the best solutions. Contact us today to find out more.