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How to Evict a Tenant in Arizona

Understand the reasons you can legally evict a tenant in Arizona—and the process you have to follow to get them out.

In Arizona, you can evict someone for failing to maintain the rental property in a way that affects other tenants, nonpayment of rent, or violating the lease or rental agreement. You can't evict someone in retaliation for making completely legal complaints about their standards of living, however.

1. Start by giving written notice

To evict someone, you must first give written notice. The amount of notice you give will depend upon the reason for eviction:

  • If someone has unpaid rent, you only need to give them five days' notice. (Here's a template.)

  • If someone has violated the lease in a different way, you must give them 10 days' notice. (Here's a template.)

Written notice must include the reason for the notice, and let the tenant know that the lease will terminate unless they correct the reason for eviction with five or 10 days, depending on the situation.

In Arizona, notice must be either delivered directly to the tenant or another person residing at the premises, posted on the door, or sent by certified mail with return receipt requested.

2. File papers with the court

If the tenant fails to make the necessary changes or leave, you may file a Special Detainer action to complete the eviction process. If the unpaid rent or the damages are less than $10,000, you must file in a justice court. If the unpaid rent or damages exceed that amount, you must file with the Arizona Supreme Court.

You must provide a summons and a complaint. The complaint must be signed by the landlord with a notary public present, and should ask for eviction, possession of the premises, all late rent, all late fees, court costs and attorney’s fees, and rent through the end of the current rental period.

Three to six days after you file your complaint, the court will set a trial date.

3. Attend the trial

The trial should take one day. Make sure you have all of the evidence prepared, including the return receipt if you served notice by mail. After the trial, the clerk of the court will give you sealed copies of the summons and the complaint to serve to the tenant.

4. Go to court, if necessary

If the tenant argues that the eviction is unwarranted, you may have to go to court. In court, make sure that you have a copy of the rental agreement, a copy of the notice you served, proof of delivery of the notice, proof of delivery of the summons and complaints, and any other records supporting your eviction claim.

5. Turn off the utilities and lock out your tenant

If the court rules in your favor, two key parts of the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act no longer apply. Once the eviction is approved by the court, you may turn off the utilities to the residence and lock the tenant out of the unit, which is normally prohibited by the act. If the tenant leaves possessions in the unit, you must wait 21 days to dispose of them.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.