Understanding the Eviction Process in Arizona
Many renters in the State of Arizona are unfamiliar with the laws governing eviction. Count on Arizona Tenants Union to help you understand the eviction process. Know what your rights are if you are served with an eviction notice.
Writ of Restitution
A landlord cannot evict a tenant without going to court. But first, the landlord must give you a written 5-day notice for nonpayment of rent, and a 10-day notice for a lease violation. If a landlord accepts a partial payment for rent after serving you with a notice, he generally has waived the right to evict you.
There are very few defenses to a nonpayment case. Except under very limited circumstances, YOU CANNOT WITHHOLD YOUR RENT FOR REPAIRS. Similarly, it is not a defense to a nonpayment action that you lost your job. Having a a catastrophe in your life does not excuse you from not making a payment.
Unfortunately, the Justice Court judges tend to be pro-landlord. Even if you have a legitimate defense to a nonpayment action, such as you paid your rent but the landlord improperly applied it for another purpose, it is very possible that the judge will still evict you. You really have to spend a day in Justice Court to understand just how arbitrary, capricious, and pro-landlord these judges are. If you receive an eviction notice, ATU can help you present your case to the court if you need to.
Hire a Lawyer
ATU always recommends you have an attorney to represent you. If you do not have a lawyer, we can refer you to a free or low-cost attorney. These resources, however, are limited. If you need help defending an eviction action, contact ATU, and we’ll walk you through the process.
Appealing an Eviction
There are two ways to appeal an eviction decision. If there was a procedural problem, such as you did not receive a summons, and you have a defense to the underlying action, you can file a Motion to Set Aside Judgment at the Justice Court. This must be done within five days of the issuance of a Writ of Restitution. Alternatively, you can file a Notice of Appeal, also within five days, at the Justice Court and then file the full appeal in Superior Court. For help maneuvering through the appeal process, join ATU.
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