If you own residential real estate as an investment and you lease your property, it is foreseeable that you may need to terminate a rental agreement at some point. This is rarely a simple process that can quickly become expensive and time-consuming if you do not handle it correctly and legally. Arizona has strict protections for tenants, so you need to establish a qualifying cause for the termination and produce evidence. We put together some of the most important things to understand with regard to when a landlord has the right to terminate a rental agreement in Arizona.
Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
Property owners and landlords must abide by the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act when pursuing a termination of a lease agreement. The full text of the Act is available at the link above, and all landlords in the state should take the time to read it. It has some strict provisions with regard to the information landlords must disclose and the rights of all tenants. Additionally, there is detailed information available for both landlords and tenants online that will allow them to understand their responsibilities and rights under a residential lease agreement. The Act also provides details about the specific rules for termination of a rental agreement and eviction.
Unconditional Quit Terminations in Arizona
An unconditional quit notice can allow a landlord to force a tenant out in a short period of time. There are two main categories in Arizona. First, an unconditional quit notice can be used by a landlord when a tenant misrepresented his or her criminal record or past evictions on the rental application. In these situations, the tenant has 10 days to move out. The second category involves on-going criminal activity—such as the sale of drugs, assaults, or criminal gang activity. This category allows the landlord to order immediate removal from the property.
MacQueen & Gottlieb can help you file an unconditional quit notice if you have evidence of a tenant that fits into either category. You will want to get the assistance of law enforcement immediately if you do have reason to believe that any of your properties are being used for on-going criminal activity. Do not attempt to confront the tenants at this point. Arizona Revised Statute § 33-1368 allows for immediate eviction without an opportunity to cure by the defendant for serious crimes. Allow our attorneys to work with the authorities to accomplish that as soon as possible without risking personal harm.
Terminating a Rental Agreement for Violations of a Lease in Arizona
There are many ways that a tenant can violate a lease. The most common example is failure to pay rent when it is due under the agreement. If tenants have not paid rent, you will want to serve them with a five-day notice as soon as possible. This informs them that they have five days to pay their rent. Failure to pay the rent within the five days will allow the landlord to terminate the lease and start the eviction process.
Obviously, lease agreements can be violated in many other ways. Anything from an unapproved pet to failure to maintain the premises can be examples of violation under the rental agreement. Our firm can help you determine whether the rental agreement has been violated and what evidence will be necessary to pursue the case. If you believe a tenant is violating your rental agreement, it is important to document it and pursue a legal remedy as soon as possible.
Find an Experienced Landlord Attorney in Arizona
MacQueen & Gottlieb has significant experiences with the challenges of terminating a rental agreement in Arizona. Our firm can help you determine if you have a qualifying cause under state law and pursue the process in court and with law enforcement, if necessary. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online.