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Governor Doug Ducey last week signed an Executive Order extending a moratorium on residential evictions until October 31, 2020, providing continued protections for renters.

Recently, Governor Doug Ducey signed Executive Order 2020-49 and extended the original Arizona eviction moratorium that took effect in March. The continued protections for residential renters now expire on October 31, 2020. This extension came as a relief to the thousands of tenants who were facing homelessness, though housing advocates lobbied for the extension to last through the end of the year.

Governor Ducey acknowledged the continued protections are “the right thing to do for public health and our economy.”

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, this is what you need to know:

Arizona Executive Order 2020-14

Governor Ducey signed Executive Order 2020-14 in late March, giving renters a 120-day moratorium on evictions as a response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Renters were eligible to avoid displacement from their homes if they met the following criteria:

  • The renter has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or lives with someone who has been diagnosed, and must quarantine.
  • The renter displays COVID-19 symptoms and has been instructed by a licensed medical professional to quarantine.
  • The renter has a preexisting health condition and is at greater risk for contracting COVID-19.
  • The renter has experienced a loss of income due to the pandemic.

The Executive Order required tenants to provide landlords written notices if any of the above applied.  Nothing in the Executive Order relieved a tenant from any of its obligations owed.

Not all tenants, however, are protected under the Executive Order.  Tenants in violation of their lease agreements under A.R.S. 33-1368(A), for example, are not protected. This includes criminal activity and other material non-compliances of the lease by the tenant.

Phoenix Landlord Sues Governor

Just before the original moratorium was set to expire, a Phoenix landlord sued Governor Ducey and a lower court judge over the terms of Executive Order 2020-14. The plaintiff’s argument was that the prevention of executing on eviction judgments violates the Arizona Constitution and it is unfair to place the burden of unpaid rent onto landlords. (Her tenants reportedly owed nearly$4,000 in rent and fees after losing their jobs in the pandemic.)

The Arizona Supreme Court rejected this challenge to the Executive Order and ruled in the governor’s favor. During a state of public emergency, the governor has the power to act. It should also be noted that the Arizona Department of Housing has allocated money toward rental assistance, which will relieve landlords once distributed.

Arizona Eviction Moratorium Extended Through October 31st

As of July 23, Arizona renters are protected from evictions based on unpaid rent until October 31. The same qualifications apply, so tenants must provide landlords with written documentation of hardship caused by COVID-19. Tenants may also request a payment plan for addressing the total amount of rent owed at the end of the moratorium. Additionally, renters are to provide a copy of their rental assistance application to their landlords beginning August 21.

Find An Experienced Arizona Real Estate Attorney

If you are a property manager, owner, or landlord with a tenant impacted by COVID-19, or a tenant facing eviction, M&G can help you navigate these rapidly changing requirements to the eviction laws and procedures in Arizona. Our attorneys can represent you throughout the entire process and assist with all negotiations if needed. Contact us today at (602) 562-7218 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online.

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