Evicting Unwanted Occupants from Your Home

The following does not apply to mobile home park evictions, recreational vehicle park evictions, and certain subsidized housing. Below is information that may be helpful to you but is not a substitute for legal advice. There are other rules and laws that may be applicable to your situation, but these are common rules and laws that apply in eviction actions.

A.R.S. means Arizona Revised Statutes and RPEA means Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions.

Content provided can also be found at AZCourts.gov/eviction.

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1. Tenant Defined

In general, if a person has paid rent or has agreed to pay rent to live somewhere, then that person is a tenant.

  • This is true even if the person is only using part of a house or apartment, such as when a person is sleeping on your couch.
  • And since leases do not have to be in writing, they can be for a tenant even if there is no lease.
  • Rent is usually money. A person can also “pay” rent by doing work or giving things to the person they are renting from.
  • If the person offered to pay, that person may be a tenant even if they never paid any money at all.
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2. Guest Defined

If you have a guest who is not a tenant, you can still evict them.

  • There is a provision in Arizona law (A.R.S. § 33-1378) that indicates that: “A person who is a guest of a tenant who is not named on a written lease and who remains on the premises without the permission of the tenant or the landlord is not a lawful tenant and that person's presence in or on the premises does not constitute residency or tenancy. A person who knowingly remains on the premises without the permission of the tenant or the landlord may be removed by a law enforcement officer at the request of the tenant or the landlord who is entitled to possession of the premises.”
  • However, the police are usually reluctant to get involved in these situations and will suggest you evict them.
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3. Notice to Vacate

If you have anyone who is not a tenant who will not leave, a friend who you allowed to stay for a while, or family member, or an ex, or whoever it might be, you should give them a notice to vacate after at least five days. If they do not leave within the timeframe, you can file an eviction action with the court.

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4. Domestic Violence

Although the protective order process should not be used to evict unwanted guests, if your guest is violent, threatening, or abusive to you, you may be able to get an Order of Protection. You may fill out the forms on AZPoint.

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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