The following applies to evictions that do not fall under the Residential Landlord Tenant Act, the Mobile Home Park Act or the Recreational Vehicle (RV) Long-Term Rental Space Act. The information below may be helpful to landlords and tenants 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.
A Residential Lease Agreement form

1. WHAT IS COVERED

  • The general eviction statutes can be found in the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 12, Chapter 8, A.R.S. §§ 12-1171 thru 1183.
  • These Statutes are applicable to all rental relationships that are not covered by the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act, the Mobile Home Park Act or the RV Long-Term Rental Space Act.
    1. Residence at medical, educational, counseling or religious institutions.
    2. Member of a fraternal or social organization operated for the benefit of the organization.
    3. Hotel, motel or recreational lodging.
    4. Employee of landlord whose occupancy is conditional on the employment.
    5. Public housing.
    6. Unauthorized occupants.
    7. Commercial properties.
    8. Properties sold through a sale by a trustee. (may only be filed in Superior Court)
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2. Complaint and Service

The following must be served with the eviction notice:

  • A copy of the lease
  • Any addendums related to the cause for the eviction
  • 6 months of accounting records showing charges and payments (if being evicted for not paying rent)

Generally, an eviction action summons and complaint must be served by a constable or sheriff in one of two ways:

    1. personally served on the tenant, or
    2. posted in an obvious place and mailed to the tenant by certified mail. RPEA 5(f)
Alternative methods of service, like posting the notice on the residence or mailing it by certified mail, must be requested and approved by the judge.
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3. ANSWER

  • The tenant may file a written answer or answer orally in open court on the record. If the court sets a trial date, the tenant may be ordered to file a written answer. RPEA 7.
  • If a person cannot afford the filing fee, ask the clerk for a fee waiver/deferral application in order to not pay the fee when filing.
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5. TRIAL

  • The tenant has a right to a trial if the court determines that the tenant MAY have a defense or proper counterclaim. RPEA 11(b)(1).
  • Unless the right to a jury trial has been waived in a written contract, those involved have a right to a jury trial, but the tenant must ask for it the first time they see the judge. The judge will then decide if there are factual matters to be determined by a jury. If there are no factual matters appropriate for a jury, the case will be heard by the judge. RPEA 11(d).
  • The only issue at trial shall be the right of actual possession and the merit on title shall not be inquired into. A.R.S. § 12-1177(A)
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6. EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY

  • Evidence and testimony must be relevant to the proceeding.
  • A witness must testify from personal knowledge – the witness telling the court what somebody else told the witness is generally not allowed.
  • Both sides have a duty to make timely objections. If a witness testifies to a fact he or she does not have personal knowledge of or the testimony is not relevant to the proceeding, immediately tell the judge you object to the testimony or evidence.
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7. JUDGMENT

  • Default judgment may be entered against the tenant if the tenant is not present in the court when the case is called by the judge. RPEA 13.
  • Stipulated judgment – the tenant is agreeing that the allegations in the complaint are true and judgment will be entered against the tenant. The tenant will not have an opportunity to offer a defense and cannot appeal from this type of judgment.
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4. AFTER JUDGMENT

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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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