Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, you should understand your rights. The Residential Eviction Information Sheet (REIS) is a document that must be given to a tenant when a summons is served upon them in residential property eviction action. The REIS includes important information about your rights and eviction procedure at the court. Below is a breakdown of each section of the REIS.

The information below may be helpful to landlords and tenants but is not a substitute for legal advice.

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

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1. Notice

  • A landlord must give a tenant written notice that explains they are being evicted. Usually, this is a Notice of Non-Payment of Rent that is put on your front door and mailed to your address.
  • Before filing an eviction petition with the court, the tenant must be given the written notice.  Depending on the type of evicion, the tenant will have a set amount of days to fix the situation, speak with their landlord, or prepare for court. See Legal Info Sheet: Eviction Actions: Non-Payment of Rent.
Lease agreement form with keys

2. Rent Cases

  • Not being able to pay rent is not a legal defense.  The judge cannot give the tenant more time to pay. See Legal Info Sheet: Eviction Actions: Tenant’s Obligations.
  • To keep living in the residence, an eviction for non-payment of rent can be stopped if the tenant pays:
    • All rent that is owed;
    • Late fees;
    • Attorney fees; and
    • Court costs.
  • If a judgment has been entered against the tenant, the landlord is the only person who can reinstate the lease.
A person filling out forms

3. Before Court

  • If a tenant disagrees with the claims of the landlord, the tenant can file an Answer form with the justice court. Remember, financial problems are not a legal defense to non-payment of rent.
  • If a tenant cannot pay court filing fees, the tenant may apply for a waiver or deferral of that fee. See the Fee Waivers and Deferrals webpage for forms and instructions.
  • Under certain circumstances, the tenant may file a Counterclaim.
  • If a tenant fails to appear at court, and the landlord or attorney is present, a judgment will probably be entered against the tenant.
  • Tenants can hire an attorney or represent themselves. The court does not provide a lawyer for either side. Watch Legal Info Video: Your Landlord is Taking You to Court if you are a residential tenant. Go to the Legal Info Videos landing page to view other videos based on your type of housing: residential, mobile home, and recreational vehicle (RV). 
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4. At Court

  • The summons that was served on the tenant has the date, time, and place for the court hearing.
  • If both sides are present, the judge will ask the tenant if the claims of the landlord are true. If the tenant says “no,” then the tenant will tell the judge why. If the reason is a legal defense, the judge will need to hear testimony from both sides and will decide after a trial. The trial may be that day or within the next three days. Watch Legal Info Video: Tenant Defenses for Non-Payment of Rent.
  • The tenant may speak to the landlord or their attorney. A tenant may wish to agree to what the landlord is requesting by signing a “stipulation.” Most stipulations include a judgment against the tenant. Watch Legal Info Video: What is a Stipulated Judgment?.
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5. Continuances

  • Either side can ask for a continuance; however, the court will agree only if there is a good reason.
  • Any delay will be for no more than three business days.
  • There is no guarantee that a continuance will be granted, so everyone must come prepared for trial and bring necessary witnesses and documents.
Money under a gavel

6. After Judgment

  • If the court grants an eviction judgment, the landlord can apply for a writ of restitution to remove everyone living in the residence. See Legal Info Sheet: After an Eviction Judgment.
  • A tenant can avoid the writ of restitution process by leaving the property and giving the keys to the landlord. This ends the possession of the residence by the tenant.
  • Most likely, a judgment will appear on the credit report of the tenant for several years after an eviction.
  • Those wishing to appeal from a judgment have 5 days to do so after the judgment is entered. See Legal Info Sheet: After an Eviction 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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