Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Are you looking to evict a family member with no lease in Arizona? Then read on to know how to go about the process!
You may want to evict a family member in Arizona for a myriad of reasons. It could be that they are not paying rent as agreed. It may also be that you’re making a lifestyle change and need to downsize. Or perhaps, it could be that the family member is now doing drugs or involved in criminal activity.
Whatever the case, if they have refused to leave on their own, you must follow the proper eviction process. You must not try to use self-help eviction tactics like throwing their personal belongings away or locking them out of the property.
Under Arizona law, a lease can be established in either of three ways. That is, orally, in written text, or after acceptance of rent payment. If any of these things has occurred, then it means that the family member has a legal right to live on your property.
In that case, to evict them, you’ll need to have a ‘just cause’. For example, failure by the tenant to pay rent or violation of the lease. You cannot just evict them simply because you no longer want them around.
However, if the family member has no lease, then it means they have no legal right to be on your property. This scenario is referred to as tenancy-at-will. It means that you can terminate their tenancy at any point.
The following is the step-by-step process you must take to remove them from the property.
Evicting a Family Member with No Lease in Arizona
Even without a lease, you must not evict the family member anyhow you like. In addition, for the sake of the relationship, you’ll want to be gentle in the way you go about the process. The following are some tips to help you succeed.
- Serve the proper eviction notice.
- Make sure that you haven’t accepted any rent payments. This will automatically establish a lease between you and the family member.
- Pay the family member to leave. For instance, consider paying their first month’s rent or moving costs.
However, if these efforts fail, then you may have no other option left but to begin formal eviction proceedings against the person. The following are the steps you must take when evicting a family member with no lease in Arizona.
Step #1: Serve the family member with an eviction notice.
To begin the eviction process against a family member with no lease in Arizona, you must serve them a 30-Day Notice to Vacate. The same notice also applies to tenants on a month-to-month lease. The notice gives the tenant a maximum of 30 calendar days to move out.
If the tenant doesn’t move out within the 30 days period, you can go to court and file an eviction lawsuit.
Step #2: File a complaint in a Justice Court.
After the 30 days are over, you can escalate the matter further by filing the lawsuit in a Justice Court.
You’ll need to submit two documents for the notarization to be successful: a Complaint Form and a Summons Form.
Step #3: The family member is served.
After your lawsuit has been notarized by the court’s clerk, copies of the Summons and Complaint will be issued. These will then need to be served to the tenant using a process server.
The process server, typically a sheriff or a constable, will need to serve the documents in a particular manner. The following are the options.
- Serve a copy in person.
- Leave a copy with someone who is of suitable age and lives together with the tenant.
- Deliver a copy to the tenant’s attorney, or any other agent authorized to act on their behalf.
You can generally expect the court hearing to be held no later than 5 days after the filing of the complaint.
Step #4: The family member files an answer.
Arizona tenants have a right to respond to their landlord’s allegations. The tenant must submit the answer on or before the initial appearance.
The family member can choose to fight or admit the allegations are true. If the tenant chooses to fight their eviction, the following are some of the defenses they can give.
- The eviction notice you served them had critical errors. For instance, it failed to mention the effective date of eviction.
- The eviction notice was served irregularly.
- There was a lease between you and the tenant.
Step #5: Hearing is held.
Once the complaint is successfully filed, you can expect the hearing to take place within 5 days. Both parties have the option to make the initial appearance via phone or video conference.
The judge can rule in your favor if any of the following happens.
- There is no lease between you and the tenant.
- The tenant fails to show up.
- The tenant fails to convince the court by not having a valid defense.
- The judgment falls in your favor after all parties have submitted their case.
If the judgment is in your favor, the court will issue you with a Writ of Restitution. This will give the family member 5 calendar days to move out after the judgment is entered. If they refuse to leave, the sheriff will have to evict them forcefully. The only exception here is if the tenant files an appeal which will delay their eviction.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Evicting a Family Member with No Lease in Arizona
Q: How do I evict a family member from my house in Arizona?
A: The process to follow will depend on whether the family member has a lease with you or not. If the tenant has a lease, then you must first have a legal ground for their eviction. For instance, failure to pay rent, illegal activity, or lease violation. Next, you must follow a specific eviction process based on any of the legal grounds.
If the tenant doesn’t have a lease, then you must give them a 30 days’ notice to leave. If they don’t leave, you can file an eviction action with the court and follow the process outlined in this blog.
Q: Can someone live with you without being on the lease in Arizona?
A: Absolutely! However, check the lease to see whether there is a guest policy. If there is none, then you may not be required to get permission for overnight guests. That being said, under Arizona law, a guest may be able to acquire a legal tenant status after 29 days.
Q: How long does it take to evict someone in AZ?
A: From start to finish, an eviction in Arizona can be completed in one to six weeks. It can also take longer depending on the reason and whether the tenant fights it.
Q: How many days notice must be given to evict in Arizona?
A: This will depend on the violation the tenant has committed. If for nonpayment of rent, for instance, then you must serve them a 5 days notice.
Luckily for landlords, evicting a family member with no lease in Arizona is a fairly straightforward process. Just make sure to follow the process down to the letter to avoid potential delays and maximize your chances of success.
Disclosure: The content herein isn’t a substitute for advice from a professional attorney. It’s only meant to serve educational purposes. If you have a specific question, kindly seek expert attorney services.
Sources: Arizona Landlord and Tenant Act, https://www.azcourts.gov/legalinfohub/Legal-Info-Hub/Legal-Info-Sheets/Legal-Info-Sheets-Landlord-Tenant-Disputes-Eviction/Non-Payment-of-Rent, https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/the-eviction-process-arizona-rules-landlords-property-managers.html,
Hi, I’m Kelvin Nielsen, an experienced landlord and accomplished real estate lawyer. My focus is on answering your questions about renting in the hopes of making your life as a renter or a landlord a bit easier.