Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
You may be able to evict your roommate under the Arizona Residential Landlord & Tenant Act.
You may no longer want to continue living with your roommate for a number of reasons. They may have, for instance, stopped paying rent, violated the terms of the lease, or even caused a nuisance.
But now, how do you get them to leave? Well, if you’ve found yourself in such a dilemma, then this article is especially meant for you!
How to Evict a Roommate in Arizona
The exact eviction process will depend on whether the tenant is on the lease or not.
The Roommate is On the Lease
If the roommate is on the lease, then it means that they are a legal tenant. In the state of Arizona, someone can become a legal tenant in either of the following ways.
- If there is an oral agreement
- If a written agreement exists
- If payment of rent is accepted as rent
- If they have stayed on the unit for at least 29 days as a guest.
If the roommate meets any criteria, they would be considered a legal tenant. And in such a case, their removal must follow A.R.S. § 33-1368. Essentially, this will require the landlord to follow the proper tenant eviction process to remove the roommate.
The following is a basic overview of the process your landlord must follow.
- Have a legally justified reason to evict your roommate. For instance, nonpayment of rent, illegal activity, habitability violation, or no lease.
- Serve your roommate with an eviction notice. For instance, if the eviction is due to nonpayment of rent, then you must serve the roommate with a 5-Day Notice to Pay. This will give them up to 5 days to pay the due rent or move out. If they don’t, your landlord could continue the eviction process by moving to court.
- File a complaint in court and serve the roommate with a copy of the Summons and Complaint.
- Allow the roommate time to respond. This will them an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
- Attend court hearing for the judgment.
- If the judgment is in your landlord’s favor, then they will be issued with a Writ of Restitution.
- Removal of the roommate. The writ will give your roommate up to 5 days to leave. If they still refuse to leave on their own, the sheriff will have no other option but to evict them forcefully.
The Roommate is Not On the Lease
If the roommate is not on the lease and no longer has your permission or your landlord’s permission to stay in the property, then you or your landlord may be able to evict them as per A.R.S. § 33-1378.
Unlike the removal process of a legal tenant, A.R.S. § 33-1378 provides no such due process for a roommate not on the lease.
To remove the roommate, all you or your landlord would need to do is call the police to have them removed.
According to the statute, a “guests” is someone who isn’t a tenant and who resides at the property without the landlord’s permission. A few exceptions to this rule, however, exist. The roommate may be able to continue living on the property if:
- They are a domestic violence victim.
- They have a child who is enrolled in a school in the area.
- The guest has lived on the property past 29 days. Under Arizona law, a guest may be able to become a legal tenant after 29 days of living in the unit.
But generally speaking, though, Arizona landlords have a great deal of power when it comes to evicting roommates not on the lease.
Evicting a roommate in Arizona can become tricky. Especially, if your roommate might actually be a legal tenant. As such, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the law so as to follow due process.
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.
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.