Eviction Overview

A lease or rental agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant. In exchange for paying rent and doing whatever else the lease or rental agreement requires, the tenant gets to live on the property.
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If the landlord violates the contract in a significant way, the tenant has various options.

If the tenant violates the contract in a significant way – for example, by failing to pay their rent in full and on time – the landlord has various options. One of the landlord’s options is to try to have the tenant evicted.
It is important to know that the purpose of an eviction hearing is to determine if the landlord has a legal right to have the tenant removed from their home. If a tenant has a legal defense to eviction, it would be shared at the eviction hearing and with the Judge. The eviction hearing is not a good place to raise broader issues of justice and fairness.
If a landlord wants to try to have a tenant evicted, the landlord must follow a process. The process generally includes the following steps:
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1. Landlord providing Notice to the tenant about the lease or rental agreement not being followed.
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2. Tenant has the opportunity to correct the issue (except in serious or criminal violations of the lease).
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3. If not corrected, the landlord can file a Complaint with the court to evict the tenant.
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4. The tenant is issued a Summons by the court for a hearing about the Complaint.
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5. The landlord and tenant have a Hearing with a Judge about the Complaint.
6. The Judge decides whether the landlord or tenant should have possession of the property and any money owed and issues a Judgment. The judgment determines whether the tenant is evicted.
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7. If the Judge determines the tenant is evicted, the landlord can request a Writ of Restitution to remove the tenant from the property and change the locks.
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The eviction process provides the landlord and the tenant with certain duties and rights. For a tenant, these include the right to be properly notified, the right to try and fix violations of a rental agreement that are fixable, and the right to defend yourself in court against the landlord’s complaints.

A tenant may not correct violations that are irreparable violations or have repeated (3 or more) lease violations in a year.
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This website was developed to help you understand what your duties and rights are at each step in the process.
  • If you have fallen behind on your rent,
  • If you believe your landlord may try to have you evicted for nonpayment or any other violation of your lease or rental agreement,
  • If you received a written Notice from your landlord,
  • If you have been served with a Summons and eviction Complaint, or
  • If you have already had an eviction judgment entered against you.
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If you are facing an eviction, a lawyer may be able to help. Visit the Legal Help section of the website to connect with legal programs in your community.
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If you need help paying your rent or utilities, Arizona has programs that may be able to help. Visit the Get Help section of the website to connect with assistance programs in your community.