Obligations and Remedies

Evictions Obligations and Remedies
Landlord and Tenant Information

The material on this page is not legal advice and is informational only. Reliance on what is printed or supplied here is no guarantee that a judge will see the case your way. This is an interpretation of portions of the sections of state law which make up the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

The following does not apply to mobile home park evictions, recreational vehicle park evictions, and certain subsidized housing. These types of dwellings have more specialized rules and requirements. Questions about these types may be answered at the Arizona Department of Housing.

Resources for Tenants

Just as tenants have an obligation to pay rent and maintain the property in good condition, landlords have similar obligations to respond appropriately to tenant complaints and supply a dwelling that is safe and sound. See ARS § 33-1321 - 1331 for full details.

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.

Tenants have significant rights if their landlord is refusing to make repairs.

Arizona does not allow tenants to “rent strike.” That means a tenant cannot stop paying  rent merely because they are having a problem with their landlord. Instead, the tenant must first give the landlord an opportunity to fix the problem.

For minor issues (e.g. cracked window, dripping faucet), if a landlord fails to make repairs, the tenant can notify the landlord of his intention to repair the problem at the landlord’s expense. If the landlord does not fix the problem within ten days from receiving the notice, the tenant can hire a licensed contractor, submit a repair bill to the landlord, and deduct some or all of the cost from the rent. See A.R.S. § 33-1363 for full details.

For something that qualifies as an essential service (e.g. running water, gas and/or electrical service, reasonable amounts of hot water, heat and/or air conditioning), Arizona law gives a tenant has several options; but many of them are not realistic such as breaking the lease after five days. A tenant’s best option may be to give a five-day cure notice to the landlord and if necessary, find substitute housing, like a motel, during the period of the landlord’s noncompliance. See A.R.S. § 33-1361 for full details. 

Domestic violence victims often need the flexibility to move quickly. 

If a tenant is a victim of domestic violence, she or he can break the lease by providing written notice to the landlord. As proof, the tenant should attach either a copy of the Order of Protection or the police report. See ARS § 33-1318 for full details.  

A tenant who falsely claims to be a victim of domestic violence in order to end the lease early, may be charged with a crime and may be required to pay the landlord treble damages.

If you receive a five-day notice claiming that you owe rent, your landlord is considering an eviction action.  Contact your landlord immediately and try to make payment arrangements.    

Arizona is a “pay and stay” jurisdiction.  The tenant can pay all of the rent and any late fees any time before an eviction lawsuit is filed and avoid eviction.

If the tenant does not pay within those five days, the landlord may file the eviction action and then the tenant must pay all past due rent, late fees, attorney’s fees, and court costs.

If the tenant pays these costs anytime before a judgment is entered- even during the court hearing- eviction can be avoided and the case will be dismissed.

After a judgment has been entered, reinstatement of the lease is solely in the landlord’s discretion.

Resources for Landlords

Every residential eviction action requires a landlord to first give the tenant a notice explaining what (if anything) the tenant can do to avoid an eviction, including moving out before a court case is filed. 

The length of notice used depends on the reason for the potential eviction. See ARS § 33-1368 for full details. 

Most evictions are for non-payment of rent. Prior to filing an eviction action, the landlord must give the tenant a five-day "cure" notice. This notice must:

  1. state the amount of any unpaid rent and any other amount due;
  2. notify the tenant of the landlord’s intent to terminate the lease if the amount due is not received within five days after the notice is given to the tenant, and
  3. inform the tenant that if the amount due is not paid, that the tenant must then surrender possession of the residence. 

After the time period has run out, the landlord can file suit.

If there is a noncompliance by the tenant which materially affects health and safety, the landlord may give written notice to the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach. 

The notice will specify that the tenant has five days to correct the breach or the rental agreement will terminate and an eviction case may be filed. If the tenant remedies the problem before five days are up, the rental agreement will not terminate. 

If there is a second breach of the same or similar nature, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement with ten days notice, whether or not the tenant fixes the breach.

Examples of a health and safety violation include failure to properly dispose of trash, or failure to report maintenance issues.

If the landlord alleges a "material noncompliance" with the rental agreement, the tenant must receive a ten-day cure notice.

The notice is required to state the acts or omissions that constitute the breach and is required to state that if the breach is not remedied within ten days, then the rental agreement will terminate.

Examples of a material non-compliance of the rental agreement include unauthorized occupants or unauthorized pets.    

If the landlord alleges that the tenant has committed a material and irreparable breach, then the landlord can deliver a notice of immediate termination of the rental agreement.  These cases are sometimes called an “immediate.”  The complaint can be filed on or after the same day. 

In these cases, the landlord is most likely alleging that the tenant is involved in criminal conduct.

Sometimes a rental property may be in foreclosure and on the market at a trustee's sale.

Justice Courts do not have jurisdiction to determine ownership of real estate and do not hear eviction actions taking place after a trustee’s sale. 

State law mandates that these evictions are to be filed in superior court if the property has been sold through the foreclosure of a mortgage, deed of trust or contract for conveyance of real property.