Nov 19, 2014

Do I Have to Provide Air-Conditioning and Heat to Tenants?

Under Arizona Law is a Landlord Required to Provide Heating and Cooling to Tenants?

The simple answer is yes, you do need to provide heating and cooling for your tenants.

A.R.S. § 33-1324(A)(4) of the Arizona Landlord-Tenant Act states in part:  Landlord is to "Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning..."

A.R.S. § 33-1324(A)(6) of the Arizona Landlord-Tenant Act states in part:  Landlord is to provide "reasonable heat and reasonable air-conditioning or cooling where such units are installed and offered, when required by seasonal weather conditions..."

If you are a landlord in Arizona and the A/C unit breaks down in the middle of the summer, you better fix the air-conditioner as fast as possible! You can create real problems for yourself if you don't. It gets so hot in the summer that people and pets can suffer serious injury if they're left in a house without any cooling. Especially if there are young children or the elderly.

A.R.S. § 33-1364 and A.R.S. § 33-1365 provides a list of financial damages an Arizona landlord is responsible for if they do not comply with the above statutes.

In addition to opening up yourself to legal problems it makes financial sense to maintain heating and cooling for your tenants. Turnover with tenants is very expensive for the landlord. Not only do you have to rehab the property but there is the cost of finding the new tenants and possible vacancies while you look for them.

If you tenants are comfortable and happy there is a greater likelihood that they will pay their rent on time and stay in the property for a longer period. If your tenants are uncomfortable, they will vacate at their earlier opportunity.

If you have any questions about your responsibilities as a landlord please call us at: 480-344-4035.

Nov 17, 2014

Arizona Eviction Timeline

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Arizona?

Generally, the eviction process begins when a tenant fails to pay rent.  The first step to evicting a tenant in Arizona for failure to pay rent is to provide them with a Five-day notice.

A landlord has two options when serving a Five-day notice. First, the Five-day notice may be hand delivered to the tenant if they will sign and accept a copy. Secondly, the Five-day notice may be sent to the tenant via certified mail.

The Five-day notice is deemed accepted via certified mail either the date the tenant signs for the notice or five days after it is sent. So if a tenant waits 3 days to sign for the certified letter we must wait 3-days plus the 5-days.

If the tenant fails to pay the sum due within the five day time period the next step is to file a forcible detainer action.

The eviction action must be held within 3 to 6 days from the time the Complaint is filed with the court. If the tenant does not have any valid legal defense for failing to pay rent (and there are very few) the landlord will be awarded a judgment for the money owed and possession.

From the date of the hearing, the tenant has 6 calendar days to vacate the property. If the tenant does not vacate the property within the 6 days allotted a Writ of Restitution may be requested.

So it takes approximately 21 days from start-to-finish to evict a tenant in Arizona.

If you have any questions about the eviction process please call us at: 480-344-4035.

Nov 13, 2014

Is Tenant Really Going to Vacate? Should I Cancel the Eviction Hearing?

Tenants will often promise landlords that they are going to leave by a certain date. These landlords will then ask me what I think about just dropping the eviction and letting the tenants leave on their own.

While it is true, a tenant may just leave the property without actually being evicted. However, it has been my experience that most tenants won't leave until they're forced out. So you may be taking a costly gamble if you stop the eviction process before obtaining a judgment.

Some benefits to going through with the eviction are:
  • Getting a judgment against your tenant is a very valuable tool. It increases the odds of you recovering past due rent, late fees, court costs, and attorney's fees. Plus the eviction judgment can be used to garnish wages, levy bank accounts, or place liens on property.
  • Additionally, an eviction judgment requires the tenant to vacate the property within 6 calendar days from the date of the hearing. If the tenant doesn't leave then you are able to file for a writ of restitution. 
  • Writ of Restitution:  If the tenants don't leave the property after the eviction hearing then we are able to file a Writ of Restitution and a Constable will physically remove them from the house.
  • ANY & ALL OCCUPANTS: An eviction judgment requires everyone, not just signatories of the lease agreement, to vacate the property. I've seen cases where the known tenants moved out and their friends continued living in the property. If you follow through with the eviction then you don't have to worry about this.
Benefits of not going through with the eviction are........

Nov 4, 2014

When Can a Tenant Legally Break a Lease Agreement?



Generally speaking tenants cannot unilaterally breach a lease agreement without recourse. However, there are a few special exceptions provided for our members of the Armed Forces and victims of domestic violence. Watch this short video to learn more.