May 16, 2016

Suing a Tenant For Rent--After They Have Vacated the Property

Relatively speaking, forcible detainer actions--eviction lawsuits--in Arizona are a quick and inexpensive way to obtain a judgment against a tenant. If an Arizona tenant vacates the property prior to the eviction hearing then we are not able to continue to with the lawsuit. You can't try and evict someone when you know they are no longer living in the property.

However, even if the tenant has vacated the property there is still an available remedy to try and seek a judgment against your former tenant. In this situation you may sue the former tenant under a breach of contract. The theory behind this is, a lawsuit existed (the lease agreement) and the contract was broken.

Unlike an eviction lawsuit a civil lawsuit is very slow moving and the attorneys' fees are much more expensive. Depending on many factors; whether the tenants counter-sue, hire legal counsel, are difficult to serve, and an extensive amount of discovery is required the typical case can range between 6 to 16 months! Much longer than the average 21 - 28 days required for a residential eviction.

In 99% of the instances it does not make economic sense to try and sue your former tenant through a breach of contract with a civil lawsuit. It's just not worth the time, expense, and hassle of trying to get a judgment against them. Lastly, don't forget, just because you actually obtain a judgment against your former tenant doesn't mean that you'll be able to collect on it! Often the judgment isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

East Mesa Justice Court - Mesa, Arizona

This morning I was at forcible detainer hearing in the East Mesa Justice Court and realized that I have never written a blog post about this court. The East Mesa Justice Court is located at: 4811 E. Julep Mesa, AZ 85205. Their phone number is 480-985-0188. Like many other courts in Arizona it is located in an otherwise retail strip-mall.

May 12, 2016

Notice of Abandonment - Has the Tenant Left my Property?

Occasionally we receive phone calls from one of our landlord clients because they believe the tenant may have abandoned the property. The landlord has; called, emailed, and texted the tenant but doesn't hear anything back. They landlord may even have driven by the property to see what's going on and not able to reach any definitive conclusion if the property has been abandoned or not.

If you believe the tenant has abandoned the property but aren't sure there is a simple solution. Go to our web page with free Arizona landlord - tenant forms and download the Notice of Abandonment document. Do not just go to the property and change the locks. This can create a lot of problems for you as a landlord if the tenant is in fact still living in the property. Don't take any unnecessary risks and just use the Notice of Abandonment!