Evicting a Tenant – What You Need to Know as a Rental Property Owner in Mesa, AZ
Russell Hathcock - Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Before evicting a tenant, there are some things you can look for that will help you identify a problem tenant. In a previous blog, we discussed the importance of a proper screening. You want the right tenant from the beginning. However, even when you place a great tenant, lives can change. People lose jobs and change jobs and get divorced. Good tenants can turn bad.
Identifying Potential Problems
What you really want to look for is someone who pays one day late early in the tenancy, and then the next month they pay a few days late, and a pattern begins to emerge. That usually tells me that they can’t afford the home. The income they’re bringing in isn’t enough to make ends meet. So, when you see that pattern and they are delayed and it’s the 15th or the 20th before they can pay, it’s usually a good indication that the tenant will eventually need to be evicted.
Property Management Mesa and Legal Help
When you decide to evict a tenant, start with a Five Day Notice, where they have to pay within five days or get out of the property. If they don’t pay, refer the matter to an attorney. As licensed real estate brokers, we do not represent landlords in court. We always outsource to an attorney who is licensed to represent you in court and get a judgment against a tenant.
At this point, most people will either leave the property and turn in the keys, or the court will give you five days after that judgment to exercise a Writ of Restitution, which is the right to physically remove a tenant. You’ll have to hire a constable who physically removes your evicted tenant. Most people are cooperative. They will be embarrassed, and they won’t want to deal with drama. Sometimes you’ll get a tenant who wants to protest and stay in the property, and that’s where a constable helps. Never barge into a property and try to physically remove someone yourself. Use your legal recourse.
Evictions for Lease Violations
Evictions also happen when a tenant breaches a lease. They might damage your property, move in unauthorized pets, or disturb your neighbors. In Arizona, you rectify this with a 10 Day Notice. Once you get that notice and follow up, you can take it to court and get an attorney involved. You basically follow the same pattern as you do with nonpayment of rent. If they still don’t fix the problem, you can physically remove them.
Some tenants move out but leave their stuff behind. In Arizona, there are very specific things you need to do before you can remove a tenant’s personal belongings. You cannot just have a garage sale or throw it away. This could happen any number of ways, so if you find yourself in this situation, get help.
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