Tenant Eviction: What to Do When My Tenant Stops Paying Rent in Arizona

By Mark Brower | January 27th, 2015

In today’s blog, we are answering questions about the eviction process. Many new landlords want to know how eviction works and what happens if their tenant doesn’t pay rent. They perceive this as a worst case scenario, but it’s actually not as bad as you might think.

Payment Policy

The first thing you need to do is to have a good payment collection policy in place. You want to start the eviction process as early as possible in the month, so your payment policy has to reflect that intention. When you sign the lease with a tenant, explain that rent is due on the first of every month by 5pm. That’s what it says in the lease and there’s no grace period. Rent is considered late on the second of the month. Let your tenants know you will file a 5 Day Notice by certified mail to start the eviction process if rent is not received before the second day of the month.

That might seem harsh if you haven’t been a renter for a while but it’s the best way to do business. We always explain to our tenants that we want to have a respectful relationship but we need to run a business and treat everyone the same. They usually don’t take that personally.

5 Day Notice

Sending the 5 Day Notice on the second day of the month by certified mail is necessary because the court system requires a five day receipt period. They don’t see it as received by the tenants for five days after it’s sent out. Then, you have to wait the five days in the notice. So you’re actually planning on 10 days. Get the letter out on the second day because it means the soonest you can file for eviction is on the 12th of the month. In most cases, if you don’t have the rent by the 12th, you’ll want to evict for sure. Control the timing.

Use an Attorney

Attorneys know the eviction process well and they also have valuable relationships within the court system. Usually, evictions are open and shut cases. When you have unpaid rent, the judge will give you a Forceable Detainer, and you’ll also get a judgment. Attorneys do this in volume and they really understand the process. They’re also not as expensive as you might think. As a property management company we get billed at flat pricing rates that usually range from $250 – $500 depending on how far things go in court and with the constable.
In most cases, we can have your non-paying tenant evicted in 30 days. There are lots of scenarios that are worse than evictions. Dealing with bankruptcies or tenant damage from people who neglect or misuse your home are much bigger threats. If you have any questions, or you’d like some help with a problem you’re having, please contact us at Mark Brower Properties.