Question: I let a friend move in with a verbal agreement that she would pay rent when she got a job - it has been a year and no job and no rent. Do I still need to go to court to evict her if she has never paid anything?
Arizona Revised Statutes (hereinafter ARS) 33-1310 sets forth a definition of a rental agreement that includes written, verbal or those that are implied at law. When an agreement to rent has been made even if it is oral then the procedures of ARS 33-1368 must be followed to evict a nonpaying tenant.
ARS 33-1368. Noncompliance with rental agreement by tenant; failure to pay rent; utility discontinuation; liability for guests; definition subsection B states as follows: A tenant may not withhold rent for any reason not authorized by this chapter. If rent is unpaid when due and the tenant fails to pay rent within five days after written notice by the landlord of nonpayment and the landlord's intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid within that period of time, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement by filing a special detainer action pursuant to section 33-1377.
Before the filing of a special detainer action the rental agreement shall be reinstated if the tenant tenders all past due and unpaid periodic rent and a reasonable late fee set forth in a written rental agreement.
After a special detainer action is filed the rental agreement is reinstated only if the tenant pays all past due rent, reasonable late fees set forth in a written rental agreement, attorney fees and court costs.
After a judgment has been entered in a special detainer action in favor of the landlord, any reinstatement of the rental agreement is solely in the discretion of the landlord.
Information, limited assistance and many forms are available at self help centers, locations and additional information can be found at the Superior Court's website.
These self help centers are a good starting place for this type of problem.
A referral for an attorney, if needed, may be obtained by contacting Referral Services at 602-263-8856.
Additional legal resources may be found at the Arizona State Bar Association website.
Further information may be available by calling Lawyers on Call, the 1st Tuesday of the month between 5 and 7 pm.
September 05, 2008