In Arizona, the eviction process may take only 26 days. In other states, it can take over three months. In order to meet that 26-day timeframe, there are certain criteria that must be met. Before you begin an eviction, it’s very important that you know the court processes and you prepare for what is going to happen.
Five Day Notice to Pay or Quit
The first step is to create a Five Day Notice to Pay or Quit. Even though this notice period is five days, you must also account for five mailing days. So, the tenant gets five mailing days plus five days in order to cure this notice. Curing the notice means the tenant needs to pay all of the fees and overdue rent in full. If the tenant fails to do this, we turn the entire file over to our lawyer with the notice, the lease, and the current ledger with the amount owed. After the lawyer has received the file, they will file for a date in court where the documentation will be presented to a judge. The lawyer we use works very fast, and it will take as few as two or three days to get a court date. Some lawyers may take longer, and you really do not want that.
Court Hearings and Forcible Detainers
If the tenant has not paid in full at court or doesn’t show up for the hearing, the judge will automatically rule in our favor. We will receive what is called a Forcible Detainer Entry, which allows us to take back possession of the property. At this point, we hope the tenant has moved out, but that is not always the case.
Obtaining a Writ of Restitution
Next, we go back to the courthouse and file for a Writ of Restitution. This Writ gets the constable working on our side. The constable can take up to seven days (but in most cases, it is sooner) to call us and schedule a time for us to perform a lockout. We must then go out to the property with our locksmith and the constable to physically lock the tenant out of the property. If the tenant is still in the property and leaves behind possessions, we do have to allow them 14 days in order to regain their belongings. If the property left behind is less than what it would cost to store them, we do not have to hold these items, and we can dispose of them right away.
Helpful Eviction Tips
There are a few key things to always remember about the eviction process: In the event you want to file the notice early, you do not have to wait for the grace period to expire. You can do this the day after the rent is due. If the tenant does leave possessions in the property, it is very important you store these items for 14 days and allow the tenants an opportunity to retrieve them. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at Service Star Realty.