When working with delinquent tenants who have not paid rent, you need to be familiar with the Arizona Landlord and Tenant Act. This law was enacted to protect you as a landlord and also to protect tenants. As a landlord, make sure you are familiar with the rules and regulations in that law.
Rent Provisions in Lease
You need to have a lease that explains to your tenant the responsibilities of paying rent. The lease must include how much rent is due every month, when it is expected to be paid, and what the consequences will be if it’s not paid on time. This needs to be in place and documented before you begin to collect overdue rent.
Serving Legal Notice
When the rent is not paid on time and the tenant is still living in the property, you need to serve the tenant legal notice. This means notifying the tenant in writing that rent was not paid and either the tenant has to leave or the rent must be caught up. The notice must be served legally by hand, certified mail or registered mail. Be vigilant and always serve your notice despite promises to pay or excuses.
Filing a Court Complaint
After the notice is served, the tenant should pay or vacate. If neither of those things happens you will need to file a complaint in the court to repossess that property. Normally, we use an attorney for this because they are local, quick and efficient. It will save you a lot of time and money when you use an attorney. The lawyer will file a complaint, and the court will find the tenant guilty of violating the Landlord and Tenant Act. Once the judge finds that rent was not paid, a judgment will be issued for nonpayment of rent as well as legal costs. The court will also order immediate possession of your property. This provides the opportunity to file a Writ of Restitution within five calendar days.
When a tenant does not pay rent, it’s important to be consistent, act quickly and document everything. If you have any questions about collecting late rent, please contact us at Crest Premier Properties. We would love to hear from you.