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.
Andy Harrison says
Regardless of the type of property you are renting out, you need to always be sure that the tenants pay rent. Obviously if they don’t, then you need to take immediate action. I’d also see about contacting them. Perhaps they went out of town and aren’t home to pay it or something else came up. If they didn’t pay it because they didn’t want to, then by all means go to the courts.
Crest Premier Properties says
Andy, we are on the same page. We always try to reach the tenant after we send out the 5 day notice to see if they are able to pay. Thanks for your input.
Nash Rich says
I had a roommate that was always putting off his rent, and I honestly don’t know how he got away with it for so long. The manager was a really nice guy, and I knew him well, but even he got to a point where he was going to have to start taking it to the legal level. Eventually one day, he rushed in and packed up all his stuff and left as soon as he could without notice. A year later, I saw him walking on the side of the road as with a backpack with a roll and sleeping back attached to it. It looked like he hadn’t showered in months.
Crest Premier Properties says
Nash, thanks for sharing your story.