You can sell your property, but you can’t sell your tenants. You’ll need to get them out before you can sell the property. Great tenants will be understanding. Let them know as soon as possible that you won’t be renewing the lease simply because you’re no longer interested in being a landlord. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
Offer to write them a letter of recommendation that notes their exemplary tenant status that they can provide to new potential landlords. Give them the option to end their lease without penalty and offer them their full security deposit back. You can’t make great tenants leave, but you can make it easier for them.
If you need to evict bad tenants, make sure you’re doing so in accordance with Arizona law. You can evict with as little as 24 hours of notice in serious situations. If blatantly unlawful behavior (such as irresponsible gun use or drug dealing), substantial damage to the property, or serious violence has transpired on the property, a 24 hour notice is all that is necessary. Everything else falls under a 5 day or 10 day notice.
If your reason for eviction is nonpayment, you must first begin with a five day notice to pay the rent or face eviction. Five day notices can also be used for violations of lease agreements that can be considered health and safety risks. This includes an excess of trash on the property, or even damage to the wiring in the home. Ten day notices are for minor lease violations, such as a dog for which a deposit was not paid or a tenant living in the home who was never properly added to the lease.
In every scenario except for an emergency scenario, the notice is for the amount of time the tenant has to either comply or willfully leave before the eviction lawsuit will begin. Most tenants don’t want to go through the trouble of being evicted via the court system, so those unwilling to comply will sometimes leave voluntarily. Make sure you’re directly serving the notice to someone on the lease, sending it by registered mail, or affixing it to the door. Keep a copy of the notice and prepare a written statement about its delivery for your records.
If the tenant doesn’t comply and cannot use a defense (such as claiming discrimination or retaliatory eviction), you need to have a document prepared called a forcible detainer. This document outlines the reasons for eviction, the service of your compliance notice, a list of all tenants on the lease, an outline of the money owed to you by the tenant (including your legal fees), and a writ of restitution.
This notice needs to be served at least two days before the court date, and it must be served by a process server. The tenant is required to provide the judge with a written response and pay all applicable fees. If they don’t, the court will place a default judgement in your favor. After the judgement, the tenant has not left after six days, the writ of restitution can be given to the police, who may forcibly remove tenants from the property.
After this has occurred, you’re free to remove any property the tenants have left behind, change the locks, and disconnect the utilities. It is imperative that you wait until after the writ is used and law enforcement has removed the tenants, as self eviction measures are illegal in Arizona. [/read]