How Do I Evict a Family Member from My Arizona Property?

How Do I Evict a Family Member from My Arizona Property?

What is the required procedure in Arizona to evict a family member who has overstayed his or her welcome, when there is no lease agreement and the family member refuses to voluntarily move?  In Arizona, the steps needed for this type of eviction are substantially the same as the procedure the landlord follows for other types of residential evictions.  The landlord must give the family member proper notice of the eviction, and thereafter must successfully prosecute an unlawful detainer action against the family member.  You cannot use self help eviction tactics like locking the tenant out without a court order. 

Step 1 – Prepare and Serve Proper Notice

To begin the eviction process against a family member with no lease in Arizona, you must serve them a 30-Day Notice to Vacate. The same notice also applies to tenants on a month-to-month lease. The notice gives the tenant at least 30 calendar days to move out.

Step 2 – Prepare, File and Serve Summons & Complaint

If 30 days has elapsed and the family member is still there, the next step in the eviction process is to prepare, file and serve the unlawful detainer summons, complaint and other required documents.  The clerk will endorse the filing and provide you with a copy to serve upon the tenant.  The process server, typically a sheriff or a constable, will serve the documents by personally delivering them to the tenant, leaving a copy with a resident of suitable age, or by delivering a copy to the tenant’s attorney, or other authorized agent. 

Step 3 – Tenant’s Response to the Complaint

Arizona tenants have a right to respond to their landlord’s allegations. The tenant must submit the answer on or before the initial appearance. The family member can choose to fight or admit the allegations are true. If they contest the case, some common defenses include asserted irregularities in the Notice, improper service of the notice and that the parties have an existing, unexpired lease agreement.

Step 4 – Attend the Hearing

You can generally expect the court hearing to be held no later than 5 days after the filing of the complaint. The parties typically have the right to make the initial appearance via phone or video conference. The judge can rule in your favor if the tenant does not appear and/or does not present the evidence required for a defense verdict. 

Step 5 – Obtain Writ of Restitution

If you win the case the next step is to secure a writ of restitution, which directs the sheriff or constable to forcibly remove the family member from the premises.  The family member can file an appeal, but it must be accompanied by a financial bond if the tenant wants to remain at the dwelling pending resolution of the appeal. 

From start to finish, an eviction in Arizona can be completed in one to six weeks. It can also take longer depending on the reason and whether the tenant fights it.

Evicting a family member with no lease in Arizona is a fairly straightforward process. Just make sure to strictly follow the process to avoid potential delays and maximize your chances of success.

If you are an Arizona landlord and have questions regarding the above, please contact Lynx Legal at 888-441-2355 or  You may also schedule a telephonic consultation on our website to discuss your specific eviction issues and/or start your case.  Our experienced professionals are standing by to assist in any way we can.

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