Arizona has different laws and rules for evictions depending on the type of rental property. Here is an overview of the eviction rules and procedures for tenants renting a lot space in a mobile home park.
Mobile home parks are defined as parcels of land that have 4 or more mobile home spaces. Rented mobile homes and rented mobile home spaces are governed by the Arizona Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (A.R.S. Title 33 Chapter 11).
Grounds for Eviction and Required Notice
The landlord may not evict the tenant without good cause. Good cause” means:
- Material noncompliance with the rental agreement
- Non-payment of rent
- Change in use of land
- Clear and convincing evidence that the tenant has repeatedly violated the Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.
For noncompliance with the rental contract, the landlord must give the tenant written notice identifying the problems and informing the tenant that the rental agreement will terminate in 30 or more days if the tenant has not fixed the problems in 14 days.
For material noncompliance with the rental contract involving health and safety issues, the landlord must give the tenant a written notice identifying the problems and informing the tenant that the rental agreement will terminate in 20 or more days if the tenant has not fixed the problems in 10 days.
If the landlord believes the tenant has breached the rental agreement and that the violation is material, irreparable, and happened on the premises, the landlord can provide the tenant with notice of immediate termination of the rental agreement. In that scenario the landlord can file the eviction action the same day.
For nonpayment of rent cases, the landlord must give the tenant written notice that the rent is unpaid, and that the rental agreement will terminate if rent is not paid in 7 days.
A mobile home park landlord must give tenants at least 180 days written notice before a change in use or closure or redevelopment of the park (A.R.S. § 33-1476.01(A)).
If the tenant did not receive a termination notice and a chance to pay the rent and late fees, or the notice does not comply with the law or was not properly served, the court must dismiss the eviction action.
If the tenant materially breaches the lease or rental agreement in the same way two times during a 12-month period, the landlord can give the tenant a written Notice informing the tenant that if the tenant violates the lease or rental agreement in the same way again, the tenant will get a Final Notice and the landlord will be filing an eviction Complaint against the tenant and ending the lease or rental agreement in 30 days.
The Eviction Lawsuit
If the tenant does not comply with the notice, the landlord’s next step is to file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant (called a special detainer action). It starts with the landlord filing and serving a summons and complaint. The tenant is given an opportunity to respond by way of an answer. If the tenant fails to respond his default will be taken. If he responds, the matter will be set for hearing at which evidence and testimony is presented by both sides. The court renders a decision after the hearing, resulting in a judgment for one of the parties.
If the landlord wins, the court will issue a Writ of Restitution directing the sheriff or constable to physically remove the tenant from the premises. After the lockout, the tenant is not allowed to return to the premises. If the tenant wins, he will be allowed to remain at the premises.
Removal of the Mobile Home
After removing the occupants and their possessions from the mobile home, the mobile home is deemed abandoned but the tenant does not lose his or her ownership of the mobile home. He or she may remove the mobile home from the site, but only after receiving a formal clearance for removal from the landlord showing that all money owed has been paid or that the landlord and the tenant have otherwise agreed to the removal (A.R.S. § 33-1451).
Landlord Liability for Unlawful Eviction
If a mobile home park landlord unlawfully removes or excludes a tenant from the premises or wilfully diminishes services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of electric, gas, water, or other essential service to the tenant, the tenant may either (1) recover possession of the premises or terminate the rental agreement and (in either case) (2) recover an amount equal to two months’ rent and twice the actual damages sustained by the tenant (A.R.S. § 33-1475). This double liability exposure underscores the need for landlords to dot their “I’s” and cross their “t’s” when carrying out a mobile home park eviction.
Please contact Lynx Legal with any questions regarding the above, and for all your eviction needs. We can be reached at 888-441-2355 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also schedule a telephonic consultation on our website. Our experienced professionals are standing by to answer any questions or complete the intake if you are ready to start a case.