Landlords Can Serve Multiple Notices to Troublesome Residents

Posted on August 1, 2012 by Andrew M. Hull

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The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act provides for a variety of notices for residents who violate their lease or community rules and regulations.  However, landlords can serve multiple notices if the circumstances warrant them.

Types of Notices
Some of the more common notices landlords use include:

  • 30-day notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy or not renew a lease
  • Access notice to enter an apartment
  • Abandonment notices

If you have a resident who commits several breaches of the lease, state law allows a landlord to address each situation with a different notice.  Also, if you currently have a court date pending for one breach and the resident engages in a different violation, you can serve the appropriate notice for that breach.

For example, you have a court date for nonpayment of rent and then the police arrest the resident for illegal drugs in the apartment.  You should serve the resident an immediate eviction notice for the criminal activity.  Then, at your eviction hearing, ask the judge to give you the 12 – 24 hour move-out order because of the subsequent breach of criminal activity.

The court can amend or add this new claim to the nonpayment issue.  In this case, it is worth it to try for the 12 – 24 hour move-out order.  The worst that can happen is the resident is evicted for nonpayment and has to move five days after court.

Another Example
Consider another example in which you have a resident on a month-to-month lease or have a lease expiring soon.  The resident’s neighbors complain of excessive noise, traffic in and out of the apartment, late night parties and an unauthorized pet.  The neighbors suspect drug activity, but you have no proof.

In this case, you initially should serve a 10-day noncompliance notice to correct the noise, traffic and pet problem.  You also should serve the 30-day non-renewal notice effective for the end of the lease term, but a minimum of 30 days from the next periodic rental due date.  If the rent is due and not paid, serve a five-day nonpayment notice.

Of course, you can refuse rent if the resident offers it because of the noncompliance notice.  You may also wish to serve a two-day access notice to enter the apartment to check for pets and possible damages.  If the resident refuses access, this is possible grounds to immediately terminate the lease.

If you enter and find property damage or evidence of illegal drugs, you can serve an immediate eviction notice.  Finally, if rent is delinquent and there is no sign of the resident, you can, under appropriate circumstances, serve an abandonment notice.

As an example, consider the following:

Leo Nerd Decapitated and his friend, Brad Pitts, rent an apartment at the Stars Apartments for a lease term of six months.  The manager, Holly Wood, informs Leo Nerd Decapitated and Brad Pitts that the apartment community does not permit pets or additional occupants.

Five months later, Holly Wood receives a complaint from Lassie Collie, a neighbor of Leo and Brad, of loud parties and a dog barking all night.  Holly Wood serves a 10-day noncompliance notice, along with a notice to not renew the lease.

Leo Nerd Decapitated refuses to pay rent since he assumes he and Brad are going to have to move anyway.  Holly Wood serves a five-day nonpayment notice.  Later that day, Clint Leasewood, a police officer, tells her that he arrested two of Leo and Brad’s guests, Adam Sandbag and Richard Gearshift, for possession of illegal drugs in the apartment.

Holly Wood serves an immediate eviction notice, and Judge David Anchovy gives her an immediate eviction order plus all rent owed.


PROPERTY MANAGEMENT BOOTCAMP

Tuesday, August 21 | 8:30am – 4:30pm
Tucson Association of REALTORS®
Register Online | Class Flyer

Whether you are an active property manager or have found yourself in the role of “accidental property manager,” we encourage you to attend this event. The course covers:

  • Financial accountability — keeping accurate accounts and providing itemized records for landlords and tenants
  • Managing service orders — tracking services for completion and assigning invoices to the correct properties
  • Landlord/Tenant Act — knowing it inside and out, understanding the rights of both landlords and tenants
  • E&O insurance — understanding coverage at the brokerage level for property management services
  • and much more!

Instructors: Steve Urie, Mike Mulvena, Denise Holliday
CE: 3-contract law/3-disclosure

Andrew M. Hull

Bio:

Andrew M. Hull, attorney at law, has engaged in landlord/tenant practice since 1975 and is the author of www.doctorevictor.com. Hull has served as Justice of the Peace Pro Tem since 1989 and is the author of Arizona Rental Rights (currently in 6th edition), Arizona Rental Housing Blue Book (1987) and the Arizona Multihousing Legal Reference Handbook (1996). In addition to being an instructor for the Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) courses, Arizona Department of Real Estate and Arizona School of Real Estate, he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Multihousing Association and Brookline College.

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