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How Should Landlords in Phoenix Deal with Lease Violations?

A lease agreement between a landlord and tenant is legally binding. Therefore, when a lease violation occurs, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to take action. But how should landlords in Phoenix deal with lease violations?

Learn how rental property owners should deal with lease violations in Phoenix.

Ignoring lease violations can send tenants the message that they can get away with anything, such as property damage, late rent payments, and unauthorized guests. Landlords must deal with these violations accordingly to show that there are consequences to breaking lease terms.

Some lease violations are less severe than others. Knowing how to deal with certain lease violations, especially when state laws are involved, is what separates an amateur landlord from a successful and experienced one. 

By the end of this blog post, you’ll understand how to deal compliantly with lease violations, both minor and severe, from your tenants in Phoenix.  

What is a Lease Violation?

A lease violation is when a tenant violates a stated term in the lease agreement. 

The lease agreement sets out a list of terms that the tenant and landlord must abide by during the stated term when the tenant lives in the rental property. 

Common lease violations include:

  • Unauthorized pets 
  • Late or non-payment of rent
  • Property damage
  • Failure to maintain property
  • Noise complaints
  • Illegal activity
  • Unauthorized guests 

Landlords should understand the difference between dealing with minor and severe lease violations. Not every violation should result in an eviction notice, especially on the first offense. 

How to Deal with Minor Lease Violations

Let’s face it; tenant turnover is expensive, time-consuming, and could result in a lengthy vacancy. 

If your Phoenix tenant makes a minor lease violation, it’s best to remedy the situation and find some common ground rather than start the eviction process. 

Minor Lease Violation Examples

Some examples of minor lease violations that do not require an eviction on the first offense include:

Of course, if there are multiple violations after warnings, then the landlord should consider taking further, more serious action. 

Unauthorized guests are a common lease violation.

Send a Written Warning

When a tenant violates the lease in a minor way, the best thing a landlord can do to deal with it is to send a written warning. 

In this warning, the landlord should state the following information:

  • Tenant’s name
  • Property address
  • Date of notice
  • Date of violation
  • Lease term that has been violated

This warning should also state that the violation must be remedied within a certain number of days, or further action must be taken. 

For example, suppose a tenant has an authorized pet on the property. In that case, the landlord can either suggest the tenant re-home the animal or pay an additional pet deposit each month, allowing the animal to stay.

Finding a solution to a minor lease violation is ideal to save the tenancy and maximize ROI. 

How to Deal with Serious Lease Violations

When facing the issue of dealing with serious lease violations, it is best to begin the eviction process in Arizona immediately. 

Examples of Serious Lease Violations

Some examples of serious lease violations that should result in an eviction include:

  • Non-payment of rent
  • Illegal activity
  • Failure to remedy previous violations

If your tenant has a history of ignoring written warnings for minor lease violations, then it’s time to move forward with more serious consequences. 

Start the Eviction Process

The best way to show tenants that you are serious about their lease violations is to begin the eviction process. However, it’s crucial to understand that landlords must abide by strict laws and timelines to conduct a complaint eviction. 

Step 1: Notice of Termination

In Arizona, landlords must present the tenant with a written notice of termination. This must be either hand-delivered to the tenant or sent by certified mail to the rental property address or the tenant’s last known address. 

The notice of termination also allows tenants to remedy the lease violation or leave the property in a specific time period. These time periods are as follows: 

  • Notice to Pay Rent – 5 days 
  • Notice of Property Damage or Maintenance – 5 days
  • Lease Violations – 10 days
  • Second Violation During Tenancy – 10 days
  • Illegal Activity – Immediate Action

Remember, if the tenant agrees to solve the issue, such as paying the rent, getting rid of unauthorized guests, etc., then they may stay on the property, and the eviction process is avoided. 

Step 2: File Eviction Lawsuit

If the tenant does not remedy the situation or leave the property in the time allotted in the written notice, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit with the local court. 

This is a good time to consider hiring a landlord-tenant lawyer to assist with the eviction.

Step 3: Attend Court Proceedings

Landlords will have a day in court to present evidence of the tenant’s lease violations and state their case before a judge. 

During this court proceeding, the judge will determine whether the eviction is lawful or not and grant a decision.

Step 4: Request a Writ of Restitution

If the tenant still lives on the property, the landlord may request a writ of restitution five days after winning the eviction lawsuit. 

This forces the tenant to leave the property. If they have yet to return for their belongings in 14 days, then the landlord may dispose of them as they see fit. 

How to Avoid Lease Violations and Evictions

Hiring a Phoenix property manager can help stop lease violations.

The last thing landlords want to deal with is problematic tenants that result in lease violations and possible evictions. Fortunately, there are methods to avoid them.

Thorough Tenant Screening

Conduct a thorough tenant screening before allowing a potential tenant to sign a lease and move into your Phoenix rental property. 

Review their credit score and history, background checks, and tenant references. Speak with their current employer and previous landlords to verify they can pay rent each month and will take care of the property. 

Hire a Property Manager

In most cases, rental property owners and landlords are not real estate experts. They see a lucrative real estate investment opportunity and jump on it. For this reason, it’s a good idea to hire a property manager to maintain the property and manage tenant relations. 

A property manager will screen tenants, conduct routine property inspections, coordinate maintenance, and follow through on evictions if necessary. 

For part-time landlords, property managers are a savior to their investment and can even maximize their earnings overall! 

Find High-Quality Tenants in 30 Days or Less with Stratton Vantage Property Management

Say goodbye to bad tenants and lease violations once and for all with Stratton Vantage Property Management

Our team of real estate professionals is ready to find the highest quality tenants for your Phoenix rental property. With our innovative property marketing and in-depth screening process, you won’t have to worry about evictions or lease violations. 

In the off-chance that there is a violation, you don’t have to sweat it. We’ll take care of everything! 

If you found this article helpful, read Why Landlords Should Report Rent Payments to Credit Bureaus, next! 

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