If atenant is refusing to leave even after being told to vacate the property, what process do I need to pursue?

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If atenant is refusing to leave even after being told to vacate the property, what process do I need to pursue?

I have renter who is a friend and he did sign a rental agreement when he moved in. However I have since found out that the he is using illegal drugs.

Asked on October 25, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) First, you need to confirm that you have grounds to terminate your tenant's residency. If the lease itself says you can terminate it for drug use or illegal activity on premises, you clearly can. If not, look for a state  law giving you the right to terminate for drug use. (Below  I have a link that may help you, or at least provide a starting point.) If there is no law and no lease term that allows you to evict him for drug use, then you might not be able to evict him--as a general matter, doing illegal drugs does not, without more, allow eviction. (You could also look for other violations to provide grounds for terminating the tenancy--e.g. if he's disturbing the peace or other residients; if he's  not keeping his place up per the lease or is actively damaging property; etc.)

2) If you have grounds to evict him, you have to use  the formal court eviction process. The link below will have information about it.

http://www.azsos.gov/public_services/publications/residential_landlord_tenant_act/


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