This page has local legal information on residential (not commercial) renters’ issues. It is not legal advice, and you should check with your local legal aid and courts for current information.
This page was last updated on Dec 18th, 2022. It was reviewed by our volunteer attorney experts.
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Emergency Protections during COVID
Do renters have protections against eviction during the Covid-19 emergency?
Received a Warning Notice about Eviction?
Have you received a warning notice from your landlord, like a ‘Notice to Quit’ or a ‘Notice to Leave’? Find what options you have.
Facing an Eviction Lawsuit?
Has your landlord filed an eviction lawsuit in court? Have you received a Summons and Complaint? Learn what rights and options you have.
Behind on Rent?
Find local programs that can help you with housing costs, or work out a plan with your landlord.
Arizona's statewide emergency protections for renters have expired. Landlords may now try to sue tenants to evict them. If you are worried about an eviction, reach out as soon as possible to your local legal aid group. The lawyers may be able to help you find protections and services to deal with your eviction.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey had ordered a statewide delay on the enforcement of eviction actions, if you provide your landlord with a written notice of your COVID-19 hardship or health problems. It went into effect on March 24, 2020 and ended on October 30, 2020. Check here for updates.
Since emergency protections have expired in Arizona, then for renters:
Yes, Arizona renters still need to pay rent during the emergency.
Check with your local city or county government to see if they give renters any additional protections if they are struggling to pay rent during the emergency.
If you cannot pay rent, take steps to protect yourself:
Yes, Arizona landlords can try to evict tenants since emergency protections expired.
The now-expired Arizona Governor's order had previously protected people from being removed from their homes, if they had COVID-19 hardships. That is now expired. Law enforcement can begin to enforce evictions against renters once again.
If you receive a notice to quit from your landlord, or an eviction lawsuit, reach out for legal help.
Yes, utility companies may shut off Arizona renters' utilities now that the emergency protections have expired.
During the emergency, Arizona renters had been protected from utility shutoffs and late fee charges if they cannot pay their utility bills.
Governor Ducey and the power companies announced on March 26, 2020 that no customer will have power to their home shut off during the emergency, based on an inability to pay.
Also, the power companies will not be allowed to charge any penalties, late fees, or interest for unpaid utility bills during the emergency.
Landlords are never allowed to shut off a renter's utilities in an attempt to force the renter out. This is illegal. Reach out to a lawyer for help if this happens to you.
Tell your landlord about any repairs needed, particularly if they affect your health and safety.
The emergency may delay your landlord's ability to make repairs, but if they are urgent you should call your landlord to make the repairs as soon as possible.
Emergency repairs could be for problems with:
If your landlord doesn't make the repairs promptly, send them a written letter or email about the need for emergency repairs (and keep a copy of this communication).
You may be able to break your lease if you can come to an agreement with your landlord.
Your lease is still valid despite the emergency period.
However, you can talk to your landlord to see if they will agree to let you leave early. If they agree, be sure to get the agreement in writing.
Also, you can review your lease. It may have a part that lets you end the lease early in times of financial difficulty. If your lease has this kind of part, you might be able to break the lease (in some cases penalty-free).
Contact a legal help organization to help defend yourself.
It is illegal for your landlord to evict you without first going to court and getting an eviction order. To remove you from your home, a landlord must take you to court by filing an eviction lawsuit, win the case, and getting an eviction order from the court.
Legal aid groups might be able to provide you with full representation, or other legal organizations can give you information or brief advice.
Arizona courts are hearing eviction proceedings, but it varies depending on your local court. These proceedings likely will be held through remote technology rather than in person.
Renters in 3 categories have special national protections against being evicted during the Emergency Period of March 27, 2020 to July 24 or 25, 2020. These national protections add onto any state and local protections you have.
Do you fit in any of these 3 categories?
If you are a renter in one of these 3 categories, the federal CARES Act section 4024 gives you these protections. (Remember, these protections add onto any state and local protections you have)
You do not have to leave your home yet.
In Arizona, your landlord must give you an official notice that they may bring you to court to evict you for not paying your rent (or other reasons). The notice should give you time to either pay your rent or prepare defenses against eviction.
This official notice must follow some rules to be valid. If it doesn't follow these rules, then you can challenge it and stop an eviction.
These are the Arizona requirements for an eviction notice:
*If you paid a partial payment, and it was accepted by your landlord, your landlord can not evict you for the period covered by the partial payment.
Reach out for legal help if you think the notice isn't correct, or if you need assistance in defending yourself against the eviction. Find local help here.
A verbal conversation doesn't count as an "eviction notice". To be legal, the notice must be written down and given to you in the correct way.
Reach out for legal help if your landlord is trying to make you leave without going through the court process. This is illegal and a lawyer may be able to help you protect yourself.
No, you do not have to leave (or 'quit') your home by the date listed on the eviction warning notice.
Landlords cannot physically remove you, touch your personal property, change the locks, or cut off your utilities.
You do not have to leave your home until you have been brought to court, and a judge has ordered that your landlord can make you leave.
After the date on the eviction notice passes, then your landlord may file an eviction lawsuit in court against you. You will be able to go to court and present defenses to protect yourself. Find local legal help here.
You still have time to reach out for rental assistance, and stop the eviction from moving forward.
Be sure to let the local group know that you have received an eviction notice and what its deadline is. They may be able to help you pay the rent you owe, or work with your landlord to reduce the amount or put you on a payment plan.
Find local financial help at your Arizona Get Help page.
In Arizona, you have a minimum of 5 days between your landlord giving you a notice and them filing an eviction lawsuit against you in court.
If you pay what the notice says you owe before your landlord files a lawsuit to evict you, you only have to pay that amount. If you pay after the landlord has filed to have you evicted but before a court orders an eviction, you may also be responsible for attorneys fees and court costs.
The notice should tell you how many days the landlord is giving you. If they are giving you less than 5 days, then you may be able to challenge it as illegal.
Reach out for legal help if you think the notice isn't giving you the required time to make your payment. Find local legal help here.
You should make sure that the landlord properly 'served' you with the lawsuit. If they didn't give it to you in the correct way, you can challenge the eviction lawsuit. In Arizona, a landlord must follow certain rules to let you know about the lawsuit:
You should also reach out to local lawyers who can help you figure out if you were properly served and prepare for your court hearing so you can protect yourself against the eviction. Find legal help here.
Once you receive the Summons and Complaint, you can file a document with the Arizona court known as an Answer.
You can file a written Answer to explain your side of the story and explain why you should not be evicted. If you are not able to file a written Answer, you may answer verbally at your hearing. Generally, it is better to file a written Answer.
Reach out to legal help to learn what your rights and defenses are in your eviction case. These organizations can help you deal with this lawsuit.
You can come to an agreement, but you should still go to court to make sure the court order for you to be evicted.
You can work with your landlord to work out an agreement before the date of the court hearing. This might be a payment plan or other agreement on what needs to happen for you to stay in your home.
Be sure to get this agreement in writing, so that you can prove it exists and that your landlord follows through on it.
Also, you should still go to court for your hearing date, to make sure the court knows about the agreement and gets rid of the lawsuit. If you do not go to court, the lawsuit might still continue and the judge might rule that the landlord can remove you. Go to court yourself to make sure this doesn't happen.
You can reach out for legal help to get assistance in negotiating an agreement with your landlord, and making sure this agreement is being followed. Find local legal aid here.
If you are behind on rent, you can get help from your local Rental Assistance program. This is a government service to help people who owe rent or utility bills.
Especially if you are behind on rent because of COVID-19 hardships, your local Rental Assistance (or Rent Relief) program can help you.
Find your local Rental Assistance program at your Get Help page here.
Local governments set the rules about who is eligible for rent relief. Most programs focus on people who have suffered COVID-19 hardships.
You can talk to your local Rental Assistance program to learn their eligibility rules.
You may have to show your household income, or if you are on other benefits programs like SNAP.
You may also have to show that you are at risk of homelessness or eviction if you don't get rental assistance.
Many local Rental Assistance programs are open to everyone, regardless of immigration status. Many programs do not even ask about immigration status.
Check with your local Rental Assistance program to make sure about eligibility rules and immigration.
Most Rental Assistance programs let landlords apply.
Either a renter or a landlord can start the application.
The landlord will have to fill in as much information they have about the amount of money needed, and the eligibility for the program. The tenant may have to fill in the rest of the information.
Find legal groups that can help you with housing problems, landlords, roommates, Section 8, domestic violence, discrimination, and more.Find Legal Services
Find groups that can help you pay the rent, cover utility costs, and get other housing-related assistance.Find Financial Help
Find help with other problems, like domestic violence, health coverage, food benefits, mental health, and other issues.Find Other Services
State information is taken from these sources:Princeton Eviction Lab's COVID Policy ScorecardsColumbia Law School COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria analysisEnergy and Policy Institute Utility Disconnect TrackerGovernor's order on evictionsArizona court guidanceArizona Law HelpGovernor's power shutoff announcement
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