All eviction actions begin with a notice.  When a landlord and a tenant have a dispute the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act (or Mobile Home Act, or RV Act) provides requirements for the notice that must be given to the party violating the lease and/or relevant law.

In this modern day and age, we are all used to texting and emailing our tenants.  However, the Arizona law has not caught up to our modern ways.  One of the most common issues we see when filing evictions is that the notice has not been properly served.  What are the proper ways to serve a notice on a Tenant?

  1. Hand Delivery. Hand the notice to the tenant and ideally have the tenant sign a copy that you keep. Posting a notice on the door is not hand delivery, and posting a notice on the door and taking a picture is not hand delivery. Hand Delivery is handing the notice to an adult on site by placing it in the adult’s actual hand.
  2. Certified mail. Sending the notice to the property address (or if no mail is received at the property or the tenant has provided an alternate mailing address, to the alternate mailing address) via certified mail.  We need the receipt showing the item was sent via certified mail.  This is not first-class mail; this is not Fed Ex or UPS.  It is through the United States Post Office Certified mail.

While you may provide a tenant a copy of a notice through a portal, by posting on the door, by sending a copy via regular mail, texting or emailing a copy of the notice to the tenant, these methods are not valid service of the notice under Arizona Law.  They may yield a higher degree of certainty that the tenant will actually receive the notice, but they are not “legal” delivery of the notice.

The second common issue we see with notices is the use of an incorrect notice form.  For example, providing a notice of immediate termination when it should be a ten-day notice for noncompliance or a five-day notice for health and safety.  When in doubt please contact our office.  We are always happy to guide you regarding which notice and/or form should be used and provide you with a form to use.  A notice for immediate eviction is only for criminal activity.  Failure to pick up pet feces or disturbing the peace do not rise to the level for an immediate notice.

The third and final issue we see with notices on a regular basis is the failure to be specific in describing the violation.  “Excess traffic” is not specific.  We need dates and times of incidents.  We need a full description of what occurred.  Is this an ongoing issue?  If so when did it start?  What is the date and description of the most recent incident?

We don’t want to delay the filing of a needed eviction or worse lose a case in court because the notice was insufficient or not properly delivered.  Please double check your notices and reach out to us for review when needed.


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