Property Managers and Owners were dealt a very difficult blow on July 16,2020 when Governor Ducey extended the Eviction Moratorium for an additional three months through October 31, 2020.
The Order continues to delay the execution of Writs of Restitution for those claiming to be affected by COVID. As Property Owners and Managers are well aware, the $130 million dollars in relief that the government has provided for tenants in Arizona has not been efficiently managed. Only $1.2 million has been distributed to date. This leaves landlords with the continued requirement to house tenants without receiving rents. Of course, most landlords are working diligently with their tenants to come to solutions regarding the hardships facing everyone during the COVID Pandemic; however, when the tenant fails to communicate and claims a COVID hardship when the Constable knocks on the door the Landlord is left to scramble at the last moment.
At the present time Edmondson Law is continuing to file evictions and will continue to request Writs of Restitution. We encourage all clients and landlords to request the required proof of COVID hardship from tenants. Unfortunately, we have seen some forged documentation from tenants. We will continue to require all necessary documentation before delaying a writ, and we will request that the Court follow the procedures established in the Executive Order as well which will hopefully minimize the fraudulent COVID claims.
Beginning August 21, 2020, the tenants in addition to proving they have suffered a COVID hardship also must provide proof and documentation that they have applied for assistance through a state, city, county or nonprofit program.
With the extension, some cases listed as a COVID hardship may have changed status over the course of several months. For instance, someone required to quarantine for 14 days in June would no longer be facing that requirement. I encourage all landlords to consider the reason for a delay in a writ of restitution and consider, if needed, filing again because of the change in the tenant’s circumstances. We will certainly be noting the situation and time constraints applicable to the situation in our office.
Immediate, noncompliance and health and safety cases should continue forward and not be delayed due to COVID hardships.
Many landlords now face tenant requests for repairs that they simply cannot afford to make. ARS 33-1363 lays out the tenant remedies if the landlord is unable to make minor repairs. These include the tenant having the repair (usually up to $300) made by a licensed contractor and deducting the amount of the repair from his/her rent or vacating the property. I encourage all landlords to be upfront with tenants if repairs are unable to be made due to lack of funds related to COVID.
For Landlords facing foreclosure due to loss of income please remember ARS 33-1331 requires you to provide notice of a pending foreclosure to the tenants.
As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns. We continue to be available for landlords during this difficult time.

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