On August 1, 2021, the CDC eviction moratorium should no longer bar landlords from evicting tenants. By virtue of the expiration of the moratorium, we anticipate that many justice courts in Arizona will be handling a backlog of landlord/tenant issues. After all, there were various laws that made evictions very difficult for landlords for the past 15 or so months.
For landlords who had their eviction cases put on hold, most will need to file a motion with the court to request the issuance of a writ of restitution and many landlords may also need to request an amended judgment to reflect that more money is owed to the landlord. When these motions are filed, courts will likely conduct a hearing on the motion and, thereafter, order the writ of restitution and provide an amended judgment. The pleadings to initiate this process can be filed as early as August 2, 2021. In such a situation, landlords will need to provide an updated rent/fee ledger and file various other documents with the Court.
Other options for landlords exist, as well. A landlord could seek to amend an existing eviction judgment, but only through the date of the writ of restitution. Similarly, landlords can initiate a completely new eviction proceeding altogether in order to create a “cleaner” record of what is owed and what occurred during the tenancy. In such a scenario, a landlord would likely need to issue a new notice for the delinquent rent amount and seek to vacate any existing orders and judgments involving the landlord and tenant. The normal procedure for filing eviction cases will likely apply to these situations and cases will be heard in a similar fashion as those completed prior to the moratorium.
In all likelihood, there will be priority given for those landlords who previously started the process and are filing motions to amend and seeking writs of restitution. Indeed, the fastest procedure for recovering possession of the premises will likely be to file a motion to amend to update the amounts owed and to request a writ of restitution.
Note: Landlords will need to be careful in proceeding against certain tenants if the tenants recently received rental assistance. Certain rental assistance agreements may limit eviction rights. Certain other restrictions may also apply.
If you need any forms to initiate or complete your eviction action, feel free to ask. It may be wise to consult an attorney as to the next steps you should take in order to quickly recover possession of your property. You can view more about evictions here: https://www.mandglawgroup.com/eviction/.
Patrick R. MacQueen is a founder of MacQueen & Gottlieb, PLC.