The procedural requirements for residential evictions in Arizona are primarily located in the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions. (Sample forms for both landlords and tenants are available on the Globe Regional Justice Court web page.)
The Arizona Supreme Court recently amended these rules and therefore the documentation requirements for a residential eviction.
The new court rules will amend the Rule 5(d) to require that landlords serve tenants with an additional copy of at least some of their lease and any relevant addendums to it, as well as an accounting of their rental payments for the last six months (sometimes called a tenant ledger).
The specific language in the new rule will require landlords to serve tenants, in addition to the summons, the complaint, and any notices:
“A copy of the provisions of any lease agreement and any addendums related to the underlying basis of the eviction action must be served with the complaint.” And “If the action is based on non-payment of rent, a copy of the accounting of charges and payments for the preceding six months must be served with the complaint.”
The State Bar of Arizona requested these rule changes. The stated basis for doing so was that tenants often do not bring the required documents with them when they meet with legal aid attorneys.
There is no doubt that this could be a significant problem if the tenant does not have this information and if it would be material to the case. Any such problem is made more critical by the short time standards for residential eviction actions in Arizona.
Some have expressed a concern that these additional requirements will make residential evictions more expensive. Some landlord attorneys may attach a copy of the entire lease because only attaching pages 1, 2, 15, and 25, for example, may be a practical impossibility. In Gila County, nearly every case involves an allegation of nonpayment of rent, so the tenant ledger will need to be added to each of those cases.
The new additional requirements will become effective on Jan. 1, 2020.