Don’t Let Them Lie to You

The most concerning issue with the internet is the spread of false information and what lawyers like to call, ‘google attorneys’.  As of July, 2015, a new statute was added to the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act that gives tenants or landlords the power to call law enforcement to remove a guest of the tenant from the home without notice. This new statute contains language that makes for good talking points and attractive clickable links. Unfortunately, the fake news or misinterpretation, is spreading like wildfire.

The Statute:

A.R.S. 33-1378. Removal of guest; notice: A person who is a guest of a tenant who is not named on a written lease and who remains on the premises without the permission of the tenant or the landlord is not a lawful tenant and that person’s presence in or on the premises does not constitute residency or tenancy. A person who knowingly remains on the premises without the permission of the tenant or the landlord may be removed by a law enforcement officer at the request of the tenant or the landlord who is entitled to possession of the premises.

The Fear Mongering for Clicks:

Landlords will call the police to remove anyone from the home without giving you notice. The police will break down your door and arrest anyone that is not on the lease agreement simply because they don’t like the way your guest looks. So black and mexican people, beware!! Some bloggers and people that prepare documents for tenants without a law degree, have interpreted the statute to mean just that; the 4th amendment rights of your guest will be violated by the police if your landlord doesn’t like your guest sneakers or the color of their skin. Recognize that this fear mongering is for clicks or for you to purchase their non-legal services.

The Truth: 

Here is the statute again with notes:

A person who is a guest of a tenant (invited by the tenant into the home/unit) who is not named on a written lease and (requires both of these events to occur)  who remains on the premises without the permission of the tenant or the landlord (if you say the guest can stay, than the guest can stay. You don’t need the permission of both you and the landlord ) is not a lawful tenant and that person’s presence in or on the premises does not constitute residency or tenancy(Meaning your guest has no legal standing to remain in the home. So if he/she is paying rent, considers themselves a roommate or heard that if they stay for 30 days you can’t kick them out,  you can still kick them out and now you can call the police to do it. ) A person who knowingly remains on the premises without the permission of the tenant or the landlord (the guest needs permission of either the tenant or the landlord) may be removed by a law enforcement officer at the request of the tenant or the landlord who is entitled to possession of the premises.(only the person who is entitled to possession of the premises can call law enforcement)

I want you to focus on the word, “Or” while I break down this statute for you.

Who is a guest? A person who is not on the lease invited by the tenant.

When does this guest become a problem? If the guest remains on the property without the permission of the person who has rightful possession (that would be you, the tenant). Understand that your lease agreement may indicate that you can not have guest longer than a stated term, with or without the permission of your landlord. You must abide by that lease agreement. However, if you keep guest longer than that, your landlord must serve you a 10 day notice of non-compliance.

This statute DOES NOT circumvent that requirement, at all.

In order for your landlord to call the police and circumvent the 10 day notice, eviction action,etc., the following must occur:

  1. You have a guest that YOU do not want in your home (whether they are paying you rent or not).
  2. That guest refuses to leave after YOU requested him/her to leave.
  3. You don’t want to call the police so you ask your landlord to do so.
  4. The only time your landlord can call the police on your guest that you want in the house or unit, is when your landlord has rightful possession of the home/unit.

This does not mean that the landlord can not issue a 10 day notice requesting that your guest leave because your lease agreement has a provision against guest. Nor does this mean that your landlord can’t file an eviction action because of non-compliance of the lease agreement. This means that your landlord can not call the police to have your guest removed if YOU gave that guest permission to remain.

 

Justice on Wooden Piece Arranged by Businessman

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