Arizona Recreational Vehicle (RV) Long-Term Rental Space Act Evictions



The following applies to RV evictions where a space is rented to a tenant that provides their own RV and rents an RV space for more than 180 consecutive days as long as there are more than two RV spaces in the RV park. The information below may be helpful to landlords and tenants but is not a substitute for legal advice. There are other rules and laws that may be applicable to your situation, but these are common rules and laws that apply in eviction actions.

A.R.S. means Arizona Revised Statutes and RPEA means Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions.
  1  NOTICE
  • The landlord may not terminate or refuse to renew the tenant’s space rental agreement without good cause (except for a No Cause 90 Day Non-Renewal)—“good cause” means:
  1. Noncompliance with the rental agreement
  2. Non-payment of rent
  3. Change in use of land
  • Material noncompliance with the rental agreement – If the landlord thinks the tenant has broken the rental agreement, he or she must give the tenant a written notice identifying the problems and inform the tenant that the rental agreement will terminate in 30 or more days if the tenant has not fixed the problems in 14 days.
  • Material noncompliance with the rental agreement affecting health and safety – If the landlord thinks the tenant has broken the rental agreement and the problems materially affect health and safety, he or she must give the tenant a written notice identifying the problems and inform the tenant that the rental agreement will terminate in 20 or more days if the tenant has not fixed the problems in 10 days.
  • Immediate termination – If the landlord thinks the tenant has broken the rental agreement and that the problem is both material and irreparable, and happened on the premises, the landlord can give the tenant a notice for immediate termination of the rental agreement and file the eviction action the same day.
  • Non-payment of rent – The landlord must give the tenant written notice that the rent is unpaid, and that the rental agreement will terminate if rent is not paid in five days.
  • If the tenant did not receive a termination notice and a chance to pay the rent and late fees, or the notice does not comply with the law or was not properly served, the court must dismiss the eviction action. RPEA 13(a)(2).
2  SERVICE

Generally, an eviction action summons and complaint must be served by a constable or sheriff in one of two ways:

  1. personally served on the tenant, or
  2. posted in an obvious place and mailed to the tenant by certified mail. RPEA 5(f).
3  ANSWER
  • The tenant may file a written answer or answer orally in open court on the record. If the court sets a trial date, the tenant may be ordered to file a written answer. RPEA 7
  • If a party cannot afford the filing fee, ask the clerk for a fee waiver/deferral application in order to not pay the fee when filing. http://www.azcourts.gov/courtfilingfees
  4  REINSTATING THE RENTAL AGREEMENT

If the eviction is only for non-payment of rent, the rental agreement will be reinstated if the tenant pays all past due rent, attorney fees, and court costs before judgment is entered. A.R.S. § 33-1476(E).

5  DEFENSES
  • The tenant paid rent in full and on time (provide proof of payment to the court).
  • The problems claimed in the notice and complaint never happened or happened off the property.
  • Retaliation – If the tenant complained to the landlord or a government agency charged with code enforcement about habitability issues materially affecting health and safety within 6 months prior to the eviction being filed, there is a presumption that the eviction is retaliatory. The tenant may be entitled to damages if this happened. See Legal Info Sheet: Eviction Actions: Claims Against your Landlord. A.R.S. § 33-2148.
6  TRIAL
  • The tenant has a right to a trial if the court determines that the tenant MAY have a defense or proper counterclaim. RPEA 11(b)(1).
  • Unless waived in writing in the lease, the tenant may have a right to a jury trial, but the tenant must ask for it the first time they see the judge. The judge will then decide if there are factual matters to be determined by a jury. If there are no factual matters appropriate for a jury, the case will be heard by the judge. RPEA 11(d).
7  EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY
  • Evidence and testimony must be relevant to the proceeding.
  • A witness must testify from personal knowledge – the witness telling the court what somebody else told the witness is generally not allowed.
  • Both parties have a duty to make timely objections. If a witness testifies to a fact he or she does not have personal knowledge of or the testimony is not relevant to the proceeding, immediately tell the judge you object to the testimony or evidence.
8  JUDGMENT
  • Default judgment may be entered against the tenant if the tenant is not present in the court when the case is called by the judge. RPEA 13.
  • Stipulated judgment – the tenant is agreeing that the allegations in the complaint are true and judgment will be entered against the tenant. The tenant will not be able to offer a defense and cannot appeal from this type of judgment.
  9  AFTER JUDGMENT  
  • See Legal Info Sheet: Eviction Actions: After an Eviction Judgment for discussion on writs of restitution.
  • A sheriff or constable can execute a writ of restitution by removing all occupants and their possessions from the RV. A.R.S. § 33-2145(B).
  • After removing the occupants and their possessions from the RV, the RV is deemed abandoned but the tenant does not lose their ownership of the RV.
  • The tenant cannot move the RV from the RV space until the tenant gets a signed agreement from the RV park. This agreement must show clearance (the RV park’s permission) for removal and that all monies due and owing have been paid. The tenant can also reach some other agreement with the landlord. A.R.S. § 33-2145(C).



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