Tenant's Eviction Defenses

  If a tenant has any valid defenses to an eviction action, the tenant should enter a plea of not guilty on or before the initial return hearing.  The trial will take place at the time of the initial return hearing, or the tenant can request a continuance and, if granted, the trial will take place up to 3 days later in Justice Court or up to 5 days later in Superior Court.  A.R.S. § 33-1377(C).  If there are no defenses, but the tenant wants to reinstate the lease, the tenant can do so at that time by paying all past due rent, reasonable late fees set forth in the written rental agreement, attorney’s fees, and court costs.  A.R.S. § 33-1368(B).  After a judgment has been entered for eviction, any reinstatement of the rental agreement by the tenant in order to stay in the home is solely at the discretion of the landlord.  A.R.S. § 33-1368(B).

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