Apartment and home rentals are very common, but they can also be expensive. If you run into financial difficulties, whether it’s because you lost a job or had unexpected medical bills, you might find yourself facing the prospect of eviction.
Coping with eviction presents some real challenges, both emotionally and physically. It’s important to know your rights as a tenant and also, to have the local resources and coping mechanisms to get through a difficult time.
Your Rights as a Tenant
As a tenant, you have rights. If you’re worried about eviction, you’ll need to know what those rights are. Since Storage West has locations in both Arizona and California, we’ll cover the laws in both states.
In Arizona, landlords may evict tenants for any of these reasons:
- Violation of the lease, which includes lying on your application
- Failure to maintain the premises (usually confined to behavior that risks the health or safety of other tenants)
- Non-payment of rent
In the first case, the landlord must notify you and give you 10 days to remedy the situation. For the second and third scenarios, the landlord must provide a 5-day notice of their intention to initiate eviction proceedings.
California’s eviction laws are similar. Evictions may occur for:
- Lease violations
- Dangerous activities or damage to the rental unit
- Non-payment of rent
In all cases, the landlord must provide the tenant with a three-day written notice of eviction. In serious cases of damage or those involving illegal activity, there is no remedy for the tenant.
Both states allow tenants to avoid eviction by paying rent in full or correcting the lease violation. Arizona specifically prohibits “self-help” evictions, which entail the landlord changing the locks or shutting off utilities to force a tenant to move.
How to Find Local Resources
We’ve linked above to some general information about eviction laws in Arizona and California, but it’s important to know the other resources that are available to you.
In Arizona, the Arizona Tenants Advocates website is a good resource for legal advice and other practical tips about navigating the eviction process. Likewise, the Arizona Tenants Union can provide legal defense and other resources.
What to Do with Your Belongings
One common problem that people who go through an eviction have is finding someplace to store their furniture and other belongings while they find a new place to live. Some people have family members willing to store smaller items. However, a storage space is the ideal solution if you have large furniture and other belongings that you don’t want to part with.
Renting a storage space can be affordable and give you the peace of mind of knowing that your belongings are safe.
Coping with an eviction can be difficult, but here are some tips to help you.
- If you receive an eviction notice, remain calm. It may be that you can take steps to avoid eviction. Reviewing your rights and talking to your landlord can help.
- In the event that corrective action isn’t possible, do what you can to prepare. Depending on where you live, you may have only a few days to pack. You may be able to negotiate with your landlord for a little extra time if you need it.
- Find a storage space with good security to store your items temporarily. Many storage facilities, including Storage West, have trucks available on short notice.
- Seek support from government agencies, friends, and families to help you find a new place to live.
It’s important to find things to do to reduce your stress. You may want to carve time out for hobbies and activities that help you to relax.
Getting evicted can be a stressful process. It’s important to know your rights and to do what you can to keep your belongings safe.
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