Question: My tenant has been repeatedly late in paying the rent, and I just want him out.  I already served him with a non-payment of rent notice and I am going to court tomorrow.  If he attempts to pay before court, can I refuse the money and just get him out?

Answer: If you have not yet obtained a judgment, then you have to accept the rent, as long as the tenant pays all other appropriate charges, including late fees, court costs and legal fees, if any.  Arizona is known as a “cure state” and therefore a landlord has to accept the payment and let the tenant stay, if all amounts owed are paid before judgment is entered.  The landlord can only charge the amounts that are due and owing and which are provided in the lease.  Once a landlord has obtained an eviction judgment, on the other hand, they do not have to accept the payment.  Whether to accept the rent and let the tenant stay is in the sole discretion of the landlord.  If you are going to accept the rent, you should have a written agreement with the tenant indicating if you are letting them stay or if they still have to vacate.  Additionally, if they are staying and paying you some of the money, you should have a written agreement indicating when the balance will be paid and that if they fail to make the payment, you can execute the writ of restitution on the previous case.

Information contained in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. You should always contact an attorney for legal advice and not rely on information published here.