by Zona Law Group

Q: Zona Law obtained a judgment against my tenant who failed to pay rent for April and May. When the constable went to execute the writ, the constable didn’t execute the writ and said the tenant was supposed to get me proof they had been affected by COVID-19. I haven’t received anything. What should I do?

A: Unfortunately, this is the process created by Governor Ducey’s Executive Order 2020-14. When a constable goes to the property, if they believe the resident has been affected by COVID-19 (whether financially or medically) the constable has discretion whether to execute the writ. If the constable elects not to execute the writ, the constable can refuse to do so. In such instance, the tenant then is supposed to provide documentation to the landlord to show that they qualify for protection under the Governor’s Order.

All too often, residents provide no documentation to the landlord. In that case, the landlords only remedy is to file a Motion to Compel Enforcement of the Writ of Restitution. This brings the issue before the judge. A hearing will be set quickly, and both parties will be able to present evidence as to whether the resident qualifies under the Governor’s Order or whether, in the interest of justice, the writ should issue. We can’t guarantee what will happen in these hearings and often times tenants bring documents that they haven’t presented before. At that time, we analyze the document and argue our client’s position and why its inequitable that the resident should stay in the property without paying the rent.

Mark B. Zinman, Attorney

Information contained in this article 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.

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