Squatters can move into your Arizona home legally.
You will not believe this story, but it is true. This just happen to us. In Avondale, AZ we rent a house to a single tenant. He hired a lady to clean his house and when she was done cleaning the house she decided to stay in the house. She then invited her brother to move in also. Our tenant could not get them to move out. Our tenant called the Avondale Police Department, who, on checking on their identification, arrested them on past warrants. This was a Thursday and on Saturday 4 police officers brought the squatters back to the house and told my tenant to let them into the house or he, our tenant, would be arrested.
According to the Avondale Police Department, the Squatters spent the night in the house and had a few of their belongings in the house, therefore it was their legal residence. The squatters then went into the bedrooms and would not come out. They refused to leave the house.
These squatters knew the law and they knew that as long as they stayed in the house they could not be made to move out. The house is located in a quiet walled in community and we did not realize how much work was ahead of us to get them out.
We were in way over our heads on this one. The police did not offer any advice or help to us. Theses squatters were not on the lease and now they began to threaten our tenant with death if he continued trying to move them out. So this is what we did.
1. We called an officer of the court who once did an eviction for us and he advise us to be at the court at 8 am Monday morning and ask for emergency relief.
2. Our tenant decided to file for an order of protection against the squatters, i.e. Jane Doe and John Doe. They would not give us their names and the police would not give us their names.
3. On Monday we spent 4 hours in the court and we walked away with an emergency hearing set for Friday and our tenant received an order of protection against the squatters.
4. We were told by the court to call the police department and the police would serve the order of protection and get the squatters out of our house.
5. We called the police, they came and gave the squatters 15 minutes to get out. In those 15 minutes they were able to pack lots of valuables that did not belong to them, and take them hidden in a backpack.
6. Now we wait for Friday to go back to court and terminate the lease and move out the tenant.
This problem is not over yet. We learned a valuable lesson: never let anyone spend the night in your house, because it will become their legal residence in the eyes of Arizona Law.
Squatters have rights in Arizona
Court Hearing: Squatters in our house.
The Agua Fria Justice Court held the hearing on our Squatters. The Judge was not interested in getting the Squatters out of the house just because they did not belong in the house. The unhealthy conditions in the house were also not a consideration for eviction.
Evidence of physical aggression, was the main criteria for eviction, required by the Judge.
Our knowledge of aggression was only hearsay. The Judge would not accept hearsay even when substantiated by police reports.
4 days earlier the Judge had signed an order of Protection, protecting our tenant from the Squatters. The testimony of our tenant referencing aggression against him by the Squatters was now public record and no longer hearsay, so the Judge signed the eviction order.
Squatters in Arizona have rights so we learned?