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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 19284
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Have a house that an employee and family are living in, he

Customer Question

JA: Hello. How can we help?
Customer: Have a house that an employee and family are living in, he was fired on 2 felony accounts of theft. they came to us wanting to live there, house was not ready to be lived in, Verbal agreement was pay 250.00 a month ( taken weekly out of his check) and they do the work to make house livable. As long as he worked for us he could live there. They have no money, no credit etc. we left water and power in our name, which then was taken out of his check. Utilities are a month behind, rent is now 2wks out and we cant get them to move. I turned utilities off and now am being told I can be held in wrong doing... Seems like I have no rights and they have all the rights to live there, steal everything from house, strip the house of its fixtures and I have no rights. What can I do? Can I really be charged in wrong doing for utilities? Please help
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I am Arizona
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: I posted self Eviction and notice of utility turn off paper work on main entry gate to house, house front door and handed it to one of the occupants on Nov 7th. I then as of yesterday filed it through the courts and it was posted/served today notice of eviction and court date...
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: These people treat it like a joke and laugh as they play loud music and make comments that the joke is on them(Us). Sherriff says nothing they can do unless the people all leave house and its proven vacant and I can access property without cutting their locks or breaking into my own house. Constable states I need to turn utilities back on ASAP and play dumb to the law of not turning them off or they will get up to 3 months in compensation for inconvience... Meanwhile I watch as they steal and strip my house. Sherriff states its a civil matter that I have to take up in court and sue for damages? How can this be how do you sue people who have nothing and do this for a living?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hello: This isCustomer Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

I am sorry to read about your difficulties.

Unfortunately, you have to turn the utilities back on. Otherwise, you are breaking the law. There is no self-remedy to eviction actions in Arizona such as turning off the utilities or changing the locks. You must use the Court system to accomplish the eviction. This means, you have to give the Tenants a notice to pay rent and utilities or move out. If they do not pay, but also refuse to move out at the expiration of the notice, you must then file eviction action in Court and serve them with the Summons and a copy of the complaint. If the Court rules in your favor, they would be forced to move out.

I am sorry that I do not have better news for you.