Legally remove a tenant who is not on a lease.

Asked almost 5 years ago - Phoenix, AZ

Two years ago, my Wife and I bought a house with the help of a co-signer. As a part of the deal, the co-siner wanted to live on the property and we agreed. Last month, my wife and I bought the house outright and the co-signer is no longer on the mortgage or the title of the home. We want her to leave, but do not know how to go about it since there was never any sort of formal lease. She said that she will leave when she finds a new home, but I do not want to wait for her to do things on her own time. My wife and I recently had a baby and we need the extra space. Any advice on how to leagally remove her from my home?

Thank you!!
- Darrell

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Lonnie K McDowell

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Much depends on what was agreed to at purchase, how the agreement was documented, and whether you have since agreed to modify the agreement.
    In Arizona, if there is no written lease, the court treats the occupancy as a month to month tenancy, so either party can terminate it by giving at least 30 days written notice to the other. You can file a forcible detainer lawsuit (an eviction) after the appropriate time has passed.

    It sounds like you were on pretty good terms with the co-signor when you needed her help to get the loan: though the law doesn't require it, I suggest that you try to work together to chose a move out date you both agee to, rather than give her a unliateral demand. If you reach an agreement, you should put it down on paper (or, preferably, schedule a meeting with a lawyer who can help spot problems you have overlooked, like what language is required to terminate the month to month tenancy, whether any "equitable" interest in the property needs to be addressed, etc.)

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