Inheriting leases

We just closed on a 4-Plex that had 4 existing tenants in place. This is in the state of Arizona.

From what I have researched, we have to inherit the leases with this property however the previous owner was negligent in their writing of the leases which we believe are not in compliance with local state law.

Consequently I need to amend these leases to be in compliance. Of the 4 properties, 3 of them have signed new leases with us that does comply with local law. However one of the tenants has given us verbal notice that it is his intention to move out shortly so we have not pushed this.

However its now coming up to the 1st of the month and rents are due. If this tenant does not pay his rent, then I have to evict him and compliance with state laws will now become an issue.

Can anyone give me an idea of what they think would be the case if I go in front of a judge to evict this tenant, whether the lease we have inherited with the property would hold any water? Clearly the statutes would override anything that is in conflict, but the biggest one for us is the ‘late period’ on the lease. By default its 5 days here, so at the end of the 5 day period, we would expect to serve notice to evict on the tenant. If their lease contradicts this, who would win?

I know you’ll probably tell me to go and see a lawyer, but before I spend any money on this I’d be curious if anyone has had a similar situation for their purchases and what happened for them.



As you correctly said, the law will trump. For example, if the lease lists a 3 day period before posting the eviction notice and the law requires 5, then you should wait 5 before posting the eviction notice. If the lease lists 15 days and the law requires 5, then you’ll have to wait 15. I have had this situation occur in the past. I just waited the extra time to comply with both the law and the lease - and then I evicted the bums!


Thanks Mike. I suspected that. My lease that I inherited says 10 days, but the law says 5. I guess I’m stuck with the 10 day period in this case.


Yup. Just be ready to go on day 10 and hit them with the papers.