- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Legislature has sent a bill to Gov. Doug Ducey that allows landlords to have a tenant’s houseguest removed by police without notice.

Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, says her bill asserts a landlord’s power to evict someone who is not a tenant. Opponents say the bill would allow landlords to kick out guests for arbitrary reasons.

The House and the Senate approved Senate Bill 1185 bill Thursday.

Griffin said the bill stems from a case in her district where a tenant and a landlord could not get rid of an unwanted guest. Police told the landlord the unwanted guest had taken up residency and could not be removed, she said.

“All written leases are different, and we’ve had some issues with people not leaving when asked by the tenant or the landlord,” she said.

Griffin said that if the guests want to stay for an extended period of time they should sign onto the lease, otherwise, the landlord reserves the right to kick them out. She added the length of a guest’s stay is usually outlined in a lease agreement.

“It wouldn’t apply to someone coming over for dinner,” Griffin said.

Advocates for the rights of low-income Arizona residents, including the William E. Morris Institute for Justice, say the bill would allow landlords to kick out guests without notice.

“The institute’s understanding of Senate Bill 1185 is that it will allow a landlord to seek removal of any guest who the landlord does not want on the premises no matter what the reason or circumstance,” said Ellen Katz, the institute’s litigation director.

Katz said landlords can already give notice to tenants and evict them if they or their guests are in violation of the lease or the landlord’s rules.

She also said the bill would allow landlords to evict residents without going through a legal process, a move that would erode protections under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

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