When it comes to an eviction action, the right to be before the court hinges upon a landlord having all of her procedural ducks in a row, or the case may be dismissed. The Arizona Courts have long held that one must follow the procedural provisions of eviction actions in order to enjoy the remedies thereof. Neyens v. Donato (1948) 67 Ariz. 1, 188 P.2d 588
So what about a situation in which the landlord and tenant have a pattern of communicating via e-mail? is email an acceptable method to provide notice?
The answer may be found in the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenants Act. Which with regard to “notice” at ARS Section 33-1313 states:
A. A person has notice of a fact if he has actual knowledge of it, has received a notice or notification of it or from all the facts and circumstances known to him at the time in question he has reason to know that it exists. A person "knows" or "has knowledge" of a fact if he has actual knowledge of it.
B. A person "notifies" or "gives" a notice or notification to another by taking steps reasonably calculated to inform the other in ordinary course whether or not the other actually comes to know of it. A person "receives" a notice or notification when it comes to his attention, or in the case of the landlord, it is delivered in hand or mailed by registered or certified mail to the place of business of the landlord through which the rental agreement was made or at any place held out by him as the place for receipt of the communication or delivered to any individual who is designated as an agent by section 33-1322 or, in the case of the tenant, it is delivered in hand to the tenant or mailed by registered or certified mail to him at the place held out by him as the place for receipt of the communication or, in the absence of such designation, to his last known place of residence. If notice is mailed by registered or certified mail, the tenant or landlord is deemed to have received such notice on the date the notice is actually received by him or five days after the date the notice is mailed, whichever occurs first.
C. "Notice," knowledge or a notice or notification received by an organization is effective for a particular transaction from the time it is brought to the attention of the individual conducting the transaction and in any event from the time it would have been brought to his attention if the organization had exercised reasonable diligence.
Answer: If the tenant responds to e-mail then they may have “notice” as defined by ARS Section 33-1313(c), as set forth above, and which may satisfy the requirements of the law. However, to be safe rather than sorry, send notice in writing by certified mail and wait the 5 days. In eviction actions, normally e-mail communication will not count as “notice” unless contains language clearly stating that it does.