How To Evict A Tenant In Utah
Tenant can be evicted, if their actions begin to cause you difficulty and you are unable to resolve the issue through negotiations or compromise, you may need to know how to evict such person. Although evicting a Tenant should be a last resort, there are cases when it becomes necessary. If your Tenant has become abusive or violent, stops paying rent or utilities or has begun to engage in criminal activity, eviction may be the only resource available to protect yourself.
These are the steps to evict a Tenant.
STEP 1: INITIATING THE PROCESS OF EVICTION
Check your lease and determine your rights and responsibilities: Before you do anything, you need to take a really good look at your lease. Study it carefully and determine what your rights are. Terms for eviction will always be laid out in the lease. Depending on your position as a tenant or as landlord, you will have different resources and options.
Determine cause for evicting your tenant: Often times, you can’t just evict a tenant because, you don’t like the person anymore. You have to actually have a legal cause that is covered in the lease agreement that the person signed. If there was no lease agreement, then you need to have sufficient legal cause to evict the person. Causes might include:
• Your tenant is no longer paying rent under the terms of the lease.
• Your tenant has been engaging in illegal activities at your home. This could include drugs or violence.
• Your tenant has caused damage to your home and has not taken action to fix it.
• Your tenant has broken other terms spelled out in the lease agreement and has taken no action to fix the problem.
Talk to your tenant: After you’ve taken a good look at your lease and know you’re position, you should talk to your tenant about him or her leaving. Most rational people will respond to this approach and leave, if they can. If you initiate eviction without talking to your tenant first, you’ll likely upset them and they might dig in just to spite you.
• Ask your tenant to talk.
• Instead of telling them you’d like them to get leave, explain to them your feelings and your position. Tell them that whatever they’ve done or is doing has put you in an uncomfortable position and that you are unhappy.
• Avoid accusations and talk in terms of your feelings. Never make unsubstantiated charges.
• Be polite and do not insult them. Tell them you’d really appreciate it if they would respect your position and help you remedy the situation. And explain to them that the vacating would be better for both of you. Talk in terms of a mutual benefit.
Check local and state tenant laws: Before you take any action to actually physically remove your tenant from the property, you need to consult your local and state laws regarding tenant rights. Many localities have laws that give substantial rights to tenants and to people residing in properties they do not own. If you violate these laws, you may give your tenant more leverage against you in your effort to evict them.
• Tenant laws vary with each state. Your local courts will have information on the specific steps that must be taken to evict your tenant.
• Some cities and states are much more sympathetic to tenants than others. If you’re in one of these jurisdictions, you’ll have a much harder time evicting them.
• Contact an attorney if you have any questions about local and state laws protecting tenants.
Gather evidence about your tenant’s activities: In order to aid your eviction effort, you should gather any information or evidence you can about what your tenant has done to warrant his or her eviction. If your tenant is doing something illegal or dangerous in the home, document it. If your tenant has failed to pay rent or contribute to utilities, make sure to save receipts and record any amounts that they have not paid.
• Don’t violate your tenant’s personal space while gathering evidence.
• Don’t spy on your tenant or violate their personal privacy.
• Avoid any activities that might induce your tenant to exhibit violent behavior.
STEP II: TAKING LEGAL ACTION
Hire a lawyer: Hiring a lawyer might be your best recourse if you’ve talked to your tenant about leaving and he or she still refuses to leave. A lawyer will take the stress off of you and make sure that your effort to free yourself of an unwanted tenant is legal and goes as smoothly as possible.
• You can choose to pursue legal routes to eviction on your own, but it might be time consuming.
• The cost of hiring a lawyer might be prohibitive, so shop around.
• If you choose not to hire a lawyer to take over the eviction process, you might want to do a 1-time consultation with a lawyer so they can educate you about what you need to do to.
Draft an eviction letter: if you’ve chosen to go through with the eviction on your own. Put together an eviction letter to formally give notice to your tenant to vacate the property. This letter will serve as a legal and official representation of your intent. There are generally five types of eviction notices in Utah. The one the landlord should use depends on the type of lease and the type of violation for which the tenant is guilty. For example, if a landlord wants to evict a tenant for failure to pay rent, the type of notice needed is commonly referred to as a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Vacate.
Sometimes, more than one eviction notice might apply to a given situation. Typically, when more than one eviction notice applies, combined eviction notice is prepared which explains the alternative reasons for which the tenant can be evicted. This will give the landlord more than one bite at the apple in court.
Eviction notices can generally be served in four different ways. Two ways commonly used are to personally hand the notice to the tenant or to tape the notice on the door of the subject residence if the tenant does not answer. If the tenant vacates the property, the landlord need not proceed with the other steps. If the tenant is not in compliance with the lease and does not vacate the residence, he is unlawfully detaining the property, and the landlord must move to another step.
There are several things your eviction notice must say:
• It should include the grounds for eviction and specific lease violations.
• It should outline the amount of time your tenant has to leave. This is typically 30 days depending on the laws of your city or state.
• The eviction notice must include your name and the tenant’s name.
• the eviction notice must include the address of the home and a room description he or she used
• It should include the date the notice was given and the date the tenant is to be out of the house.
Serve your tenant with the eviction notice: As landlord, you’ll now have to serve your tenant with the eviction notice. This means you’ll present the eviction notice to them. Depending on the local laws, you can do this in several ways. They might include:
• Hand the notice to your tenant
• Post the notice on your front door or on your tenant’s door.
• Send your tenant the notice via certified mail.
• Some states may require hand delivery of the eviction notice and that you get a written acknowledgment that the tenant has received it. Check your local jurisdictions before serving the notice.
• Depending on your state or local laws, even people who are not landlords have the right to serve an eviction notice.
Go before a judge: if your tenant refuses to vacate. After you’ve served your tenant with an eviction notice and they have not chosen to leave, you’ll wind up in front of a judge. Here the judge will review your lease, hear your complaint, and listen to your tenant’s side of the story. The judge will then make a decision and rule in favor of you or your tenant.
• In court, you might have the opportunity to present the evidence you gathered about your tenant’s lease violation.
• Very often judges decide in favor of the landlord or owner, if they have cause.
• Following the law, documenting your case, and doing everything properly will greatly increase your chance of a happy outcome in court.
• Judges will often provide a certain amount of reasonable time for a tenant to vacate after being evicted.
STEP III: EVICTING YOUR TENANT
Call the police to enforce the eviction: After you’ve served your tenant with an eviction notice and a judge has ordered your tenant to leave and they’ve still refused, you’ll have to call the police to enforce the eviction.
• Do not try to physically remove your tenant on your own.
• Oftentimes, people usually have 72 hours after a court ruling to vacate the premises.
• It might be best to avoid your tenant or at the very least avoid prolonged conversations after a judgment is given by the court.
Monitor your tenant as they’re leaving: Although you might think you’ve won this whole process, it’s not over until your tenant is gone and you’ve changed the locks. Horrible things can happen in the 72 hour period between a court ordered eviction and the time the person is compelled to leave by law enforcement (unless they leave on their own accord). Your tenant could:
• Damage your home.
• Take your personal property.
• Try to slander you to your neighbors.
Allow them the allotted time to move out: After you’ve done everything you can to get your tenant evicted legally, you need to also give them the allotted time to vacate the premises. In most situations, someone who is evicted has a certain amount of time to gather their belongings and leave the property on their own accord. Consider:
• In many places, people have 72 hours after eviction to leave the property.
• If you compel the person to move without allowing them their allotted time, you may open yourself up to a lawsuit.
• The time a person has to leave after formally being evicted will be outlined by local or state laws or the presiding judge in the case.
Do not overstep your authority as a tenant or landlord: All tenants of a residence, whether they are on the lease or are not, are afforded some rights. Most jurisdictions protect people from being thrown out of their residence or being denied use of their residence without proper review by the judicial system. In many cases there are a number of things you should not do:
• Don’t change the locks. While it might seem like a good idea to simply change the locks, there is a good chance that this will be interpreted by the law as an illegal activity.
• Don’t mess with their stuff. You might be tempted to just throw all of your tenant’s stuff into the street. Don’t do this. It’s illegal in many jurisdictions.
• Don’t turn off the utilities. You may want to try to force them out by turning the power and water off. In many jurisdictions this is illegal.
• If you are in doubt about what you should not do, consult local laws and regulations and/or call an attorney.
This is how a residential tenant in Utah can be evicted. It is important to note that in many cases, the landlord will not only want to evict the tenant, but will also want a judgment for any rent and fees the tenant have not paid. The Law allows landlords to obtain a money judgment in the same proceeding as the order of restitution. The judgment can be for unpaid rent and for three times the amount of damages, such as rent due while the tenant is unlawfully detaining the property, and for reasonable attorney fees.
Landlord Attorney For Evictions Free Consultation
When you need a lawyer to assist you with evictions of tenants in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506