While no landlord ever wants to have to evict a tenant, sometimes it is necessary. In the event that you must evict a tenant, it is important to understand the eviction laws in Utah to avoid any potential legal trouble and to remain professional.
In Utah, the eviction process in its entirety typically takes one to four months. This time period will depend on the reason for the eviction, how the landlord decides to file the eviction case, and whether or not the tenant contests the eviction.
If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of the eviction process in Utah, keep reading for our comprehensive guide on the legal process.
Notice for Lease Termination
A landlord in Utah may evict their tenant for a variety of reasons, and each reason involves its own type of notice. The amount of notice required also varies depending on the reason for the eviction. These include:
- Failing to pay rent. Once the rent payment is past due, the landlord must serve the tenant with a 3-day notice to either pay the rent or proceed with the eviction process.
- Violating the terms of the lease agreement. If a tenant fails to abide by the conditions of the lease, then the landlord can serve them with a 3-day notice to comply. This gives the tenant 3 days to repair the issue or face eviction. This can include damage to the property which you may be able to fix with money from the security depost.
- End of the lease term. This kind of eviction applies to tenants who stay on the property past their lease’s end date. If the rent is paid on a month-to-month basis, then the landlord must provide the tenant with a 15-day notice to quit. If the tenancy is at will, the notice is 5 days.
- Subletting in violation of the lease. If the lease does not allow a tenant to sublet the rental unit, and they do so anyways, then the landlord may serve them with a 3-day written eviction notice to correct the issue or face eviction.
- Committing waste. If a tenant commits waste on the rental property, a landlord must give them 3 days before continuing the eviction process.
- Illegal activity. Tenants who are involved in illegal activity will be given a 3-days-notice to vacate the property before the landlord continues the eviction process.
Serving the Complaint to the Tenant in Utah
When it comes to proceeding with the eviction process, landlords in Utah have two options.
They can first file the complaint with the court, then serve the summons and complaint to the tenant within 120 days. Or if they prefer, they can serve the tenant with the complaint first, as long as they file the complaint with the court within 10 days.
The notice and complaint can be served by a sheriff, constable, U.S. Marshall, or anyone who is not involved with the case and is over 18 without a criminal record. The complaint can be served one of three ways:
- Providing a copy to the tenant in person
- Leaving a copy with someone who lives with the tenant and is of “suitable” age
- Mailing a copy to the tenant with a return receipt
The tenant then has 3 days to file an answer to the complaint. This answer should include why the tenant feels that they should not be evicted from the property. If they do not file an answer, then the judge will rule in favor of the landlord by default.
After the tenant has filed their answer to the complaint, either the landlord or the tenant can request an occupancy hearing. This hearing will determine whether or not the tenant is allowed to remain on the rental property while waiting for the results of the eviction process.
Attending the Eviction Hearing in Utah
If during the occupancy hearing, the judge decides that an eviction hearing is necessary, then it will be held no more than 60 days after the complaint was originally filed with the court.
If the tenant does not show up to the hearing, then the judge will rule automatically in the favor of the landlord, and the tenant will be required to vacate the premises.
If the judge ends up ruling in favor of the landlord, then the tenant will be served with an order of restitution and the eviction process will continue.
Order of Restitution
The order of restitution refers to the tenant’s last chance to leave the rental property before being forcibly removed. Along with this, the tenant must be provided with the Request for Hearing Regarding Enforcement of an Order of Restitution form.
This form lets the tenant in question request a hearing if they believe that the order of restitution was wrongfully enforced. These must both be served by a sheriff, constable, or a private investigator. If the landlord has won the case, then the order of restitution will be served immediately after the hearing.
The Possession of the Rental Property is Returned to the Landlord
After the tenant has received the order of restitution, they will have a total of 3 days to leave the property and collect their belongings.
If they fail to move out within this time period, then law officials will return to the property to forcibly remove the tenant. However, for evictions that are in response to a tenant’s illegal activity, the tenant must move out immediately.
If a tenant vacates the property and leaves behind any personal belongings, they must be given the chance to retrieve the following items: clothing, financial documents, identification, medical documents, prescription medication, or medical equipment. These items must be picked up by the tenant within 5 days.
If you own a rental property in Utah, you should be aware of the specific eviction laws within the state. It can be confusing to stay up to date with the law, but Envy Property Management can help. Contact us today to figure out how we can help your rental be as successful as possible.
Disclaimer: This blog post should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in Utah. Laws frequently change, and this article may not be completely updated at the time that you read it. If you have any questions regarding the eviction laws in Utah or any other aspect of your property management needs, contact us today.