Utah Eviction Process

Notice – Any eviction process in Utah begins with service of a notice.  The notice may give the renter an opportunity to pay past due rent before they are required to vacate the property or it may be a notice that the tenant must leave immediately depending on the terms of the lease and applicable Utah law.

Lawsuit – If the tenant fails to pay or leave following service of the required notice, the next step is to file a lawsuit against the tenant. Utah law allows for a shorter process than most lawsuits to allow you to remove the defaulting tenant from the property and place a new tenant in the property more quickly.  This is the stage at which you ask the Court to reimburse you for lost rents, damages to the property, attorney fees and other expenses.  If the tenant has stayed past the deadline given in the notice to vacate the property, the tenant may be in unlawful detainer which may entitle you, the landlord, to a judgment for treble damages for a period of time.

Occupancy Hearing – It used to be the case that if the tenant/defendant answered the complaint, the landlord was forced to post a possession bond (deposit money) with the Court if the landlord wanted to remove the tenant during the pendency of the lawsuit. Now, Utah law allows the landlord to request an occupancy hearing in which the Court determines which party has the right to occupy the property during the remainder of the lawsuit.  The hearing should be held within a short time following the filing of the answer by the tenant.

Order of Restitution – This is the order of the Court that a landlord must obtain in order to remove the tenant from the property. In some circumstances, you may be entitled to an immediate removal from the property.  Other circumstances allow the tenant a few days of additional time to vacate the property.   In any event, once the allowed time has expired, if the tenant has not vacated the property voluntarily, the tenant may be forcibly removed from the property by the sheriff or constable serving the Order. If the tenant leaves personal property at the premises, you may be required to store the items for a short period of time.

Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 (“PTFA”) – The PTFA, in the event it applies, provides some additional protections to tenants and requires lenders to step into the shoes of the landlord for a period of time.  The PTFA applies only in post-foreclosure evictions and then in only limited circumstances.  Contact our office to find out if it applies in your case.

Commercial Evictions – Commercial evictions are similar to residential evictions in many ways.  The proper notice must be served.  An Order of Restitution is required to remove a tenant from a commercial property.  One difference is that you are often dealing with a business or other going concern which is somewhat more difficult to move to a new location than your average residential renter.  It is often beneficial to enter into a stipulation to avoid excessive cost.