Utah State Laws on Evictions
- Utah renters cannot have a lease terminated before the end of its term without cause. A common eviction cause is nonpayment of rent. Utah law also allows evictions for breaking lease terms such as bringing in a pet to a no-pet apartment or subleasing without permission. Utah law requires landlords to terminate the lease before pursuing eviction action. Termination is accomplished by sending a 3-day notice to vacate or fix the problem. If a tenant is involved in damaging or illegal activity the notice may not have an option to fix the problem. A 15-day notice is used to terminate a month-to-month lease and a 5-day is used if there is no formal agreement between the landlord and tenant. These are the only types of lease termination that does not need a specific cause, as the termination is applied at the end of the lease term.
The landlord may also choose to file a Owner's Possession Bond to speed up a Utah eviction case. This bond forces the tenant to either file his own bond to stay in the property during the eviction procedure, pay all outstanding rent due to stop the eviction case or demand a hearing. The tenant must act within three days of receiving the bond notice.
- A Utah eviction court case is called an unlawful detainer lawsuit. A landlord files the lawsuit if the tenant refuses to fix the problem or vacate the rental unit after receiving the notice. The eviction case is filed with local courts and a summons is sent to the tenant. The tenant has three days to file an answer to the summons. If the three day period passes without an answer, the landlord is granted a default judgment of eviction and may choose to pursue a judgment for back rent owed. If the tenant wishes to contest the eviction the case goes to a hearing after the answer is filed. The landlord and tenant are expected to appear at the hearing. The judge may request that the landlord and tenant speak with a mediator to try to reach a settlement before the hearing. If a settlement can't be reached, both parties argue their side of the case. If the landlord wins, the judge typically orders the tenant to leave by a certain date.
- A Order of Restitution is issued by the judge if the tenant ignores the court order to vacate the rental unit. This Order authorizes the local sheriff to make the tenant leave the home. The Utah landlord is then allowed to move out tenant property, change the locks and make any other changes he desires to the rental unit.