Utah Eviction Process

Utah Eviction Process

Last Updated: September 23, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

Steps of the eviction process in Utah:

  1. Landlord serves tenant written notice.
  2. Landlord files complaint with court (if unresolved).
  3. Answer is filed.
  4. Occupancy hearing is held.
  5. Eviction trial is held and judgment issued.
  6. Order for restitution is issued.
  7. Possession of property is returned to landlord.

Evicting a tenant in Utah can take around one to four months, depending on the reason for the eviction and how the landlord chooses to file the eviction case. If the landlord posts a possession bond, the timeline may be shorter than what’s outlined below.

Questions? To chat with a Utah eviction attorney, click here

Grounds for an Eviction in Utah

In Utah, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include nonpayment of rent, staying after the lease ends, violating lease terms, illegal subleasing, committing waste, and illegal activity. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent 3 Days Maybe
End of / No Lease 15 Days No
Lease Violation 3 Days Maybe
Subleasing 3 Days No
Committing Waste 3 Days No
Illegal Activity 3 Days No

Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent

In Utah, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, they must first give 3 days’  notice to pay rent or vacate the premises. If the tenant does neither after that time, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each pay period and is considered late in Utah the day immediately after its due date. So for example, if rent is due on the first of the month, it is considered late starting on the second of the month (if not paid in full). There is no right to a legal grace period (i.e., five days); however, weekends and legal holidays are excluded.

Once rent is considered late, the landlord can begin the eviction process by serving the tenant with proper notice.

Eviction for No Lease or End of Lease

In Utah, a landlord can evict a tenant without a lease or with a lease that has ended (known as a “holdover tenant” or “tenant at will”). To do so, they must first terminate the tenancy by giving proper notice to move out (15 days for tenants that pay month-to-month).

Once the tenancy ends, if the tenant remains on the property, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Eviction for Violation of Lease or Responsibilities

In Utah, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their responsibilities under Utah landlord-tenant law. To do so, landlords must give 3 days’ notice to fix the issue or vacate. Landlords must give the tenant the option to correct the issue or move out.

Tenant responsibilities include:

  • Complying with all rules of the board of health which materially affect physical health and safety.
  • Disposing of all garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner.
  • Maintaining all plumbing fixtures in a sanitary condition.
  • Using all facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner.
  • Occupying the rental unit for which it was designed.
  • Not increasing the number of occupants above the specified amount in the rental agreement.
  • Complying with all rules, regulations and requirements under the rental agreement.
  • Not intentionally or negligently destroying, defacing, damaging, impairing or removing any part of the dwelling unit.
  • Not unreasonably denying access to the landlord for the purpose of repairs.

Examples of lease violations:

  • Having an unauthorized pet, guest or vehicle.
  • Parking in an unauthorized area.
  • Not maintaining a certain level of cleanliness.

Eviction for Subleasing Rental Unit

In Utah, a landlord can evict for subleasing if the tenant’s lease agreement specifically prohibits subleasing. To do so, the landlord give 3 days’ notice to vacate. The tenant does not have the option to fix the issue and must move out.

If the tenant doesn’t correct the issue before the notice period expires, the landlord may continue with the eviction process.

Eviction for Committing Waste

In Utah, a landlord can evict a tenant if they engage in waste inside or on the rental property. To do so, they must first give 3 days’ notice to vacate. The tenant does not have the option to fix the issue and must move out.

Examples of “waste” include:

  • Physically harming the property.
  • Allowing trash to pile up.
  • Failing to maintain the rental property in a clean and safe manner.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Eviction for Illegal Activity

In Utah, a landlord can evict a tenant if they are involved in illegal activity, a non-criminal nuisance or a criminal nuisance. To do so, a landlord must give 3 days’ notice to vacate. The tenant does not have the option to fix the issue and must move out.

In Utah, illegal activity includes

  • Setting up or carrying on an illegal business.
  • Suffering, permitting or maintaining a “nuisance” on the rental property.
  • Committing a “criminal act” on the rental property.

Non-criminal nuisances include the following:

  • Disturbing other tenants or neighbors.
  • Having visitors or parties so frequently that it interferes with the neighbor’s quiet enjoyment.
  • Selling, manufacturing, storing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance.
  • Gambling, being involved in prostitution or having a weapons violation.
  • Committing a criminal activity carried out by two or more people working together.
  • Committing a criminal activity done for or on behalf of a criminal street gang.
  • Committing criminal activity done to gain status or credibility with a criminal street gang.

Finally, criminal activity includes:

  • Committing a felony.
  • Being involved in a criminal act that affect the health or safety of the landlord or other tenants.
  • Committing an activity that damages the landlord’s or other tenants’ property.
  • Being involved in criminal drug activity or criminal gang activity.
  • Threatening or being violent against the landlord or other tenants.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

warning

Illegal Evictions in Utah

In Utah, any of the below is illegal. If found liable, the jury or court will assess the damages.

“Self-Help” Evictions

No matter the situation, a landlord is not allowed to forcibly remove a tenant  by:

  • Changing the locks.
  • Shutting off utilities.
  • Removing tenant belongings.
  • Holding the property by force.
  • Unlawfully entering the property.

A tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through the formal eviction process.

Retaliatory Evictions

It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in response to exercising a legally protected right. These rights include:

  • Complaining about habitability issues to the landlord or any authority tasked to enforce the law in good faith.
  • Pursuing a legal right to remedy habitability issues.

Although Utah law does not have a state statute prohibiting landlord retaliation, Utah’s courts have recognized that a retaliatory eviction is a legitimate defense for a tenant to file an unlawful detainer action.

Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant

A landlord can begin the eviction process in Utah by serving the tenant with written notice. The notice must be delivered by one of the following methods:

  • Giving it to the tenant in person.
  • Mailing a copy to the tenant via certified/registered mail.
  • Leaving the notice with someone of suitable age and discretion if the tenant cannot be found.
  • Posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place at the rental unit if the tenant cannot be found and there is no suitable person to give the notice to.

It is important for a landlord to always maintain a copy of the signed and served notice as proof of proper service of notice. 

3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

If a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial) in Utah, the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. This notice gives the tenant 3 calendar days to pay the entire remaining balance or vacate the premises.

15-Day Notice to Quit

For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Utah, the landlord must serve them a 15-Day Notice to Quit to end the tenancy. This eviction notice allows the tenant 15 calendar days to move out.

For tenants that don’t pay monthly, the amount of notice differs:

Rent Payment Frequency Notice Amount
At-Will Tenants 5 Days
Month-to-Month 15 Days

3-Day Notice to Cure or Vacate

In Utah, if a tenant commits a violation of the terms of their lease or legal responsibilities as a tenant, the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Cure or Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 3 calendar days to fix the issue or move out.

3-Day Notice to Quit

In Utah, if a tenant subleases the rental unit without the landlords permission, commits waste, or is involed with illegal activity, the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Quit. This eviction notice gives the tenant 3 calendar days to move out without the chance to fix the issue.

Questions? To chat with a Utah eviction attorney, click here

Eviction Complaint Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 2: Landlord Files Lawsuit with Court

Utah landlords have two options to proceed with an eviction action.

They can either file the complaint with the court first and then serve the summons and complaint on the tenant within 120 days of the date the complaint was filed with the court, or they can start by serving the summons and complaint on the tenant and then filing the paperwork with the court.

If landlords choose to serve the tenant first, then they must file the summons and complaint with the court within 10 days of the date the summons and complaint were served on the tenant.

In the state of Utah, filing the complaint with the court costs $90-$375 in filing fees, depending on how much the landlord is asking the tenant to pay in past-due rent, damages, or other costs.

The summons and complaint may be served on the tenant by a sheriff, constable, a U.S. Marshal or anyone over the age of 18 who isn’t part of the case  and has not been convicted of a felony violation of a sex offense nor a respondent in a protective order proceeding through one of the following methods:

  1. Giving a copy to the tenant in person;
  2. Leaving a copy with someone of “suitable” age who resides with the tenant; or
  3. Mailing a copy to the tenant as long as a return receipt is requested.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com10-120 days, depending on whether the landlord files the summons and complaint with the court first, or serves them on the tenant first.

Eviction Answer Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 3: Answer is Filed

If tenants want to object to, or contest, the eviction, they must file a written answer with the court.

Tenants will have three bussiness days after they receive the summons and complaint to file their answer. The answer explains why the tenant doesn’t believe they should be evicted.

If tenants fail to file their answer with the court, the judicial officer will issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord, meaning the tenant will have to move out without being allowed to attend an eviction hearing.

Tenants may request additional time to file an answer, but this request may or may not be granted.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com3 days. Tenants have three days to file an answer with the court once they receive the summons and complaint.

Step 4: Occupancy / Evidentiary Hearing is Held

In Utah, once tenants have filed their answer with the court, the next step is for the landlord or tenant to request an occupancy hearing, to determine whether the tenant is allowed to remain in the rental unit while waiting for the final ruling from the eviction hearing.

The occupancy hearing must be held within 10 days of the date the tenant files their answer with the court. This hearing may also be called an “evidentiary” hearing.

If the landlord does not want to wait 10 days for an occupancy hearing they can file for a possession bond with the court.

It is possible that the court could rule in favor of the landlord at this hearing, and there will not be a second (eviction) hearing.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com10 days. The occupancy/evidentiary hearing must be held within 10 days of the date the tenant files their answer with the court.

Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 5: Eviction Trial and Judgment

If the judicial officer decides during the occupancy hearing that an eviction trial is necessary, it will be held within 60 days of the date the complaint was filed with the court.

An eviction hearing will only be held if the judicial officer could not determine whether the tenant should be evicted during the occupancy/evidentiary hearing.

If the tenant fails to appear for the eviction hearing, the judicial officer will issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord, meaning the tenant will have to move out.

If the judicial officer rules in favor of the landlord, either through a default judgment or at an eviction hearing, an order for restitution will be issued and the eviction process will continue.

Either party can appeal within 10 days of the ruling, or within three days of the ruling for illegal activity/nuisance evictions.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com60 days. If a judicial officer feels the eviction hearing is necessary, it will be held within 60 days of the date the complaint was filed with the court.

Step 6: Order for Restitution is Issued

The order for restitution is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit, and gives them the opportunity to remove their belongings before a sheriff or constable return to the property to forcibly remove the tenant. Along with the Order of Restitution, the Request for Hearing Regarding Enforcement of an Order of Restitution form must be served with it. The form allows the tenant to request a hearing if they disagree with how the Order of Restitution was enforced.

These documents must be served by a sheriff, constable, or private investigator.

If the court has ruled in the landlord’s favor, then an order for restitution will be issued immediately.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.comImmediately. The order for restitution will be issued immediately upon judgment in favor of the landlord.

Eviction property possession returned on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 7: Possession of Property is Returned

Once tenants are served with the restitution order, they will have three days to move out of the rental unit before law enforcement officials return to forcibly remove the tenant from the property.

For evictions due to illegal activity, the tenant may be removed immediately.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.comThree days. The tenant has three days to move out of the rental unit after receiving the order for restitution for all evictions except those due to illegal activity.

Utah Eviction Process Timeline

In Utah, an eviction can be completed in 1 to 4 months but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.

Below are the parts of the Utah eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.

Step Estimated Time
Initial Notice Period 3-15 Calendar Days
Court Issuing/Serving Summons 10-20 Business Days
Tenant Response Period 3 Business Days
Occupancy Hearing is Held 10 Business Days
Court Ruling 60 Calendar Days
Court Serving Order for Restitution Immediately
Final Notice Period 1-3 Calendar Days
Questions? To chat with a Utah eviction attorney, click here

Flowchart of Utah Eviction Process

Utah Eviction Process Flowchart on iPropertyManagement.com

For additional questions about the eviction process in Utah, please refer to the official legislation, Utah Code §78B-6-801 to 78B-6-816, and the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 3 and 4, for more information.

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