Does my tenant have to pay attorney fees for the eviction?

Yes, but read the rest of this article to understand more.

In Utah, a court may not award attorney fees unless a contract between the parties authorizes it or a statute does. In most evictions, both situations apply. That is, most lease agreements already have a provision that requires the tenant to pay attorney fees incurred for an eviction. Even if your lease does not specifically require the tenant to pay attorney fees, Utah Law specifically allows a court to award attorney fees in an eviction Click Here to Read the Statute. The attorney fees must be reasonale. Reasonable attorney fees for an eviction will generall stay well under $1,000.00. In fact, we only charge $290.00 per eviction plus $150.00 if a hearing is required.

In additiona to attorney fees, there are costs associated with each eviction. The primary costs are filing fees and service of process fees. Filing fees can range from $75.00 to $360.00, depending on the amount of damages you are asking. Service fees usually run you around $35.00 per tenant.

There is no statute that expressly authorizes an award of costs. That means the tenant will most likely not be required to pay the out of pocket costs associated with the eviction. One of the biggest changes we recommend is including a provision in your lease that specifically authorizes the court to award costs in any legal proceedings. This is especially important if you have high-rent properties. Your costs could be as high as $500.00 or more. (In most cases the costs are only about $110.00 to $220.00).

As a final point, don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because a court enters an order requiring the tenant to pay your attorney fees, you will actually recover the out of pocket costs for your attorney fees. An award of attorney fees works as a reimbursement to you. That is, you pay your attorney. If you collect on the judgment, then you will be reimbursed what you paid to your attorney.

Collecting on an eviction judgment can be very difficult for several reasons. First, most tenants who are evicted are very difficult to find. Make sure your utah lease application has enough information to to help you track your tenants down even once they move out. Second, rent is generally a high-priority obligations. Most rational people will default on other bills before defaulting on their rent. By the time you have to evict someone for non-payment of rent, they have lost their job and/or have no funds from which to collect the past due amount.

If you need an eviction attorney in Utah, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Although we cannot guarantee that you will recover the financial loss, we do guarantee that we will restore possession of the residence to you within 38 days or you pay us no attorney fees.

How Long Does a Tenant Have to Vacate Once the Writ of Restitution Enters?

The writ of restitution is the final document required in an eviction. It is issued either following the tenant’s default or following an immediate occupancy hearing. Essentially, it is the key back into your property. The law states that a court shall allow three calendar days from the date of service of the order for the tenant to vacate unless the court finds a shorter or longer period is more appropriate.

Fortunately, most judges in Utah strictly adhere to the three day guideline. Unfortunately, there are still many cases were a judge grants more time to the detriment of the landlord. In these cases, there is little to nothing a landlord can do other than reiterate the law encourages a three-day limit. Thus, although most writs allow only three calendar days for a tenant to vacate, it is up to the judge to determine the appropriate timeline (a very good reason to always show respect to the court).

Once the writ of restitution has issued, you need to get it served. You must serve the writ along with a form Request for Hearing. The tenant is entitled to request a hearing to address the enforcement of the writ of restitution. This very rarely happens. Furthermore, the tenant is still required to vacate unless the appropriate bond is paid or the court orders otherwise.  Generally, the required bond is the amount of damages, inclusive of attorney fees, that the tenant will have to pay if the court rules against him or her.

NOTE: If you are not using a Utah Eviction Lawyer, do not forget to that the writ MUST be served by a sheriff or constable. Even more important, you cannot lock the tenant out without a sheriff or constable, even if the tenant is not present in the residence.

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Do I have to hire a lawyer to evict my tenant?

The law allows individuals to represent themselves. Thus, you are not required to have an attorney. However, before you decide to go it alone, maybe you should read this article.

Evictions are relatively straightforward. For an experienced eviction lawyer in Utah, very little work is required. The most common reason people decide to represent themselves is to avoid the extra cost of hiring an attorney. If it’s money you are trying to save, you may want to consider the big picture.

On average, monthly rent in Utah ranges between $400 to $1,800 per unit. We charge a flat fee of $290.00 per eviction (plus $150.00 if a hearing is required). Generally, we are able to complete an eviction within 25 days (most range between 12 and 28 days). Even if you know what you are doing, plan on adding 5 to 10 days to the overall eviction without an attorney because there are extra hurdles. First, you need a judge to sign the Summons. In some counties, a clerk may take care of that for you immediately, in others, it could take several days to a week or more. Attorneys also have the benefit of electronic filing. We can have a complaint for eviction filed within a matter of minutes. If you represent yourself, you need to personally go to the courthouse each time something needs to be filed or mail it in (which adds even more time).

In the property rental and management business time is money. The longer you have a deadbeat tenant either not paying rent or destroying your property, the more it will cost you. Using a Utah eviction lawyer will allow you to get the property vacant sooner, which means you will be able to get a responsible tenant in quicker.

We are always happy to help, even if you don’t plan on hiring us. Give us a call and speak with an eviction lawyer at no cost to you.

What if the tenant is avoiding service of the summons and complaint?

One major cause for delay in any eviction is service of the Summons and Complaint. Generally, it is no surprise to the tenant that he or she is being eviction, especially since a notice of the eviction has already been posted. Many tenants have experience being evicted and they know how to drag it out. One way to do that is to hide inside the residence and never answer the door. There are several different ways to serve the tenants.

First, the landlord can post a 24-hour notice of inspection, returning the next day with a process server while the inspection is being conducted. Many landlords have had great success with this trick. We generally do not use this trick simply because we don’t know if the tenant will be in the home or not.

The most common method is to file a motion for alternate service. The Utah Rules of Civil Procedure permit a plaintiff to request alternative means of service as long as you can show that diligent efforts were made to serve the tenant in accordance with the rules and the alternate service is likely to provide the tenant with adequate notice of the pending case. Typically, alternate service is done by posting a copy of the summones and complaint on the front door and mailing copys via US first class mail.

Although there is no specific rule, most judges like to see that five separate attempts have been made to serve the tenant before granting a motion for alternate service. However, if it is clear from one attempt that the tenant is avoiding service, then a single attempt is necessary. For example, if the tenant sees the process server and runs inside, closing the door behind himself, this behavior would be grounds for alternate service.

If you are having trouble getting someone served, it may be time to consider hiring a utah eviction attorney to give you a hand. We do all of our evictions for a flat fee of $290.00 for attorey fees. We do not charge extra to prepare a motion for alternate service.

How long does an eviction take in Utah?

Typically, the number one priority in any eviction is timing. The faster you get a tenant out, the sooner you can get a new tenant in. The overall process can take anywhere from fourteen days to thirty or more days. In most cases, it will take about three weeks. For more details, you can read the entire process below:

First, you need to post the appropriate notice (usually a notice to pay or vacate). We provide every with free Utah eviction forms. In most cases, the tenant has three calendar days from the day the notice is posted to pay (or comply with some other violation) or vacate. On the fourth day, you can file a complaint for eviction. Although not necessary, it is probably worth your while to have a Utah Eviction Lawyer assist you in this process. Our attorney fees are only $290.00 per eviction. A small price to pay to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Once the complaint and summons are served on the tenant, the tenant has three business days to file an answer. That means you don’t count weekends or holidays. If no answer is filed, then on the fourth day you can file a motion for entry of default along with all of other appropriate Utah eviction documents. The court typically takes 1-3 business days (although I have seen them take more than a week) to review the documents and sign the writ of restitution.

The writ of restitution will then be posted on the front door of the property. In most cases, the tenant will have three calendar days from that date to vacate. If the tenant refuses, on day four a sheriff or constable will conduct a lockout. At that point, the eviction is complete.

In some cases, a tenant may be permitted to pay a bond and request a trial. This could add forty-five days or more to the eviction. Fortunately, if you win, you will likely recover most of your damages from the bond that was paid. Eviction cases rarely have a trial. Less than 1 of every 200 evictions we handle goes to trial. This is true for two reasons. First, in most cases, the tenant does not have a good faith defense. If the tenant hasn’t paid rent, he or she needs to vacate. Second, even if the tenant has defense, he or she cannot afford the bond. Generally, tenants do not have a sound legal defense to an eviction.

Hiring an eviction lawyer is not very expensive. After all, one month’s rent most likely exceeds the attorney fees you will pay by double or more. If hiring an eviction lawyer means you can have the property rented out one month sooner, then it is probably worth the extra expense.

You can start an eviction right from this website. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call.