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.