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About the Eviction Process

Step One: Initial Notice

The first step in the eviction process is serving the tenant with an initial notice. There are many different types of initial notices, and which notice you need will depend on your situation. The most common initial notice is the "Three Day Notice to Pay or Vacate." This is the notice you will use if your tenant(s) is behind in paying rent. Other notices include "Three Day Notice to Comply with the Lease or Vacate," "Three Day Notice to Vacate for Criminal Nuisance," "Fifteen Day Notice to Terminate Month to Month Tenancy," "Thirty Day Notice of Lease Termination," and "Five Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy at Will." If you have any question about which notice you should be using, call or email and an attorney will discuss which option is best for you. Many landlords/owners prepare and serve this notice themselves, but for an additional fee, Quick Evict Utah will prepare and serve your notice/s in a time frame of your choice.

Second Step: Expiration of Specified Time Period

The next step is to wait for the specified time period to expire. While this seems quite obvious, there are a few important things to know about this time period. The days specified in the notice are calendar days, so weekends and holidays count. Also, if you are evicting for failure to pay rent and the tenant(s) make any payment (even something as minimal as $5) during the three days after service of the notice, the notice is void and a new notice must be served. If your tenant(s) tries to make a full payment of the rent during the three-day period, you should not reject this payment, as it will likely result in any potential eviction case being dismissed.

Third Step: Filing a Complaint with the Proper Court

The next step is filing a Complaint with the proper Court. This is the step where most people get an attorney involved. It is important that the allegations in your Complaint be properly articulated so that you case does not get dismissed later on in the proceeding. If you are looking to collect money from the tenant(s), it is also important that your Complaint contain the proper language so that this is possible. Once the Complaint has been filed, the Court will assign a case number and Judge to your case. There is a filing fee imposed by the Court to file the eviction case. The filing fee for claims under $2,000 is $75 and for claims over $2,000 is $185.

Fourth Step: Service of the Summons and Complaint

The next step is having the tenant(s) personally served with the Summons and Complaint. The Summons tells the tenant(s) that he or she has three days to file an Answer with the Court. These three days are businesses days; weekends and holidays do NOT count. Most people have their attorney take care of this step, but you can choose to coordinate this step yourself. This does not mean that you can serve the tenants yourself. If you are a party to the action (you are the owner, manager, etc.) you may not serve the Summons and Complaint. If you are considering coordinating service yourself, or have any other questions about service, please Contact Us.

Fifth Step: Wait for Answer to be filed, or Time Period to Expire

Your tenant(s) will either file an Answer within the three-day period, or they will default. This is when it is determined if your eviction is contested, or uncontested, any Answer will result in a contested eviction. If your tenant(s) does not file an Answer in the three-day period, it is important that you have an attorney that will proceed with the next step quickly. If your tenant(s) files an answer after the three-day period expires, but before the next step takes place, the Judge will almost certainly allow the Answer and treat it as if it were filed on time.

Uncontested Eviction Sixth Step: Filing Default Documents

The next step is to prepare and file a set of documents to declare your tenants default and have the Judge order that they vacate or be removed. There are multiple documents that must be filed at this point, including a declaration that your tenant(s) is not in the military. This easiest way to prove to the Court that your tenant(s) is not in the military is with their social security number and/or their date of birth. If you are able to provide this information to your attorney (usually obtained from the tenant(s) rental application or lease), he or she will be able to provide the Court with documentation that your tenant(s) is not in the military. Once these documents have been approved by the Court, the Judge will sign the Order of Restitution. The Order of Restitution is the document that you need to get your tenant out.

Uncontested Eviction Final Step: Service of the Order of Restitution

Once you have the Order of Restitution the final step is to have your tenant(s) served with the Order. This service must be done by a Sheriff or Constable. Because of the large variation in costs for this service, it is not included in the price of the uncontested eviction. We will give you a referral to a Constable that can serve the Order for you, or you are welcome to use another Constable or a Sheriff. The Order will give the tenant 3 days to vacate voluntarily. If your tenant(s) is still there after the three days has elapsed (typically calculated at 72 hours), you will call the Sheriff or Constable to come back and physically remove your tenant(s). It is suggested that you have the locks on the premises changed at this time.

Uncontested Eviction Optional Additional Step: Money Judgment

If you are interested in trying to get a judgment against your tenant(s), there is an additional step. In uncontested evictions, this involves preparing and filing a money judgment. Sometimes Judges will also require an affidavit signed by you, swearing that the expenses/damages claimed are accurate. In rare cases, a Judge will require a hearing in which evidence of the amounts claimed will be presented before a Judge will award a money judgment. There is an additional charge for this service.

Contested Eviction Sixth Step: Schedule an Immediate Occupancy Hearing

If your tenant(s) files an Answer, the next thing that needs to happen is an Occupancy Hearing. You need to have an attorney that will get this hearing scheduled right away, as nothing further can take place until it is complete.

Contested Eviction Seventh Step: Attend Immediate Occupancy Hearing

The purpose of an Immediate Occupancy Hearing is to determine possession of the property during the pendency of the action. This means that the Judge will determine if your tenant(s) get to stay in your property until a full trial can be held, or if the Judge orders them out prior to that. Other issues may arise at this point, such as the posting of a possession bond by the tenant and possibly a counterbond by you. If the Judge determines to let you take possession of the property at this time, he or she will sign an Order of Restitution indicating how many days your tenant(s) may stay. Often the Judge only allows the tenant(s) the same three days that is given in default situations, but if the tenant(s) asks for more time, the Judge will usually give them up to 10 days, unless there is a good reasons not to. Once you have the Order of Restitution, it is served in the same process as listed above in Uncontested Eviction: Final Step. If you are only seeking to get your property back, then this is typically where the process ends.

Contested Eviction Optional Additional Step: Money Judgment

As with an uncontested eviction, you can choose to just take your case until you get possession of your property back, or you can choose to pursue it further and try to get a money judgment against your tenant/s for unpaid rent, utilities, damages, etc. In contested cases, in order to get a money judgment, you will have to have an evidentiary hearing. At this hearing, you will present evidence of the money owed to you by the tenant/s and the tenant/s will have an opportunity to dispute these amounts and present their own evidence. Often even in contested situations, the tenant/s do not update the Court with a new address, and notifying them of the hearing becomes difficult or impossible. Preparing for and attending an evidentiary hearing is typically billed on an hourly basis, but often an agreement can be reached for a flat fee rate. For more information on obtaining a money judgment in a contested case, please contact us.