The Cache County Sheriff’s Office understands that landlord and tenant issues are complex and emotionally charged. Law enforcement and the support staff at the Sheriff’s Office are not attorneys and are unable to provide legal advice on your situation. To receive legal advice, please contact an attorney of your choice. We provide the following information as reference and information only. Utah Legal Services provides useful information for anyone who is involved in the renting process. The link to this resource is:
Utah Legal Services
Disclaimer: The law is constantly changing and there may a time when this information becomes outdated. The following is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. This information is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject and is not a substitute for advice from an attorney.
Evictions in Utah are available to any landlord who wants to evict a tenant, so long as the landlord follows Utah law carefully. Landlords who choose to act outside of the law to try to evict their tenants themselves may be liable to the tenant for damages. The eviction process is relatively simple and it is very important that the parties adhere strictly to it. To recover possession of real property, a landlord must proceed according to Utah Code 78B-6-801 through 816.
To help you navigate through the eviction process, visit www.utcourts.gov/howto/landlord. The following summary is taken from that website.
How Do I Evict a Tenant?
The eviction process in Utah is as follows:
- The landlord must serve an eviction notice by delivering to the tenant a "Notice to Quit." The type of "Notice to Quit" and how much notice (time) is required is determined by the tenant's status (i.e., a tenant at will or a tenant under lease).
- If the notice is not obeyed, the landlord must file a court action, called a Summons and Complaint for “Unlawful Detainer” (eviction), which allows the tenant to present defenses in court. The Summons and Complaint must be served on the tenant by a constable, deputy sheriff, or a person over the age of 18 years who is not a party to the action.
- If the judge rules for the landlord, the judge will enter an “Order of Restitution” for the tenant's eviction by a sheriff.
- A landlord must follow the law closely in order to evict a tenant. A notice must say exactly the right thing, and must be served on the tenant in the right way. If the landlord makes a mistake, a tenant may be able to get the case dismissed.
How Do I Respond to an Eviction?
If your landlord tries to evict you for a good reason, the fact that you have a baby, are pregnant, just lost your job, or have nowhere to go will not prevent a judge from evicting you. Also, if you stay after receiving an eviction notice, you could be liable for three times the daily rent for the days you stay there after the notice expires. Here are some general tips:
- An eviction begins with the service of a summons and complaint. The summons notifies tenants that they are being sued and that, to protect their rights, they should "answer" (reply) within a specified period. The complaint explains the lawsuit and tells the landlord's side of the story.
- You may wish to contact a lawyer in order to answer the summons. If you do not answer the summons, you will lose the right to explain your version of events, and a judge may issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord.
- If you must prepare the answer yourself, respond paragraph by paragraph to each statement in the complaint, saying whether or not you agree with it. Next, make two copies of your answer. Give the original to the court at the address listed at the top of the complaint, send a copy to the landlord or the landlord's attorney, and keep a copy for yourself.
The forms used during legal proceedings are provided online by the Utah Courts system. The Sheriff’s Office does not supply or have the forms to help you during any legal proceedings. This court website allows you to use their Self-Help Resource that provides forms and steps to deal with landlord and tenant issues such as evictions. You may complete the documents required to initiate or respond to an eviction by using the UTAH Online Court Assistance Program at www.utcourts.gov.
The Cache County Sheriff’s Office Civil Unit helps during the process of evictions by serving the paperwork and following the court’s orders. This service is provided to the public for a fee that can be found on the Civil Unit’s fee schedule on this website at the following link:
Civil Process Fees.pdf