Utah Eviction Blog

Free Utah Eviction Forms and Legal Information

Archive for the ‘Eviction Issues’ Category

Utah LLCs and Personal Liability – When Are Owners Liable?

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on January 18, 2010

What if I want to use my new company (“Best Tenants Ever, LLC”) to lease your property so my employees can live there while they are working on the job?  Being an attorney, I sign the lease as “Jeremy Shorts, on behalf of Best Tenants Ever, LLC”?  I claim to be the best tenant ever, but signing in this way means that my LLC, and not me individually, is responsible for performing on the lease.  This includes making monthly payments and other critical terms of the contract.  If rents are ever late (i.e. business is slow or the project closes down), your lawsuit would be against “Best Tenants Ever, LLC” and not Jeremy Shorts.  This situation has the potential to create serious problems if the lease goes into default.  As the landlord, there are simple things you can do to protect yourself.

Creating Personal Liability

Instead of having Best Tenants Ever, LLC liable for the lease, how do you also make me, Jeremy Shorts, personally responsible?  There are two main things to consider.   Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Posted in Eviction Issues, General Legal Info | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

When Can a Landlord Triple Their Claim for Damages?

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on December 18, 2009

In most lawsuits, the Plaintiff is limited to claiming only those damages they’ve actually suffered – nothing more.  Evictions are not like most lawsuits.  Landlords are often entitled to “treble damages” where they are permitted to claim three times the actual damages they’ve suffered.  The details are spelled out in the Utah eviction code.

Under Utah Code Ann. § 78B-6-811, a Utah landlord making a claim for unlawful detainer (i.e. eviction)  is allowed to claim treble damages for the following items:

  • The amounts due under the contract (including rents, late fees, etc.).
  • Waste (damage caused by the tenant beyond normal wear and tear).
  • Abatement (or getting rid of) any nuisance caused by the tenant.

In addition to these amounts, Utah Code Ann. § 78B-6-811(3) also states that a judgment shall include Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Eviction Issues | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Should Your Case Be In Small Claims Court? Three Advantages & Disadvantages

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on December 12, 2009

Utah’s small claims courts can be a beautiful tool for landlords, but it must be used correctly.  If you file a case in small claims that really belongs in district court, the judge should dismiss your case.  If this happens, not only with you have wasted months of your time but you will also lose out on filing fees and other costs you’ve paid.  You’ll then have to begin the process all over again in district court.  It is important to understand when your case does not belong in small claims.

Small Claims Advantages…

There are several important advantages to using Utah’s small claims courts:

  • First – Speed. Small claims courts are usually MUCH faster compared to district court.  You can be sitting at a trial in small claims court within 2-3 months (depending on how busy the court is).  Most cases in district court take much longer than that.
  • Second – Savings. Filing fees are cheaper in small claims court, but the biggest cost savings Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Eviction Issues, General Legal Info | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

When Can a Landlord Claim Attorney Fees in Utah?

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on December 5, 2009

In a dispute with a tenant (or anyone for that matter), being able to claim attorney fees can provide valuable leverage during negotiations.  However, it is only possible to claim attorney fees in limited situations, and it is important to understand when this is possible.

When Can You Claim Attorney Fees?

The Utah Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that “Generally, attorney fees in Utah are awarded only as a matter of right under a contract or statute.”  Foote v. Clark, 962 P.2d 52, 54 (Utah 1998) (internal citations omitted).  Without a contract or statute allowing attorney fees, neither party can claim them.  Also, where a contract awards attorney fees, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Eviction Issues, General Legal Info | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Utah Owner’s Possession Bond – Utah Code Ann. § 78B-6-808

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on December 4, 2009

When a possession bond is used properly, evictions are often resolved in days or weeks instead of months or years.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Utah court system realizes that a landlord cannot usually wait months or years to handle a dead-beat tenant.  Most landlords would eventually have a difficult time paying the mortgage on their rental property if they are not able to collect any rents for several months.  One of the tools the Utah courts have provided to Landlords is to file an “Owner’s Possession Bond” (or Possession Bond).  Details of the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Eviction Issues, General Legal Info | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Two Questions – To Sue… Or Not To Sue…

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on December 4, 2009

Evaluating a potential lawsuit can be complex, but there are two simple questions that must be considered from the very beginning.  If you answer “No” to either of these questions, you should consider cutting your losses and moving on without taking legal action.

  • First – Do you have a valid claim?
    • Based on the facts and law, you need to know how likely a judge is to agree with you and award a judgment in your favor.
  • Second – Can you collect from the defendant(s)?
    • Even if the facts and law are on your side, if the defendant is in a poor financial state (i.e. they have little or no assets to even pay a judgment), a lawsuit may not be in your best interests.

If you cannot answer “Yes” to both of these, you may want to move on.  It does you no good if you have an excellent claim that a judge would agree with, but the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Eviction Issues, General Legal Info | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Utah Eviction Process – The ABCs

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on December 3, 2009

If a problem tenant has to be evicted in Utah, what rights does the landlord have and what process must be followed?  Generally, there are three steps to properly evict a dead-beat tenant.  If these are not followed strictly or properly, a judge may refuse your eviction and dismiss your case.  It is important to consult an attorney to ensure that you are complying with the law.

A – End The Lease

Ending the lease by providing proper notice to a tenant is the first step in beginning the eviction process.  By law, every tenant must be Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Eviction Issues | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »