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Archive for the ‘General Legal Info’ Category

My Tenant is Gone and I’ve Obtained a Judgment. Now What? Part – I – Preemptive Measures

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on November 1, 2013

No landlord wants to anticipate that a tenant will fail to pay rent, cause damage to the property or create a nuisance, but unfortunately these things do happen.  It is wise to consider these potential issues, even when signing up the most promising tenants.  By obtaining thorough personal information at the beginning of the process, landlords can avoid potential headaches in the future.

Some important tenant information to obtain should include:

*          Social Security Numbers for all tenants

*          Bank Account Information

*          Employment Information including employer addresses, phone numbers, and income verification, such as W-2s or Forms 1099

Often, a tenant will be make their rental payments by check.  It is always good practice to keep track of these payments in case you need to know what bank those checks were coming from.

By obtaining this information, the landlord becomes better equipped to recover losses in the event the tenant fails to follow through on their promises.

Visit our website for free rental contracts and eviction forms: http://www.utahevictionlaw.com
Contact us for a free consultation.
Jeremy Shorts – Attorney at Law
Phone: 801-610-9879
Email: info@utahevictionlaw.com

 

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My Tenant is Gone and I’ve Obtained a Judgment. Now What?

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on October 24, 2013

            Most often, a landlord’s first and most important goal in an eviction case is to simply get the tenant out of the property.  What should also be considered, and what is often overlooked, is recovering from the tenant the amount owing on the judgment after it has been entered by the court.  Many landlords fail to consider what happens after they have successfully removed the tenant from the property and obtained a judgment.

             We will be posting a multi-part series on strategies landlords can implement to assist them in effectively recouping costs and recovering on damages that have been incurred because of the eviction.  Some of the things we will be discussing are: 

  • Preemptive Measures – Obtaining Tenant Information on the Application
  • Garnishments (wage or bank)
  • Payment Plans
  • Supplemental Proceedings           

            By learning about these tools, Landlords can be better prepared and more effective at collecting damages from a deadbeat tenant.

 
Visit our website for free rental contracts and eviction forms: http://www.utahevictionlaw.com
Contact us for a free consultation.
Jeremy Shorts – Attorney at Law
Phone: 801-610-9879
Email: info@utahevictionlaw.com

 

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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 »

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Landlords & LLCs – Why You Should Create One

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on December 31, 2009

Opening Disclaimer & Warning

In this post I discuss the benefits of setting up a business entity which will hold title to rental properties and rental contracts.  There are clear benefits for doing so, but it is absolutely critical  to have the help of a professional as you work through these issues.  If these transfers are not done properly, you can create significant problems.  For example, by transferring title to a property into your LLC you can void your title insurance policy and/or cause your mortgage to go into default.  These issues can be worked through, but it is important that you have an attorney handle these critical aspects to ensure that additional problems do not arise.

Should You Set Up An LLC?

Many landlords are curious about whether they should set up an LLC (or another business entity) to hold their rental properties.  There are a few significant reasons why I always encourage clients with rental properties to do this.

Lawsuits & Liabilities

Any accidents or injuries suffered by your tenants or their guests create potential liability for the Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

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Attorneys are Expensive?!?

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on December 11, 2009

Some things should simply NOT be in the “do-it-yourself” category.  There’s a reason I pay an accountant to do my taxes.  I could try to figure it out on my own, but he’s better at it, and I can rely on his accuracy to claim all my deductions, navigate potential problems, and avoid penalties.  Although I may be biased, handling some legal issues should not be in a “do-it-yourself” category.

I like to ask clients “What are the downsides to having an attorney help you through this situation?”  After a few lawyer jokes (including one or two from me), they almost always Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Just Getting Started…

Posted by Jeremy Shorts on December 1, 2009

Welcome to my Blog!  My name is Jeremy Shorts, I am an attorney here in Utah.  Through future posts to this Blog, you will find completely free general information that will help landlords and property owners navigate around potential legal pitfalls.  From dealing with problem tenants to taking steps to provide legal protection for your property, you’ve come to the right place.

In connection with this Blog, I also have a website (www.utahevictionlaw.com) where you will find FREE Utah eviction forms and other Utah real estate forms that you may find helpful (including a free Utah residential lease agreement).  Landlords often face a wide variety of legal issues that require specific legal advice based on your situation.  You MUST contact an attorney to receive legal advice specific to your situation.

Visit my website for free rental contracts and eviction forms: www.utahevictionlaw.com
Contact me for a free consultation.
Jeremy Shorts – Attorney at Law
Phone: 801-610-9879
Email: jeremy@utahevictionlaw.com

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