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Posts Tagged ‘Dead-Beat Tenants’

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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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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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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