A Utah eviction notice is a document that informs the tenant that is written by the landlord or their authorized agent. It tells the tenant that they’ve violated the lease or rental agreement terms in some way. They’re given a certain amount of time by Utah law to correct the problem or vacate the property. When a lease or rental agreement violation can be corrected, the violation is known as a curable violation. However, Utah also has an incurable violation. With an incurable violation, the tenant is instructed by the eviction notice to vacate the property within the amount of time stated by law and in the eviction notice. If the tenant does not comply with the eviction notice by the end of the notice period, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant. All eviction notices must comply with Utah’s landlord-tenant laws.
A Utah eviction notice requires certain information. The components included are:
You’ll also want to use a Certificate of Service. A Certificate of Service documents the date that service occurred, the name of the person served, how service occurred, and the signature of the service agent. Legal service in Utah can be performed by hand delivering the eviction notice to the tenant, mailing it to the tenant via registered or certified mail (you may find it beneficial to request a return receipt), hand delivering it to someone in the tenant’s home who is considered of suitable age and discretion, or posted in an obvious place on the property (like the front door). Remember that legal service is extremely important. Without it, the landlord may have a hard time in court should they sue the tenant for not complying.
3-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment of Rent
A 3-day notice to quit for non-payment of rent is a curable violation. Under § 78B-6-802(c), tenants have three days to pay their past due rent or vacate the property. This notice should tell the tenant how much must be paid in past due rent, the acceptable payment methods (such as a money order), and where or how the rent must be paid. Of course, the notice should include the three day deadline to comply or leave the property.
3-Day Notice to Quit for Lease Violation
A 3-day notice to quit for lease violations is also known as a notice to cure or quit. This is used for lease violations that the tenant is being given three days to correct the violation (cure it) or vacate the property according to § 78B-6-802(h). This notice should explain how the lease or rental agreement was violated as well as the three deadline to cure the defect or leave the property.
3-Day Notice to Quit for Illegal Activities
A 3-day notice to quit for illegal activities is used for an incurable violation: illegal activities. Under § 78B-6-802(g), the landlord gives the tenant three days for being involved in illegal activity on the property. The landlord or the agent issuing the notice should describe the illegal activity that occurred.
15-Day Notice to Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy
A 15-day notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy is not quite the same thing as the eviction notices we previously discussed. While it does end a month-to-month tenancy, the form can be used by either the landlord or the tenant. According to § 78B-6-802(1)(b)(i), this notice must tell the recipient that the property will or must be vacated at the end of that 15 days.
Utah eviction notices are an important part of the legal eviction process. They signify the beginning of the process from a legal standpoint. Eviction notices must comply with Utah’s landlord-tenant laws. They should include the components that we discussed above. Landlords should ensure that the eviction notice is legally served. The standards for legal service in Utah are also discussed above toward the end of the section where the components were also discussed.
Another important legal consideration is in the eviction process itself. In addition to properly serving the notice, the landlord must wait the prescribed number of days to determine whether the tenant will comply. If the tenant does not comply by the end of the notice period, only then can the landlord file an eviction lawsuit. This is important because without a court order giving the landlord permission to do so, they may not lock out the tenant (or change the locks), have the utilities shut off to the property, or remove the belongings of the tenant. Without a court order, those actions are considered “self-help” and illegal.
Two other forms of illegal eviction are retaliatory evictions and evicting someone based on their nationality, skin color, race, disability, gender, family status, or religion. Retaliatory eviction means that the landlord tries to evict the tenant because the tenant reported the property to the housing authorities for code violations or because the rental property is uninhabitable. Landlords may not evict tenants because they report those issues to the proper authorities. Landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that the property is habitable and safe. It is also illegal for tenants to be evicted for the seven traits listed above. Those traits are listed in The Fair Housing Act, a federal law which all landlords must follow.
If a landlord participates in an illegal eviction of any kind, the tenant may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the landlord. The court could order the landlord to provide financial compensation to the tenant. The landlord may also be ordered to pay fines for violating state and / or federal law.
If you’re renting in Utah, you have rights as a tenant. You can learn more about your rights by visiting the website maintained by Utah Legal Services. We discussed illegal eviction methods in the last section. You must be legally served with an eviction notice and refuse to comply with it before the landlord can sue you to make you leave the property. An eviction notice includes important information that you need to know. Read it thoroughly so that you understand what’s happened and the deadline you must either comply or leave the property by. If you have questions about the eviction notice, call the landlord or their authorized agent. We know that evictions can be scary. However, if you want to work the situation out, make sure that you remain calm while you’re on the phone.
If you believe that you may be the victim of an illegal eviction, make an appointment with a landlord-tenant lawyer in your county. They can listen to the facts and determine whether you may have a valid claim against the landlord. If you do, they can walk you through your legal options. You can also call Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School or The University of Utah College of Law. Ask if they have an active legal clinic that provides help for tenants. You can also contact Utah Legal Services. You may qualify for low-cost legal help. Utah Legal Services also has several resources for tenants regardless of whether they qualify for services.
Utah landlords have both rights and legal obligations. It’s imperative that landlords follow both state and federal law. If you’re a landlord, read through the components section to learn about the eviction notices, how much time each eviction notice allots, and follow the proper service procedures. You cannot file a lawsuit against the tenant for eviction unless they refuse to comply with the notice. If you do not get a court order, you may not change the locks or shut off the utilities. You also may not remove the belongings of the tenant. Illegal eviction of any kind (and we discussed the main types of illegal evictions under Legal Considerations) can result in a lawsuit filed against you.
To learn more about your obligations, rights, or the Utah eviction process, contact a landlord-tenant lawyer in the county where the rental property is located.