How do I go about evicting a tenant who is in violation of most of the lease and behind in rent?

UPDATED: Mar 7, 2012

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How do I go about evicting a tenant who is in violation of most of the lease and behind in rent?

She is 17 months behind in rent and has refused before to leave. She changed the locks without any consent and is in violation of many of the statements in the lease. I am lost as to how to do this as fast as possible and as legally as possible.

Asked on March 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

File a complaint for an eviction action in landlord-tenant court, which is part of your state court system. When someone does not pay rent, you can move to evict that person immediately--you don't need to provide notice (or a warning) first. Unless the tenant can come up with *all* the rent owed, you'll be able to get a judgment of possession for the space; you can then use that judgment to obtain a writ or warrant of removal, which will direct the sheriff (or a similar court officer, like a constable) to lock her  out. The process is fairly straightforward; you should be able to find forms, instructions, etc. from your local court. Note that if  you own the property through an LLC or corporation, you will need an attorney to represent you; if you own it yourself, you can represent yourself in court as the landlord (though getting an attorney is still a good idea).

You can also separately sue for her the unpaid rent, and for any damage she did to the premises.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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