This page has local legal information on residential (not commercial) renters’ issues. It is not legal advice, and you should check with your local legal aid and courts for current information.
This page was last updated on Aug 26th, 2022. It was reviewed by our volunteer attorney experts.
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Emergency Protections during COVID
Do renters have protections against eviction during the Covid-19 emergency?
Received a Warning Notice about Eviction?
Have you received a warning notice from your landlord, like a ‘Notice to Quit’ or a ‘Notice to Leave’? Find what options you have.
Facing an Eviction Lawsuit?
Has your landlord filed an eviction lawsuit in court? Have you received a Summons and Complaint? Learn what rights and options you have.
Behind on Rent?
Find local programs that can help you with housing costs, or work out a plan with your landlord.
Earlier, Utah Governor Gary Herbert ordered a freeze on enforcement of evictions against renters who had lost income or jobs due to COVID-19. You must prove this applies to you. The order went into effect on April 1, 2020 and ended on May 15, 2020. After that date, eviction enforcement and proceedings started again.
U.S. national protections against eviction, the CDC eviction ban, ended on August 26, 2021.
Yes, Utah renters still need to pay rent during the emergency.
Since emergency protections have expired, you may be sued for eviction and will owe all your rent.
Also check with your local city or county government to see if they give renters any additional protections if they are struggling to pay rent during the emergency.
If you cannot pay rent, take steps to protect yourself:
Earlier in the year, under Governor Herbert's eviction moratorium order, landlords could not evict renters who had not paid full rent because of COVID-19 reasons, for rent that was due between April 1 and May 15, 2020. During this period, landlords could still ask for rent, but they could not have a renter removed from their homes. After May 15, 2020, courts began to allow eviction proceedings against renters impacted by COVID-19 to begin once again.
If you receive a notice to quit from your landlord, or an eviction lawsuit, reach out for legal help.
Utah renters' utilities may be shut off during the emergency period.
There is no statewide order to stop utility companies from shutting off residents' utilities if they do not pay their bills.
Check with your local government and utility provider to see if you have any local protections from shutoffs.
Renters must still pay their utility bills. If you need financial assistance for utility costs, you may be able to get help.
Landlords are never allowed to shut off a renter's utilities in an attempt to force the renter out. This is illegal. Reach out to a lawyer for help if this happens to you.
Tell your landlord about any repairs needed, particularly if they affect your health and safety.
The emergency may delay your landlord's ability to make repairs, but if they are urgent you should call your landlord to make the repairs as soon as possible.
Emergency repairs could be for problems with:
If your landlord doesn't make the repairs promptly, send them a written letter or email about the need for emergency repairs (and keep a copy of this communication).
Reach out for legal help for additional guidance.
You may be able to break your lease if you can come to an agreement with your landlord.
Your lease is still valid despite the emergency period.
However, you can talk to your landlord to see if they will agree to let you leave early. If they agree, be sure to get the agreement in writing.
Also, you can review your lease. It may have a part that lets you end the lease early in times of financial difficulty. If your lease has this kind of part, you might be able to break the lease (in some cases penalty-free).
Find legal help to get advice for your situation.
Contact a legal help organization to help defend yourself.
It is illegal for your landlord to evict you without first going to court and getting an eviction order. To remove you from your home, a landlord must take you to court by filing an eviction lawsuit, win the case, and getting an eviction order from the court.
If you are served with court papers (8-20 pages long), you only have 3 business days after the date of being served to file an Answer with the court. A court-approved Answer form and instructions from Utah Legal Services on how to fill it out can be found here. If you receive an eviction notice (1-3 pages long), you do not have to file anything.
Legal aid groups might be able to provide you with full representation, or other legal organizations can give you information or brief advice.
Yes, eviction cases are still proceeding through Utah courts, though they may be held remotely rather than in person.
Check with the Utah State Courts to find updates on court proceedings.
Renters in 3 categories have special national protections against being evicted during the Emergency Period of March 27, 2020 to July 24 or 25, 2020. These national protections add onto any state and local protections you have.
Do you fit in any of these 3 categories?
If you are a renter in one of these 3 categories, the federal CARES Act section 4024 gives you these protections. (Remember, these protections add onto any state and local protections you have)
You do not have to leave your home yet.
In Utah, your landlord must give you a valid notice that they may bring you to court to evict you for not paying your rent (or other reasons). The notice should give you time to either pay your rent or prepare defenses against an eviction lawsuit.
This official notice must follow some rules to be valid. If it doesn't follow these rules, then you can challenge an eviction lawsuit based on that notice and stop the eviction.
These are Utah’s requirements for an eviction notice:
Reach out for legal help if you think the notice isn't correct, or if you need assistance in defending yourself against the eviction.
A verbal conversation doesn't count as an "eviction notice". To be legal, the notice must be written down and given to you in the correct way.
Reach out for legal help if your landlord is trying to make you leave without going through the court process. This is illegal and a lawyer may be able to help you protect yourself.
No, you do not have to leave before the end of the time on your eviction notice, and the landlord is not allowed to lock you out without an order signed by a judge. However, at the end of the time in the eviction notice, you are then vulnerable to an eviction lawsuit.
If you want to buy the maximum amount of time before being physically thrown out, you must take certain steps (as detailed below) in order to avoid being “defaulted” in that lawsuit (if you are defaulted, the judge will be able to sign an eviction order and have you thrown out in 3 days or less after the eviction notice expired). As long as you avoid being defaulted, you will have an opportunity to go to court and present defenses to allow you to remain in your home.
You still have time to reach out for rental assistance, and stop the eviction from moving forward.
Be sure to let the local group know that you have received an eviction notice and what its deadline is. They may be able to help you pay the rent you owe, or work with your landlord to reduce the amount or put you on a payment plan.
In Utah, you have a minimum of 3 business days between your landlord giving you a notice and them filing a lawsuit against you in court to evict you. Day-of-service doesn’t count towards the three-day clock. At the end of those three days, the landlord is legally allowed to refuse the rent and still evict you, although the landlord may voluntarily choose to accept your rent.
The notice should tell you how many days the landlord is giving you. If they are giving you less than three days, or the notice gives you three days but they file an eviction lawsuit before the end of those three days, then you may be able to have a lawsuit dismissed if the lawsuit is based on that notice.
You should make sure that the landlord properly 'served' you with the lawsuit. If they didn't give it to you in the correct way, you can challenge the eviction lawsuit. In Utah, a landlord must follow certain rules to let you know about the lawsuit:
You should also reach out to local lawyers who can help you prepare for your court hearing so you can protect yourself against the eviction.
In Utah, you are required to respond to the eviction lawsuit, if you want to avoid the eviction.
You will have 3 business days after you receive the Summons and Complaint to get an “Answer” back to the court. You can find a court-approved form Answer with instructions on how to fill it out here. If you do not submit this response by the third day, you may lose your case by default and the judge may give the landlord permission to remove you from your home.
Reach out to legal help to learn what your rights and defenses are in your eviction case. These organizations can help you deal with this lawsuit.
You can come to an agreement, but you should still go to court to make sure your case is closed.
You can work with your landlord to work out an agreement before the date of the court hearing. This might be a payment plan or other agreement on what needs to happen for you to stay in your home.
Be sure to get this agreement in writing, so that you can prove it exists and that your landlord follows through on it.
Also, you should still go to court for your hearing date, to make sure the court knows about the agreement and closes the lawsuit. If you do not go to court, the lawsuit might still continue and the judge might rule that the landlord can remove you. Go to court yourself to make sure this doesn't happen.
You can reach out for legal help to get assistance in negotiating an agreement with your landlord, and making sure this agreement is being followed.
If you are behind on rent, you can get help from your local Rental Assistance program. This is a government service to help people who owe rent or utility bills.
Especially if you are behind on rent because of COVID-19 hardships, your local Rental Assistance (or Rent Relief) program can help you.
Find your local Rental Assistance program at your Get Help page here.
Local governments set the rules about who is eligible for rent relief. Most programs focus on people who have suffered COVID-19 hardships.
You can talk to your local Rental Assistance program to learn their eligibility rules.
You may have to show your household income, or if you are on other benefits programs like SNAP.
You may also have to show that you are at risk of homelessness or eviction if you don't get rental assistance.
Many local Rental Assistance programs are open to everyone, regardless of immigration status. Many programs do not even ask about immigration status.
Check with your local Rental Assistance program to make sure about eligibility rules and immigration.
Most Rental Assistance programs let landlords apply.
Either a renter or a landlord can start the application.
The landlord will have to fill in as much information they have about the amount of money needed, and the eligibility for the program. The tenant may have to fill in the rest of the information.
Find legal groups that can help you with housing problems, landlords, roommates, Section 8, domestic violence, discrimination, and more.Find Legal Services
Find groups that can help you pay the rent, cover utility costs, and get other housing-related assistance.Find Financial Help
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State information is taken from these sources:Utah Governor eviction orderUtah Legal ServicesPrinceton Eviction Lab's COVID Policy ScorecardsColumbia Law School COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria analysisEnergy and Policy Institute Utility Disconnect TrackerUtah Supreme Court order 5/1/20
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