What to do When You Are Being Evicted

Being evicted from your home can be one of the most stressful things for any individual. I frequently deal with people who are living on the edge of poverty and have no place to go. Then they are suddenly expected to find a new place to live in less than a week some times. According to Princeton’s Eviction Lab, individuals who have been evicted frequently also end up losing their jobs. Similar studies have shown that mothers who experienced eviction report higher rates of depression two years after the move than mothers who did not. On top of this, getting evicted landlords will screen tenants who have been evicted and will try and avoid renting out to them. Then rental contracts include a clause requiring you to pay for the attorney you helps evict you. In some cases, a landlord can force you to pay triple the normal rent.

You Can Always Do Something

I’ve found that even in the worst situation there is almost always somethings that can be done. Under Utah law a landlord cannot engage in “self-help” evictions. This means that a landlord cannot forcibly enter the apartment or home and kick you out, or change the locks while you are out. So in order to kick you out a landlord needs to use the courts and follow the process. If a landlord does not bother to do it right, then there is a real chance that the court will allow the eviction. This means that a landlord needs to have a good reason to evict you; needs to provide you the correct type of notice and the chance to respond. Then there is what is called an immediate occupancy hearing where the court decides if you are entitled to possession of the property. If you lose that hearing, you are required to leave the property within three days.

EVICTION TIMELINE 1 300x232 - What to do When You Are Being Evicted
A timeline of a typical eviction

 

Money Talks

Even if a landlord can legally evict you, they will frequently let you stay if you come up with the money then are asking for. If you cannot pay them what they want, you can still ask them for a few more days. I’ve found that they will let you stay in for a few more days if you offer to pay them at least some of the money that you may owe them. Even if they won’t most judges will give you a few extra days if you offer to pay something.

Our office has helped hundreds of defendants in evictions. We usually do so on a flat fee basis. If we can’t at least help improve the situation either by buying you time or saving you money, our office will return any money you paid to us. If you are being evicted contact our office and we can help.