Real Estate Law

Construction Liens and Attorney’s Fee Provisions, Two Ways for Contractors to Protect their Paydays

By Benton M. Eskelsen 801-365-1021 benton@snjlegal.com   One of the worst parts of working in the construction industry is how often clients, general contractors, etc. refuse to pay contractors for a job without any justification. Similarly, one of the worst parts of being an attorney for these contractors in such predicaments is when I have …

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What Happens When a Utah Contractor Works Without a License?

By Joseph G. Ballstaedt801-365-1021joe@snjlegal.com Doing construction work in Utah without a proper license is a risky business. This article discusses what construction work requires a license and what work is exempt from requiring a license. This article also explains the general rule that prevents an unlicensed contractor from suing for unpaid work on a construction …

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Unconscionable and Unenforceable Contracts in Utah

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com Almost every contract in Utah is enforceable, but a contract or agreement that is unconscionable is unenforceable. The contract defense of unconscionability prevents oppression and unfair surprise. This article discusses the difficult task of overcoming the general presumption that contracts are enforceable, the elements needed to prove unconscionability, and other issues relevant …

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Rights Under Express Easements in Utah

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com An easement is the right to use another person’s land. In Utah, easements can be created in a variety of ways, including by expressly giving an easement, by implication, by necessity, and by adverse possession (a prescriptive easement). This article discusses express easements (the most common type of easement), including how they are created, …

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What Can a Utah Property Owner Do When a Co-Owner Fails to Pay Property Expenses?

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com In Utah, a person can hold title to real estate with other people in a variety of ways, including as joint tenants with rights of survivorship or tenants in common. Spouses regularly share ownership of a property, but friends, business partners, roommates, or anyone can also own property jointly. Joint owners have rights and duties to …

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Three Forms of Ownership in Utah Real Estate

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com In Utah, an owner can hold title to real estate in several different forms. Three forms of ownership are discussed below: 1) sole ownership; 2) joint tenancy with rights of survivorship; and 3) tenancy in common. Sole Ownership The simplest form of ownership in Utah is sole ownership by a single individual …

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Does Amending a Recorded Notice of Lien Reset the Deadline to Foreclose on a Construction Lien in Utah?

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com To preserve a lien claim, a lien claimant must, among other things, record a notice of construction lien with the county recorder’s office, and within 180 days thereafter, initiate a lawsuit to foreclose on that lien. But what happens if, within that 180-day period, the lien claimant files an amended notice of …

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Timelines (and the Statute of Limitations) for Foreclosing on a Trust Deed in Utah

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com In Utah, trust deeds are often used to secure loans, ranging from loans for homebuyers to loans for general contractors used to finance real estate developments. The real property identified in the trust deed acts as collateral. If the debtor fails to pay, the lender can sell the property in a foreclosure …

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What Sellers and Purchasers Need to Know about a Utah Real Estate Sale

A real estate sale can seem like a daunting task, but with an attorney on your side, you can sail through with ease. There are a few documents that you need to understand when entering into a real estate transaction: deed of trust, promissory note, and guaranty. Let’s walk through these documents so you can …

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How to Deal with Ambiguous Contracts in Utah

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com What happens when two parties to a contract disagree about what the contract language means? How are ambiguities in a contract resolved? Utah courts and judges should interpret and enforce each contract in a way that is in line with the intent of the parties who signed the contract. Usually, the parties’ …

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