Criminal Trespass by a Long-term Guest

Criminal trespass by a long-term guest

Utah law allows an owner (or primary occupant, or someone with "apparent authority" to act for the primary occupant) of a residence to remove a guest who has overstayed their welcome without going through a court process if certain requirements are met.

A primary occupant can be a tenant or an owner of the residence. Utah Code Section 76-6-206.4.


Difference between a tenant and a long-term guest

A long-term guest has been given permission (express or implied) by the owner (or primary occupant) to stay at the residence for 48 hours or longer, and has not provided anything of value in exchange for living there.

A tenant has a rental agreement or lease (written or oral), has given the owner (or primary occupant) something of value in exchange for living there, or both.Something of value can include money, an exchange of labor, or contributing toward household expenses such as utilities or groceries.



The owner's (or primary occupant's) first step is to give the long-term guest notice by "personal communication" that they want them to leave. This personal communication can be in writing or oral.

If the long-term guest does not leave after receiving the notice, the owner or primary occupant can call the police and ask them to remove the guest.The police will determine whether the person is a tenant or a long-term guest.

  • If the police determine that the person is a long-term guest, they will remove the person from the residence. They could also arrest the long-term guest for criminal trespass. The police must give the guest a reasonable time to gather their belongings.
  • If the police determine that the person is a tenant, the owner could start an eviction case in court. See the Eviction web page for more information about that process, and forms.
  • Utah Legal Services has information that may help a tenant if a landlord is trying to have them removed under this process.


Criminal trespass

Violation of Utah Code Section 76-6-206.4 is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.