St George, UT asked in Real Estate Law for Utah

Q: Can the owner of his own property be charged with trespassing when he enters his own lot or his own home?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen Howard
Stephen Howard
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Odd as it may sound, it is sometimes possible to be charged in Utah with trespassing on your own property.

For most property offenses (theft, criminal mischief, etc.), the statutes refer to "property of another." Trespass, on the other hand, refers simply to entering or remaining "unlawfully" on "property," without any requirement that it be someone else's property.

Usually, your presence on your own property is not "unlawful." But there can be situations where you are not legally allowed to be present on your own property. For example, if you lease a property to someone else, some leases give the tenant the exclusive right to possess the property. Under such circumstances, the owner's presence could be found to be "unlawful" and constitute a trespass. There are other possible examples as well.

You should consult with an attorney about the specific details of your situation.

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