Landlord - Tenant Law in Utah (2023)
If you’re going to invest in rental property in Utah, you need to know the local laws and regulations that shape the landlord - tenant relationship.
This is your helpful guide to understanding landlord responsibilities, tenant responsibilities, and other tenant management laws of which Utah landlords should be aware.
Joseph Thomas is a property management company, not a provider of legal counsel. We recommend that all of our clients utilize professional legal counsel for handling any issues related to landlord-tenant laws.
According to Utah law, these are the functions that fall within the landlord’s responsibility in providing property for tenants to rent.
According to Utah law, the tenant also has their own responsibilities that the property owner can expect of them.
Security Deposit Laws in Utah
According to Utah landlord-tenant law, there is no limit or maximum amount that can be charged by landlords as a security deposit.
Unused security deposits, whatever amount they may be, must be returned to the renter within 30 days after they move out, or within 15 days of receiving the tenant’s forwarding address.
If a landlord does not return security deposit funds within the required timeframe, they may be legally required to pay a $100 fine in addition to the full amount owed back to the former renter. The landlord would also be responsible for any court costs or damages.
Utah Eviction and Termination Laws
If a Utah tenant wishes to break a lease, there is no statute under the law for the amount of notice required except for month-to-month tenants, which must provide at least 15 days notice.
Tenants may legally break a lease early for reasons of active military duty, an uninhabitable unit, a domestic violence situation, landlord harassment, or according to the details of an early termination clause in the lease.
Landlords may legally evict tenants for reasons of nonpayment of rent, lease violation, or illegal activity by the tenant. You may also choose to evict holdover tenants.
Utah tenant - landlord law prohibits housing discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. This means that tenancy may not be denied based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability. However, the FHA does not apply to housing operated by religious organizations or owner-occupied homes.
Housing discrimination includes:
- Refusing to rent or sell on a bona fide offer
- Discriminatory advertising
- Offering different privileges, terms or conditions based on discriminatory factors
- Refusing to make reasonable accommodations
- Inducing tenants to buy, sell, or rent based on representations of the neighborhoods current or future demographic composition
If a tenant files a complaint with the state for discriminatory treatment, the issue becomes a matter of civil litigation.
Beyond the FHA, the state of Utah also has state-level protection against housing discrimination based on source of income, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Utah Renter’s Rights
As listed on the American Apartment Owners Association website, Utah renter’s rights include:
- The right to dwell in a safe and sanitary housing unit.
- The right to have their dangers and issues responded to in a safe and timely manner.
- The right to quiet contentment and reasonable notice before the landlord enters their house or premises.
- The right to utilize common space in the rental units either for a small fee or for free, depending on the service.
- The right to post things such as fliers or advertisements in common areas.
- The open right to meet with their landlord if they see the need or have something important to discuss.
When a tenant leaves personal property behind after moving out, there are regulations for how Utah landlords ought to handle the abandoned property. While effort must be made to notify the former tenant and allow them to retrieve their possessions, it is possible that the landlord may eventually keep or sell the abandoned items.
When it comes to tenants abandoning the property itself which they are renting (moving out without notice), Utah law outlines an official process for officially declaring abandonment and eventually evicting the tenant, thus terminating the lease.
Landlord’s Right to Access Property in Utah
As a standard rule under Utah law, landlords must provide at least 24 hours notice before entering an inhabited property unit that they manage. However, this policy may be modified in the lease, agreed upon by both tenant and landlord. It is assumed that landlords do not need permission to access property in the event of an emergency.
Helping Property Owners Navigate Utah Laws
The team at Joseph Thomas has years of experience managing rental property and tenant relationships in Utah. Although Joseph Thomas is not a legal partner (we encourage you to have one of those), we help our clients stay up to date and compliant with all Utah laws affecting tenants and landlords, as well as prevent potential issues down the road.
Check out the variety of Joseph Thomas management services we offer and let us know how we can make your life and your property investing even better.
Utah Landlord - Tenant Law Resources
There are other Utah laws and federal laws affecting landlords and tenants that have not been covered here. To learn more, check out these other helpful resources: