In Utah, a lease is authentic wherever there is an agreement to exchange rent for occupying a property. According to Utah law (Utah Code Tit. 57 Ch. 16) this relationship automatically grants the tenant rights, such as the right to a habitable living space and the right to seek housing without discrimination.
Landlords also have certain rights, such as the right to obtain rent in a timely manner and the right to recover funds for damages on property that are beyond normal wear and tear.
Note: These rights exist regardless of a rental agreement stating otherwise.
Landlord Responsibilities in Utah
In Utah, landlords must provide a habitable living space and must also make requested repairs within 24 hours for a dangerous condition, three days to correct a habitability requirement, and 10 days for any other requirement in the rental agreement. If they do not, tenants have the right to repair the issue and deduct from the following month’s rent.
Here is a list of essential amenities that Utah landlords may or may not be responsible for.
|Electrical outlets and wiring||Yes|
|Heating and cooling||Yes|
|Garbage removal||Yes, multi-family units|
Landlords are not allowed to evict tenants as a form of retaliation for exercising their right to habitable housing.
Tenant Responsibilities in Utah
Aside from paying rent in a timely manner, Utah tenants must also:
- Keep the unit safe and in a habitable condition.
- Comply with all building and housing codes that affect health and safety.
- Use all facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner.
- Comply with any smoking regulations and rules outlined in the lease.
- Keep fixtures clean and sanitary.
- Maintain all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detection devices.
- Allow reasonable access to the owner or landlord to make necessary repairs to the rental property.
- Make small repairs and maintenance.
- Not disturb other tenants or neighbors.
- Not deliberately or negligently destroy any part of the premises.
Evictions in Utah
Landlords in Utah are empowered to evict tenants for the following reasons:
- Nonpayment of Rent – If a tenant fails to pay rent then the landlord may issue a 3-Day Notice to Pay after any applicable grace period. If the tenant still does not pay then the landlord may file for eviction.
- Lease Violation – If a lease violation occurs, then the landlord may issue a 3-Day Notice to Comply. The tenant has three days to remedy the violation, if the issue is not corrected the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
- No Lease/ End of Lease – If a tenant remains on the rental property after the rental period has ended, the landlord may issue a notice to quit. The amount of time required in the notice depends on the type of tenancy.
- Month-to-Month – If rent is paid on a month-to-month basis, a landlord must provide the tenant with a 15-Day Notice to Quit. Notice must be served at least 15 calendar days before the end of the rental period or the tenant can stay until the end of the next rental period.
- At-Will Tenants – If the tenancy is at-will, landlords must provide tenants with a 5-Day Notice to Quit. This notice can only be used if there is no written or oral rental agreement. The tenant must leave within five calendar days.
- Subleasing Rental Unit – If a tenant subleases the rental unit and the lease prohibits it, the landlord may evict the tenant by giving them a 3-Day Notice to Quit.
- Committing Waste – If the tenant commits waste on the rental property, the landlord may issue a 3-Day Notice to Quit. If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period has ended, the landlord may begin the eviction process.
- Illegal Acts – Utah landlords may issue a 3-Day Notice to Quit before proceeding with an eviction action. Illegal activity includes both non-criminal nuisances and criminal activity.
It is illegal for landlords to evict tenants as a form of retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
Security Deposits in Utah
- Standard Limit/Maximum Amount – None.
- Time Limit for Returns – 30 Days.
- Penalty if Not Returned on Time – If a Utah landlord wrongfully withholds rent then they may be liable to pay the full value of the deposit plus a $100 civil penalty and associated court costs and damages.
- Allowable Deductions – Unpaid rent/utility bills, damages that exceed normal wear and tear.
Lease Termination in Utah
Notice requirements. Tenants who wish to terminate a lease must give the following amounts of notice:
|Rent Payment Frequency||Notice Needed|
Early termination. If a Utah tenant wishes to break a lease early, they may do so legally for the following reasons:
- Early termination clause.
- Active military duty.
- Uninhabitable unit.
- Landlord harassment.
- Domestic violence.
Tenants that break a lease early may still be required to pay the remainder of the lease term. Landlords are not legally required to facilitate the re-renting process.
Rent Increases & Related Fees in Utah
- Rent control. Utah law preempts rent control at both a state and local level. Thus, Utah landlords are able to charge whatever they want for rent.
- Rental increases. By the same token, Utah landlords are not limited in how much they can raise rent and they are not required to give notice or justification before doing so.
- Rent-related fees. Utah law does not limit late fees and they do not even have to disclose all fees in the lease agreement. The state does limit returned check fees to $30.
Housing Discrimination in Utah
Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. These rules do not apply to homes operated by religious organizations or owner-occupied homes. Utah has extra state-level protections based on source of income, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Discriminatory acts & penalties. The Utah Labor Commissions Antidiscrimination and labor Division handles housing discrimination cases. The following behaviors have been flagged as possibly discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected class:
- Refusing to rent or sell on a bona fide offer
- Offering different terms, conditions, or privileges
- Advertising that implies discriminatory preferences
- 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 is the victim of discrimination in housing, they can file a complaint with the state department here on their website. If the complaint is determined to be justified, then the tenant may use the ruling as the basis for civil litigation.
Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Utah
Landlord Right to Entry in Utah
Utah requires landlords to give at least 24 hours’ notice before entering an inhabited unit. Landlords and tenants are free to modify these policies in the lease agreement. Landlords are assumed to not need permission to enter in cases of emergency.
Small Claims Court in Utah
Utah small claims court will hear rent-related cases amounting to $10,000 or less. Small claims courts will not normally handle eviction cases. The statute of limitations on all contracts (written or verbal) in Utah is 6 years.
Mandatory Disclosures in Utah
Utah landlords are required to make the following mandatory disclosures:
- Lead-Based Paint -Landlords that own homes built after 1978 must provide information about the concentrations of lead paint.
- Authorized Agents – Utah landlords must also provide all the names and addresses of the parties involved in owning and managing the property.
- Methamphetamine – Applicable to any property where the landlord has knowledge of possible methamphetamine contamination.
Changing the Locks in Utah
Utah law allows tenants to change locks after getting permission from the landlord. Landlords are obligated to honor this request if the tenant has documentation confirming they are the victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault. Landlords are expressly prohibited from changing the locks as a form of eviction.
Local Landlord Tenant Laws in Utah
Salt Lake City Landlord Tenant Rights
Salt Lake City has a landlord-tenant initiative that raises the standard of rental homes in the city. Landlords in this voluntary program must follow an enhanced set of dwelling management standards that are stricter than those laid down by the state.
Please check your local county and municipality for additional land-lord tenant regulations.