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 in a timely manner (10 days). If they do not, then Utah tenants are empowered to take at least two forms of alternative action. They may withhold rent or they may make the repairs and deduct the cost from future rent payments.
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|
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
- Keep fixtures clean and sanitary
- Make small repairs and maintenance
- Not disturb other tenants or neighbors
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 or Quit 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 Cure or Quit. In the case of severe violations, there is no need to give the tenant a chance to remedy their behavior. Either way, if the terms are not met, the landlord can pursue formal eviction.
- Illegal acts – Utah landlords have broad authority to determine which illegal activities warrant eviction. To that end, if they have documentation of illegal activities, then the landlord may file a 3-Day Unconditional Notice to Quit.
At-will tenants with a fixed end-date are entitled to receive at least 5 days’ advance notice before being evicted. At-will tenants without a fixed end date are entitled to receive at least 15 days’ advance notice.
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.
- Lease copy. All tenants are entitled to receive a hard copy of their lease before it is executed.
- Itemized list of damages. Utah tenants are entitled to receive an itemized list of pre-existing damages before they move in.
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.