In Utah, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by Utah Code § 57-22-4. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.
|Landlord Responsibilities||Cold/Hot Water, HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Sanitation Facilities|
|Time Limit for Repairs||24 Hours, 3 Calendar Days, or 10 Calendar Days|
|Tenant Recourse Options||
Applicable Dwelling Types in Utah
The implied warranty of habitability in Utah does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.
|Dwelling Type||Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?|
|Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs||Not specifically addressed|
|RV parks||Not specifically addressed|
|Mobile home parks||Not specifically addressed|
|Condos||Not specifically addressed|
|Hotels/Motels||Not specifically addressed|
Additionally, rental agreements are not allowed to include any provisions that waive the tenant’s right to live in a habitable residence.
Landlord Responsibilities in Utah
The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability. Not all of them are requirements in Utah, as indicated below.
Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.
|Habitability Issue||Landlord Responsibility?|
|Provide windows and doors that are in good repair.||Not addressed|
|Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks.||Not addressed|
|Provide hot and cold running water.||Yes|
|Provide working HVAC equipment.||Yes|
|Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting.||Yes|
|Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking||Not addressed|
|Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet).||Yes|
|Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services).||Multi-family units|
|Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe.||Not addressed|
|Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe.||Not addressed|
|Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean.||Not addressed|
|Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials.||Not addressed|
|Provide working smoke detectors||Not addressed|
|Provide a mailbox.||Not addressed|
|Provide working wiring for one telephone jack.||Not addressed|
|Provide working kitchen appliances.||Not addressed|
|Provide working carbon monoxide detector.||Not addressed|
|Provide a working washer/dryer.||Not addressed|
Landlords in Utah must maintain their rental units so that they are fit for human habitation. All common areas must be in a safe and sanitary condition.
Landlords are required to notify potential tenants if a rental unit is currently contaminated after being used in the production of methamphetamines.
If the property was previously repaired/restored and all contamination removed or mitigated, then the landlord is not required to inform tenants the property was previously used in the production of methamphetamines.
Tenant’s Right to Repairs in Utah
Landlords are required to make and pay for any repairs to make the unit livable that are not caused by the tenant.
- Sending Notice – If a tenant request repairs, they must put their request in writing to the landlord. The notice should describe the condition that needs to be remedied, include the amount of time the landlord has in order to fix the issue, provide the landlord with permission to enter the rental unit to make the repairs and finally state that the tenant will use the repair and deduct method if no action was taken by the landlord after the corrective period has ended. The landlord will have three calendar days to correct a habitability requirement, and ten calendar days for any requirement in the rental agreement. If the rental unit has a dangerous condition the landlord must begin fixing the issue within 24 hours of notice.
- Landlord Access – Tenants are required to give the landlord access to the property to make necessary repairs. However, a landlord must give tenants 24 hours’ notice unless it’s an emergency or the tenant no longer lives in the rental unit.
Tenant’s Options if Repairs Aren’t Made in Utah
If repairs aren’t made in a timely manner, the tenant has a few possible options for resolving the issue.
- Withhold Rent – Utah landlord tenant law does not permit tenants to withhold rent in response to habitability issues.
- Repair and Deduct – Tenants do have the right to repair the issue themselves and deduct a reasonable amount for the repair from the following month’s rent provided that the cost of repairs is less than two months’ rent. The tenant must provide the landlord with receipts of the amount paid to correct the issue within five calendar days after the beginning of the next rental period.
- Rent Abatement – If the landlord does not correct the issue, rent shall be abated from the date of the notice of the deficient condition to the landlord.
- Lawsuit – Tenants do have the right to take legal action in District Court for damages resulting from habitability issues.
- Reporting to Public Officials – Landlords can be reported on a city or county level to housing inspectors if they are found to be in violation of any local housing codes.
Landlord Retaliation in Utah
Landlord retaliation against a tenant exercising their legal rights is illegal in Utah. The following qualify as retaliatory acts if the landlord:
- Decreases services.
- Raises the rent.
- Harasses or intimidates the tenant.
- Attempts to evict the tenant.
- Refuses to make requested repairs.