In Wyoming, whenever rent is exchanged for inhabiting a property, then a rental agreement exists and carries rights and responsibilities. Under Wyoming law, (Wyoming Statutes Tit. 1 Ch. 21 Article 12) renters have the right to a habitable dwelling and the right to not be discriminated against in housing opportunities.
Landlords also have rights, such as the right to collect rent in a timely manner and the right to evict when there has been a violation in the lease agreement.
Note: These rights exist regardless of a rental agreement stating otherwise.
Landlord Responsibilities in Wyoming
Landlords in Wyoming have a responsibility to keep rental units in a safe and habitable condition, and to make requested repairs in a “reasonable” amount of time, though “reasonable” is not further defined by the law. However, Wyoming tenants are not allowed to pursue any forms of alternative action.
Here is a list of essential amenities that landlords may or may not be responsible for:
Landlords are not permitted to evict tenants in retaliation for exercising their right to habitable premises (i.e. filing a health or safety code violation).
Tenant Responsibilities in Wyoming
Apart from paying rent promptly and on time, Wyoming tenants must:
- Keep the unit in a safe and habitable conditions.
- Remove garbage and keep fixtures clean.
- Keep all common areas clean.
- Use all facilities, utilities and fixtures in a reasonable manner.
- Avoid exceeding the maximum number or people allowed in the renal unit (in accordance with the lease agreement).
- Perform small repairs and maintenance.
- Not disturb other tenants or neighbors.
- Not damage or destroy any part of the property.
- Allow the landlord to access the property for necessary reasons during reasonable hours (unless it’s an emergency).
Evictions in Wyoming
Landlords in Wyoming are empowered to evict tenants for the following reasons:
- Lease Violation – If a lease violation occurs then the landlord may issue a 3-Day Notice to Quit. Wyoming landlords are not required to allow tenants to fix the violation, although it is customary to do so. If a Wyoming tenant fails to meet the terms of the notice the landlord may begin formal eviction proceedings. The notice covers a variety of noncompliance issues including: nonpayment of rent, failing to move out when the lease term has expired, health or safety issues, too many people residing in the rental unit, violating the terms of the lease, damaging the rental property, disturbing the peaceful enjoyment other tenants, refusing to allow the landlord to access the property to make repairs.
It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant as a form of retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
Security Deposits in Wyoming
- Standard Limit/Maximum Amount – None.
- Time Limit for Returns – 30 Days (15 Days is the tenant supplied a new mailing address).
- Penalty if Not Returned on Time – If a Wyoming landlord wrongfully withholds rent then they may be liable to pay the full value of the deposit as a penalty.
- Allowable Deductions – Repairs for damages the exceed wear and tear, missing rental payments.
Lease Termination in Wyoming
Notice requirements. Wyoming is one of the few states in the US that does not specify how much notice a tenant must give a landlord before terminating a lease. Generally, these provisions will be included in the lease agreement and so can differ from case to case.
Early termination. Wyoming tenants who wish to legally break a lease early may do so for the following reasons:
- Early termination clause.
- Active military duty.
- Uninhabitable unit.
- Landlord harassment.
- Domestic violence.
Wyoming landlords are not obligated to re-rent a unit after a tenant breaks a lease early, so the tenant may be required to keep making rent payments until the end of the original term.
Rent Increases & Related Fees in Wyoming
- Rent control. Wyoming law neither allows for nor prohibits rent control. As such, landlords are currently able to charge as much as they want in rent, though rent control policy is a possibility in the future.
- Rental increases. At the same time, landlords are not limited in how much they raise rental prices and they are not required to give notification or justification for rent hikes.
- Rent-related fees. The state does not limit how much landlords can charge for late fees but there is a $30 returned check fee limit.
Housing Discrimination in Wyoming
Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, sex, or disability. These rules do not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes operated by religious organizations. Wyoming does not offer any extra protections to groups not outlined in the Fair Housing Act.
Discriminatory acts & penalties. Housing discrimination cases are handled by Equal Justice Wyoming which functions as part of the state government. The following business practices and behaviors have been highlighted as potentially discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected class:
- Refusing to rent or sell on a bona fide offer
- Falsely representing the availability of a unit
- Offering different terms, conditions, or privileges
- Refusing to provide certain financial service
- Failing to provide reasonable accommodations
Equal Justice Wyoming does not field the cases themselves but direct tenants to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. You can digitally file a complaint here.
Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Wyoming
Landlord Right to Entry in Wyoming
Wyoming law does not have any rules regarding landlord right to entry. Thus, unless policies are outlined in the lease agreement, landlords are technically able to enter a property for whatever reason without advanced notice. This is true for emergencies and non-emergencies.
Small Claims Court in Wyoming
Small claims court in Wyoming will handle rent-related disputes valued up to $6,000 but they will not hear eviction cases. Those are handled through the circuit courts. In Wyoming, oral and written contracts have an 8-year and 10-year statute of limitations.
Mandatory Disclosures in Wyoming
Wyoming landlords are required to make two mandatory disclosures:
- Lead-Based Paint – Landlords that own homes built before 1978 must provide info about lead paint concentrations.
- Refundable/Nonrefundable Fees – Landlords who impose a nonrefundable fee must state that it is nonrefundable in the lease agreement.
Changing the Locks in Wyoming
Wyoming is one of the few states that does not explicitly forbid landlords from unilaterally changing the locks. Landlords thus can lockout tenants. Tenants are assumed to not be allowed to change the locks without the landlord’s permission.
Wyoming Landlord-Tenant Resources
In addition to the below, check your local county and municipality for additional landlord tenant regulations. To learn more, please refer to the below digital resources.