Utah Landlord Tenant Laws, Rights, & Regulations 
In the Beehive State of Utah, landlords and tenants must navigate an intricate web of local and state rental laws. These regulations, commonly referred to as landlord-tenant laws, significantly impact the rights and responsibilities of property owners and renters, shaping the dynamics of their interactions. Comprehending and adhering to these laws can be quite a challenge, even for seasoned landlords and tenants.
To assist in tackling this challenge, we've created this complete guide to answer questions surrounding critical rental topics such as tenant screening, rent payments, lease agreements, evictions, and much more. Whether you're a landlord or a tenant, this guide will prepare you with a comprehensive understanding of Utah's rental laws, as outlined in the Utah Code, Title 57.
Landlords will gain insights into how to protect their rental properties and foster positive tenant relationships, while tenants will acquire the knowledge necessary to assert their fundamental rights.
Utah landlord tenant law fast facts
Utah landlord rights and responsibilities
Utah state law provides landlords with basic rights that allow them to manage their rental properties protected from financial and legal issues. Their top main rights include:
- Charging and receiving on-time rent payments
- Collecting security deposits to cover unforeseen costs at the end of the tenancy
- Pursuing the formal eviction process if a tenant commits a lease violation
Utah rental property owners also have a set of obligations to uphold that ensure a safe and smooth tenancy for renters. Their key duties are:
- Providing tenants with a habitable and safe rental unit free of housing discrimination
- Making repairs within 1-10 days, depending on the issue, after getting written notice from tenants
- Returning a tenant’s security deposit within 30 days of the lease ending
Utah tenant rights and responsibilities
Tenants in Utah also have a set of fundamental rights that protect their safety and well-being while residing in a rental unit. Tenants’ key rights include:
- Living in a habitable rental property that meets health and safety codes
- Having repairs made in 1-10 days after providing the landlord with written notice
- Taking legal action such as suing if the landlord violates the lease agreement
Utah tenants, too, have a range of responsibilities to uphold during their tenancy. Generally, these duties ensure the rental is maintained and the landlord goes financially unharmed. Tenants must:
- Pay rent on time
- Keep the unit in safe and habitable condition
- Make small repairs when necessary
- Comply with all health and safety building and housing codes
- Keep fixtures clean and sanitary
- Maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Not disturb other renters or neighbors
- Not purposefully destroy or damage any part of the property
- Allow the landlord or property manager reasonable access to the property for necessary repairs
Utah landlord tenant laws through the rental cycle
Utah rental application and tenant screening laws
Concerning rental applications, Utah does not limit how much a landlord can charge for a rental application fee or require it to be refundable. However, landlords must disclose the criteria they will use to determine a prospective tenant’s eligibility before accepting the fee. Additionally, landlords cannot ask any questions on the application that could lead to housing discrimination.
Utah landlords are allowed to run background checks like criminal background checks and credit reports, but they must first obtain the potential renter’s written consent.
Utah rental agreement and lease termination laws
In Utah, both written and oral lease agreements are accepted. However, it’s always advised to document leases in writing as it attributes important obligations to landlords and tenants.
Like in most states, Utah leases should include the following information:
- Landlord’s name, address, and phone number
- The rent amount and the due date
- Lease length
- Description of the rental property
Learn what else you should include in your lease agreement today!
To terminate a lease, tenants must provide a 15-day notice for month-to-month leases and a 5-day notice for week-to-week tenancies. Leases with a fixed end date will simply expire.
Utah tenants may terminate a lease early for the following reasons:
- Active military duty
- Early termination clause
- Landlord harassment
- Uninhabitable unit
- Domestic violence
Utah security deposit laws
Rental owners in Utah can collect a security deposit at the start of a lease to cover unforeseen costs at the end of the tenancy. Like a handful of other states, Utah does not limit how much a landlord can charge for the security deposit.
At the end of the lease, landlords are required to return the tenant’s security deposit within 30 days. Landlords may make deductions from the security deposit for reasons including rental damage beyond normal wear and tear, cleaning costs, unpaid rent, and any other charges listed in the lease.
If the landlord fails to comply with the notice period or wrongfully withholds funds, tenants can sue for the full security deposit plus $100, but must first send the landlord a Notice to Provide Deposit Deposition and give them 5 days to return the deposit.
Utah rent laws
Utah does not have rent control laws and prohibits its cities and states from creating their own regulations. This allows landlords to charge any amount of rent and increase rent as often as they choose, but they cannot increase rent during the lease period unless the lease allows for it. Before increasing rent, landlords must provide a 15-day notice.
If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, landlords are not required to provide a grace period before charging a late fee. The late fee cannot be greater than $75 or 10% of the rent due, whichever is greater.
Utah tenants may withhold rent if they have alerted a landlord to a maintenance issue and the landlord fails to make the required repairs in a timely manner.
Utah repair and maintenance laws
In Utah, landlords must make repairs within 1-10 days, depending on the issue, after receiving written notice from tenants.
If landlords fail to make repairs in a timely manner, tenants can take a few legal actions: cancel the lease agreement, move out (known as “rent abatement” in Utah), or use the “repair and deduct” remedy and make repairs themselves and deduct the cost from the rent. The action they choose must be disclosed in the written notice requesting repairs.
Utah notice of entry laws
Utah landlords can enter rentals for reasonable purposes related to the tenancy such as repairs and inspections. They are required by law to provide at least 24 hours’ notice before entering the property, except for emergencies.
Utah eviction laws
Utah state law allows rental owners to evict tenants for several legal reasons. Depending on the reason for eviction, landlords are required to provide a notice period before the eviction can start. Here are the reasons for eviction and associated notice periods:
- Unpaid rent: If tenants fail to pay rent on time, the landlord may issue a 3-day notice to pay. If the tenant still does not pay, the landlord may move forward with eviction.
- Lease violation: If the tenant commits a lease violation, the landlord may issue a 3-day notice to comply. If the issue is not remedied in that period of time, that landlord may continue with the eviction.
- Illegal acts: If the landlord has proof that a tenant has committed an illegal act they may issue a 3-day notice to quit before proceeding with the eviction. Illegal activity in Utah includes both criminal activity and non-criminal nuisances.
- Committing waste: If the tenant commits waste on the property or does not properly remove it, the landlord may issue a 3-day notice to quit. If the terms are not met, the landlord may begin the eviction process.
- Subleasing: If the tenant is found subleasing the rental unit and the lease prohibits it, the landlord may issue a 3-day notice to quit before initiating the eviction process.
- No lease/end of lease: If the tenant stays past the end of the tenancy, the landlord may issue a notice to quit. The notice period depends on the length of the tenancy. Month-to-month leases require a 15-day notice to quit. The notice must be served 15 days before the end of the rental period or the tenant can remain in the unit until the next rental period. At-will tenancies require a 5-day notice to quit. However, this notice can only be used if there is no written or oral lease.
Utah landlord tenant laws continued
In addition to addressing rental issues such as repairs and evictions, Utah law also encompasses subjects like landlord retaliation and discrimination. Let's dive into some of these regulations below.
Utah tenants are protected from housing discrimination under federal and state laws. The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits rental owners from discriminating against renters based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. However, these regulations do not apply to some rental units operated by religious organizations or owner-occupied homes.
Utah state law further protects tenants based on source of income.
If a landlord violates housing discrimination laws, such as by advertising that has a discriminatory preference or falsely claiming a rental unit is unavailable, tenants can seek legal help and file a complaint with the Utah Labor Commission Antidiscrimination and Labor Division.
It’s illegal for Utah landlords to retaliate against tenants for taking protected actions like reporting landlords to government authorities for violations of the lease. Evicting the tenant or refusing to renew the lease can be considered forms of retaliation in Utah.
Required landlord disclosures
Utah requires landlords to provide tenants with specific disclosures at the start of the lease period. The disclosures include:
- Lead-based paint: Landlords with rental properties built before 1978 must provide information about lead-based paint concentrations.
- Authorized agents: Landlords must provide the names and addresses of all parties involved in owning and managing the rental unit.
- Methamphetamine: Landlords must disclose if they suspect or know that the property has been contaminated with methamphetamines.
Navigating Utah’s landlord tenant laws with confidence
Utah’s rental laws were created to provide a well-defined framework outlining the rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants. By understanding and adhering to Utah's landlord-tenant laws, landlords and renters can confidently navigate the entire rental process. Landlords can protect their real estate investments, tenants can assert their fundamental rights, and both can collaborate to establish a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.
Landlords, if you need help with collecting rent or creating a lease agreement, and tenants, if you are looking to boost your credit, Azibo has got you covered. Learn about all of the benefits of using our free rental software today!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials are for general informational purposes only. This content may not constitute the most up-to-date legal information. No reader, user, or browser of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information herein without first seeking the advice of a legal professional.