Rules for Renters and Landlords

The relationship between Utah landlords and Utah tenants has not always been a civil one.  Laws have to be made and adjusted because disputes happen. Tenants break leases and refuse to pay penalties. Landlords skip maintenance and conditions are not acceptable. There are issues on both sides. So what does Utah have in the way of laws?

First, it is important to note that communities and counties have landlord and tenant laws. These agreements and regulations take precedence over the regulations of the state. Leases can be written to avoid a number of regulations. If the renter signs away renter rights in a lease agreement they are likely to suffer the consequences in Utah.

Utah courts have published a basic list of rights and responsibilities of tenants and of landlords. One of the interesting things is that some things mentioned on the lists are merely suggestions. This gives judges a little more leeway or wiggle room if the case reaches court.

Included in the list of landlords’ rights:
* tenants must abide by the rules in the lease
* tenants should let the landlord know when they are leaving the property for a long period of time (long period of time is very subjective)
* tenants should request repairs in writing and in a timely manner
* month to month tenants must provide 15 days written notice before moving, if there is nothing different in the signed lease agreement

Included in the list of landlords’ responsibilities are
* give tenants 24 hours written notice before entering the premises unless it is deemed an emergency
* keep the area peaceful and quiet, ensure that there are not unreasonable disturbances (This looks like a bit of a loop hole.)
* give a 15 day notice in writing of any changes on a month to month lease, unless the signed lease agreement says different
* abide by lease agreement
* follow the legal requirements for evictions
* meet all health code and building code requirements
* make requested repairs in a timely manner

The tenants living in Utah can visit the same web site and see their rights and responsibilities.

Included in the tenant responsibilities are:
* pay the rent on time
* take good care of the property
* abide by the lease agreement (If you don’t understand it, don’t sign it.)
* be a good neighbor
* report damages and repairs in writing
* give notice before moving out
The rights of the tenants include:
* safe home
* written receipts of all payments
* receive notices of any changes to the least at 15 day prior
* repairs made in a reasonable amount of time

Most disputes boil down to tenants not abiding or even understanding the least agreement they signed.  Landlords trying to keep deposits regardless of the condition of the rental property.  Not following or understand evictions.

The eviction process for landlords is well defined in Utah. Firstly, the landlord must deliver a “Notice to Quit”. This must be delivered before the landlord files the appropriate eviction paperwork with the courts. Any issues in the way be eviction notices are handled that turn out to be incorrect on the part of the landlord with cost the landlord more than the tenant.