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Tenant Rights in Utah

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

by Staff, Spaulding Law

If you are renting a property in Utah, it may feel like your landlord has all of the rights and you must accept what is presented. However, the State of Utah actually has several laws in place to protect tenants that a potential tenant should be aware of when reviewing the rental agreement. The following are a few of the laws that protect tenant rights:

• Security Deposits – While Utah state law does not place limits on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit, it does, however, limit how much time the landlord has to return it (within 30 days after a tenant moves or within 15 days of receiving the tenant’s forwarding address). If the dollar amount is less than $10,000, tenants can take their landlords to small claims court for the return of their deposit.

• Eviction – A landlord may not evict a tenant without notice and they may be required to have a valid reason. State laws are specific about when and how a landlord may terminate a tenancy and they require notice and a court order to do so. There are a few different notices that may be given: 1) A landlord may give a tenant an unconditional quit notice that gives the tenant three days to move out before the landlord can file for eviction. An unconditional quit notice may be used in the following cases: holdover (the lease has expired); assigning or subletting without permission; substantial damage to the property; carrying on an unlawful business on the premises; maintaining a nuisance; and/or committing a criminal act on the premises. 2) If the tenant is renting month to month, and the rental agreement does not guarantee more time, the landlord may issue a 15 day notice to vacate for any reason. 3) A 5-day notice may be given if there is no rental agreement and a guest refuses to leave, the lease expires and the landlord decides not to renew, or if a new owner of the property receives a title terminating all rental contracts.

• Entry – Utah landlords must provide 24 hours’ notice of entry unless the rental agreement specifies otherwise. A potential tenant should expect the rental agreement to allow access for emergencies, agreed services such as repairs, and to show the unit to potential purchasers or tenants. A rental agreement that gives the landlord the right to access the property without notice for reasons other than emergencies may be a reason to continue the rental search.

As a potential tenant, it is very important to know your rights and to read the rental agreement carefully. This will help you determine whether the agreement is reasonable and will likely give you an indication of the relationship you will have with your potential landlord.

This information is made available by Spaulding Law for educational purposes only and not to provide legal advice. By using this website, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and Spaulding Law, unless you have entered into a separate representation agreement. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.

Driving Directions from I-15:
• Take the Pleasant Grove exit 275 from I-15
• Turn North onto Pleasant Grove Blvd
• Turn left onto W. Grove Pkwy
• Quickly turn left into the Synergy/Spaulding Law parking lot.