If you own rental property in Utah and rent the property to tenants, you must know what rights you have as a landlord. In an ideal world, the relationship between a tenant and landlord is simple. They pay rent, and you allow them to live in your rental property. Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect, and things happen.
Whether you own multiple rental properties or are just beginning, understanding your rights as a landlord is essential. While Utah is friendly to landlords, some laws also protect the tenant.
State law requires that landlords follow specific regulations. You should document any communication (including leases, emails, and payments) in case of disagreement.
Some things the State of Utah requires of landlords include:
- Disclosure of rent and fees in the lease agreement. You should also disclose if the fees are refundable.
- There is no limit to a security deposit. But you must return the deposit within 30 days of the tenant leaving
- Landlords must provide at least 3 days after rent payment before starting the eviction process
- Landlords must abide by fair housing rights
- Landlords must ensure the living quarters are livable with access to electricity, water, heating, and plumbing.
- Must provide 24 hours’ notice before accessing a rental property
In addition, landlords should know that tenants in Utah can repair damages and deduct the cost from their rent if the landlord doesn’t take care of the necessary repairs in a reasonable amount of time.
The state wants to ensure that landlords are treated fairly. If you have tenants who refuse to pay rent, cause problems in the neighborhood, or damage the property, you’re within your rights to protect your investment.
- Landlords have the right to receive rent payments on time
- Landlords may terminate a lease if the tenant doesn’t follow the rules
- Landlords may use the security deposit to cover the costs of damages
- Landlords may evict a tenant with proper notice
- Landlords may win up to three times damages and lawyer fees to the landlord if they are forced to take a tenant to court.
- Landlords may access the property for repairs or other necessary duties if they provide at least 24 hours’ notice to tenants
Building a good relationship with your tenants is one of the best ways to ensure that your rental investment pays off. The best situation for a landlord is to find long-term tenants who take care of the property and pay their rent on time. To protect yourself and encourage a healthy relationship, a few things you’ll want to consider include:
Provide a comprehensive rental agreement: Ensure your lease agreement includes the amount due for rent each month (and the due date) and any fees or deposits. You should also make sure to highlight which fees or deposits are refundable. Your lease should include whether pets are allowed if smoking is permitted, and what, if any, restrictions tenants have regarding painting or making changes to the property.
Respond quickly: If your tenants have questions, concerns, or maintenance issues, respond quickly. If you can’t fix an issue until later, make sure they know you’ve heard their problem and will address it as soon as possible.
Invest in maintenance: It might cost more upfront to pay for quality repairs, but you’ll save time and money in the long run if you don’t have to keep fixing the same item in a house. You’d be surprised how far good maintenance goes towards keeping your tenants loyal.
Make payment easier: Many landlords still prefer to receive a paper check each month. However, you should consider offering an online payment option to make it easier for your tenants to pay on time.
Managing rental homes can be rewarding and can pay off in the long term. However, problem tenants can make working as a landlord more difficult. If you’re ready to liquidate your rental properties for a new adventure, we’re here to help. Brick buys homes in any condition (even rental properties). Reach out for a quick cash offer on one or more of your rentals.