There are a few laws that must be followed in Utah when you create a rental application for tenants. Failure to comply with these rules could lead to serious legal consequences and allow the tenant to sue.
There is no limit in terms of what application fee can be charged by UT landlords. Furthermore, the application fee is non-refundable regardless of its amount.
Similar to the application fee law, there is no Utah statute defining a limit on the amount landlords can charge tenants for security deposits (UT Code § 57-17-2). There is also no requirement for the provision of receipts or holding requirements. However, the landlord is obligated to keep valid records of any security deposits they are sent.
Housing Discrimination Law
In Utah, there is no specific state law relating to housing discrimination. However, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) is in place (UT Code § 57-21-1). The FHA states that it is illegal to discriminate based on the following characteristics:
As a consequence, you are not allowed to ask for any of these details on a UT Rental Application form, nor to include them in the decision-making process. However, in Utah, certain exemptions from fair housing laws exist. These are as follows:
Housing for older persons: it is allowed to ask for an applicant’s age for age-restricted communities (such as senior housing).
Familial status: landlords may ask whether children will occupy the premises for two-family owner-occupied buildings.
Private clubs: clubs that do not operate publicly and do not rent for commercial purposes can give preference to certain applicants.
Religious organizations: religion can be used as a basis for giving priority to certain applicants for properties that are owned or managed by a religious organization that does not rent with commercial intent.
Mrs. Murphy exemption: dwellings with four units or fewer, in which one unit is occupied by the owner, and where the landlord is not represented by a real estate agent, are exempt from fair housing requirements.
Notice of Eligibility
Tenants must be told about any specific screening criteria, as well as the reasons that they could be denied or approved by the landlord. To show that this information has been shared, a signature of acknowledgment from the tenant is required.
Consent Credit Check
Under the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), tenants being screened in Utah must consent to any credit checks you wish to carry out. To make sure you comply with the law, the applicant must provide written acknowledgment of the screening on the application form.