How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Utah?

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WhileUtah is not a rent-controlled state, landlords are still subject to some restrictions if they decide to increase your rent. 
Although rent across the state of Utah is not increasing as fast as places like New York or Los Angeles, renters in 2021 still saw an increase of approximately 10-15% from the previous year. If your landlord has informed you that they’re increasing your rent, you’ll want to make sure that they’re legally permitted to do so. 
If you’re curious about whether your landlord can legally raise your rent, Jerry, the car and home insurance broker and super app, can help you answer your questions. Jerry knows that getting that notice from your landlord can be a bummer, and wants to make sure that you are aware of your legal options. 
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How much can a landlord raise rent in Utah?

In Utah, landlords are permitted to increase your rent as much as they please, but they are subject to certain pre-conditions. 
Unlike the state of New York, where the state has implemented rent control to prevent major price hikes, Utah has not imposed these limits. So, if your landlord decides to increase your rent by $1000, they are legally permitted to do so. 
However, landlords are also subject to the rental and housing market conditions. Raising rent to an unreasonably high rate for profit will only harm a landlord’s relationship with their tenant and their reputation with potential renters. As such, landlords tend to stay within the boundaries of their area’s rental market. 
Furthermore, landlords tend to not raise rent during the term of a lease unless there is a clause in the written agreement permitting them to do so (ex. Increased property taxes, maintenance fees, etc.). Luckily, if your landlord is planning on increasing rent, they will do so when your lease term is coming to a close. 

How much notice does a landlord need to give before they raise the rent?

As there is no statute governing rent in Utah, landlords are not legally required to give written notice before implementing an increase. However, it is customary for landlords to provide a 15-day notice to their tenants if they are planning to increase rent. 
It’s a good idea to talk about rent increase with your landlord in advance if you are worried. This way, you know what to expect and can be prepared if they do end up increasing your rent. 
You also should take a look at your lease, or written agreement, as that document will likely have information regarding rent increases. Since your lease is typically a legally binding agreement that governs your landlord-tenant relationship, your landlord has likely included any timelines for rent increases in the document. 
Be careful, as there may be a clause in your lease that states that your landlord does not need to notify you if they increase rent. It is usually a good idea to discuss this with your landlord to ensure that you are on the same page and that anything discussed is included in the written agreement. 
If you do not have a formal lease or written agreement, it is likely that you are a month-month tenant. For month-month tenants, landlords must give you at least 15-days notice before your next payment is due. 

When is it illegal to raise rent in Utah?

As with many other states, landlords in Utah are typically permitted to raise rent as they desire. However, if you suspect that your landlord may be raising your rent due to the reasons listed below, you may have a strong legal case against them. These cases include:
  • Retaliating against you in response to exercising your tenant rights (e.g. complaining to a nearby tenants’ union) 
  • Discriminating against you based on your race, color, national origin, sex, disability, familial status, or religion
Make sure to consult a lawyer if you think your landlord is raising your rent to retaliate or discriminate against you. 

How to respond to a rent increase

While you may simply accept a rent increase and begin to pay your new rate when directed, there are other ways you can deal with a rent hike. 
  • If you suspect that your landlord is raising rent as retaliation or discriminating against you, be sure to contact a lawyer to discuss your options. 
  • If you think that your landlord has violated your lease in any way, hire a lawyer to take legal action. 
  • If you cannot cover the increased rate but wish to continue your lease, speak to your landlord to see if you can come to a compromise. 
  • If other factors like COVID-19 have impacted your ability to afford your rent, visit this website to learn more about your options. 

How to save money to deal with a rent hike

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FAQs

While there may not be an explicit restriction on raising rent during the pandemic, Utah offers many resources to help those in need. Visit this website for more information.
Typically rent increases about 10-15% per year in Utah.

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