Rental Housing - Need to Know
This page helps provide the latest need to know information as a housing provider in Utah
State Rental Assistance Program for Owners Now Online
The State of Utah has now activated the rental assistance program that providers can apply for.
The UAA appreciates the many groups who helped create this program, specifically the State of Utah Housing Programs staff, the housing advocates who provided input and help including the Utah Housing Coalition and others, and the legislature who provided funding and allowed owners and managers to apply. Following are the materials.
We have 3 tips for you:
- Read the information thoroughly. Government programs require precision and may be difficult to navigate
- Understand that the program allows reimbursement for all amounts agreed to in the lease including RUBS (utilities) and other amounts
- Know there are experts who can facilitate the process for you if you would prefer. While UAA will help answer questions, we are not able to assist you in the application process. Currently we know the Law Firms of Kirk A. Cullimore and Utah Eviction Law are making claims on behalf of their clients and assisting housing providers through the process. If you prefer having a professional third party assist you, we recommend you connect with them.
As always, we are here to help you. If you have any questions, or if you need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Thank you and Let's all continue to Stay Safe!
Rent Assistance and Help for Tenants and Landlords
Issue: "Eviction Moratorium"
Updated: 4/2/2020 11:30AM
More Info: Government Regulation
On April 1st 2020 the State of Utah issued executive orders for a state wide rent moratorium. This moratorium is designed to assist those affected by COVID-19, as well as to protect the general economy of the State of Utah.
- Over the past couple of weeks the state courts have increased the total eviction time (as an average) from 3.5 weeks to 5-8 weeks.
- Some judges have already (personally) created rent moratorium's in their court room, and were not granting any evictions for non payment of rent.
- The entire court system, as well as county and city municipalities have been contemplating creating their own official rent moratoriums
- The official numbers are not available - but estimation is that unemployment is between 10%-20% right now in Utah (it was at 2% last October). There is a growing fear from economist that a large number of these individuals will file for bankruptcy. If they did - landlords would be unable to collect rent for 6-9 months while these tenants worked through their bankruptcies (including other types of evictions). This is what occurred in 2008 and state/industry leaders are very concerned about preventing a similar housing crash.
- Yesterday morning the Governors office reached out to the UAA and notified us that they were going to be issuing an executive order for a state wide moratorium. Their goal with the moratorium was to protect the well being of the public as a whole, to prevent bankruptcies and allow tenants time to receive state/federal assistance, and to prevent local moratoriums at court/municipal level. We worked with their office to try and remove as much harmful language as possible from their order
Details of the Order: click here to view
The executive order goes into effect April 1, 2020. The order prevents a landlord from filing an eviction for non-payment of rent, given a specific set of circumstances, until May 16, 2020. Here are the details of the Order:
- This order only prevents evictions for non-payment of rent.
- This order only applies to tenants who were current on rent on March 31, 2020
- This order only applies to tenants who can document: a loss of wages or job as a result of COVID-19, has undergone self isolation/quarantine, or has tested positive for COVID-19
- This order does not require, create, or imply rent forgiveness. It is still the obligation of the tenant to have all rents and fees paid/current on May 15, 2020.
- This order does not prohibit a landlord from accepting rent during this time - only filing an eviction.
- Tenants are still encouraged to pay what they can when they can to prevent a situation where they are unable to pay by May 15th
While this order is not at all perfect - we understand the difficult situation we are all facing as a community. We commend our state leaders for being willing to take on difficult issues. We also commend the Governor, and his team, for working with the housing industry and hearing our concerns and accommodating this executive order accordingly. It should also be noted that as a response to our conversations, the state is working to allocate a $5million emergency housing fund for tenant in need. While COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges, our members are tenacious and will work together to overcome this difficult time - and for that we thank our dedicated members who are essential towards providing housing for over 1/3 of our States citizens.
COVID-19 Press Release
On March 23, 2020 The Utah Apartment Association (UAA), announces a plan to help renters cope with the economic impacts of COVID-19. The UAA commends state and local leaders in their efforts to address the health emergency. However, these health efforts have led to reductions in working hours and wages and created other financial hardships for renters. These financial hardships have a brutal and immediate impact on many renters that rely on regular wages to meet their financial obligations including rent, utilities, food and transportation needs.
In addition to the immediate, financial concerns of renters, the housing industry must also balance its commitments and duties to lenders, employees, maintenance staff and maintaining affordable housing in professional, comfortable conditions.
To accommodate renters who are in financial crisis as a result of Covid-19, while still meeting the commitments of the industry, UAA is promoting rent deferment plans for the month of April 2020. We encourage all property managers to adopt programs that are appropriate for them. These plans allow renters to qualify for rent deferment by demonstrating that their financial status has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A renter may demonstrate financial impact by evidencing exposure to the virus and the resulting quarantine requirements, or loss of hours or wages as a result of public health-related business closures related to the pandemic. When renters qualify, landlords and management companies will provide plans to defer a portion, or potentially all, of April’s rent payment, to be paid at a later date. Such deferments may allow April rent to be paid over the course of several months or in one lump sum at a later date. Renters who can pay should continue to do so, and any federal relief money sent to individuals should be used to stay current on rent and other obligations.
We recognize property managers may choose to implement rent deferral programs differently, but encourage them to focus on finding a win/win and enabling tenants who agree to a payment plan to stay. We also ask property owners to avoid filing evictions for non-payment due to qualifying reasons in April, when renters communicate and sign rent deferral agreements.
We are confident that Utah is resilient and will overcome the temporary effects of this pandemic. We will continue to monitor and assess the housing situation in Utah and support further measures if needed. We again thank our government and industry leaders for their tireless efforts in this unprecedented time.