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How HOA Regulations Protect Salt Lake City Landlords and Property Owners

Posted by on December 16th, 2015
Today, we are reminding you how serious the Apartment Association takes its role as an advocate for property owners and landlords. In the last two years, we have successfully brought two separate bills to the state legislature dealing with rentals and HOAs. We have done this to strike a balance between those landlords who rent their units in HOAs and the communities and people who live among them.

HOAs and Applicants

In 2014, we passed a couple of regulations. One is that the HOA cannot ask for copies of a tenant’s application and credit report. It’s a violation of federal law to give copies of sensitive information with social security numbers to someone who doesn’t have authority. We definitely shouldn’t give those to volunteer boards or community HOAs. They can ask for leases and contact information on the renter but they cannot ask for an application or a background check.

The second thing we did in 2014 was to address HOAs that wanted to pre-approve an applicant. That is not appropriate and we have defeated that. Imagine if the applicant had a last name of Hernandez or it was a single mother and somebody on the HOA board was racist or had something against children. This is a fair housing nightmare and only the landlords should decide who is qualified. They must never discriminate or violate the Fair Housing Act.

Discriminating Against Rentals

In 2015, we ran a follow up bill to fix a couple of issues that we had been working on. The Community Association Institute represents many HOAs and they have done a great job working with us and compromising on many issues. We came up with two new protections this year.

Many HOAs don’t like rentals. So they have policies that discriminate against landlords. They might charge higher fees to the landlord that are $500 or $600 more than what owner occupants are charged. There might be an additional $50 in monthly fees. Some HOAs required deposits or move in and move out fees. State law now prohibits that. An HOA cannot charge different fees to renters or landlords than they do to occupants.

Finally, we were experiencing many HOAs making rule restrictions on renters. Occupants could have pets but renters couldn’t. Occupants could use the pool but renters couldn’t. These rules are discriminatory and wrong and they are now prohibited.

So, several compromises were successfully reached. HOAs can have rules and rental restrictions and they can ask for copies of lease agreements and contact information. However, they cannot have higher fees or implement discriminatory rules.

If you have any questions about these legal protections, please contact us at the Utah Apartment Association, and we’d be happy to answer them.

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