Press Releases

As the leading advocate for property owners and managers in Utah - the UAA participates in many areas of the rental housing industry - including press releases on current news topics.

PRESS RELEASE - October 25, 2021

Eviction Filings Drop by Double-Digit Percentages in September and Third Quarter

SANDY (Oct. 25, 2021) – The Utah Apartment Association today said that despite predictions of a rental housing eviction spike, evictions filings in Utah are still significantly lower than before the pandemic.

According to eviction records from the Utah State Courts, there were 524 eviction filings in September, down 22% from the 672 filings in September 2019. Furthermore, eviction filings in the third quarter of 2021 fell to 1,307 filings, down 31% compared to 1,883 filings in the same period in 2019. Eviction filings were not compared to 2020, which was an anomalous year.

“If there was going to be a month with an increase in eviction filings, it would have been September,” said Paul Smith, Executive Director of the Utah Apartment Association. “In August, the U.S. Supreme Court finally put a stop to 12 months of unconstitutional eviction bans promulgated by the CDC.”

In the three years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Utah averaged 7,100 eviction filings a year. In 2020, there were only 4,787 eviction filings, a reduction of 33% from the three-year average. This year, from January through September, there have been just 3,282 eviction filings.

Smith added that the drop in eviction filings is due to hundreds of millions of dollars in rental assistance made available to Utah households through federal Covid relief funding. The state of Utah reports it has spent just over $70 million of the nearly $400 million it received.

“Since March of 2020, Utah has seen nearly 5,000 fewer evictions thanks to rental assistance funding and landlords and tenants working with each other,” Smith said. “We are happy to report that concerns that this pandemic would lead to more evictions and that ending the eviction moratorium would create a spike in evictions have now been proven wrong. Landlords are working with tenants to apply for rental assistance, and responsible tenants are getting funding and keeping their housing.”

About the Utah Apartment Association

The Utah Apartment Association (UAA) is a non-profit trade association designed to protect, educate, connect, and grow the rental industry in the state of Utah. We represent more than 2,500 landlords and over 105,000 units. Our members range from basement apartment owners to large management companies. If you are in any way involved with the rental housing industry, we invite you to discover how membership with the UAA can support you and your business.

###

Dave Anderton | Public Relations

Anderton Group Inc.

dave@daveanderton.com | 801.707.0090

PRESS RELEASE - September 23, 2021

Median Rent is Rising at Roughly Half the Rate as Home Prices

SANDY (Sept. 23, 2021) – The Utah Apartment Association today said that rent prices are rising in Utah, but at roughly one-half the rate as home prices.

The median rent in Salt Lake County increased to $1,389 in June, up 12% year over year, according to Realtor.com. In contrast, the median home price (all housing types) across Salt Lake County climbed to $455,000 in the second quarter, up 23% from the second quarter of 2020, according to UtahRealEstate.com.

“While rent increases can be difficult to absorb, the typical monthly mortgage in Utah soared to $2,547 in June,” said Holly Sanford, Board Chair of the Utah Apartment Association. “Many rental owners made a compassionate and deliberate decision during the pandemic to not raise rent in 2020. Renters don’t like increases, but compared to homeownership, renting is more affordable.”

Salt Lake County’s median rent in June was lower than many other western U.S. cities, including: Las Vegas ($1,397); Phoenix ($1,590); Portland ($1,645); Denver ($1,820); Sacramento ($1,821); and Seattle ($1,910). In the 50 largest metropolitan areas, the median rent in June was $1,575, up 8% year over year, the Realtor.com report noted.

Real estate research firm Costar predicts that between 2021 and 2025 Salt Lake rent will increase about 4-7% per year, much less than it did in 2021. With the economy currently in an inflationary period, rental operators and renters should continue to expect modest increases in rent going forward, Sanford added.

A report by CBRE, a commercial real estate firm, said rent increased 1.4% in Utah in 2020. Salt Lake County had the lowest 2020 rent growth at just 1%.

The Utah Apartment Association (UAA) is a non-profit trade association designed to protect, educate, connect, and grow the rental industry in the state of Utah. We represent more than 2,500 landlords and over 105,000 units. Our members range from basement apartment owners to large management companies. If you are in any way involved with the rental housing industry, we invite you to discover how membership with the UAA can support you and your business.

###

Dave Anderton | Public Relations

Anderton Group Inc.

dave@daveanderton.com | 801.707.0090

PRESS RELEASE - August 31, 2021

Utah Rental Assistance Program Working Well, Fewer Renters Behind on Rent

SANDY (Aug. 31, 2021) – The Utah Apartment Association announced today that Utah evictions are projected to stay at lower-than-normal levels, despite a ruling last week by the Supreme Court that ended a national moratorium on evictions.

In Utah, $48 million – of $212 million allocated for rental assistance – has been given to tenants. The difference ($164 million) will be distributed by the September 2022 deadline. An additional $200 million will be available between September 2022 and September 2027.

“Roughly 4,000 renters, or 1.3% of Utah’s 300,000 rental households, received eviction notices last year,” said Paul Smith, executive officer of the Utah Apartment Association. “Last year’s evictions were about 40% lower than a typical year. Because of ongoing federal rental assistance programs, we expect Utah eviction filings to remain low for the foreseeable future. Few renters are currently behind on rent.”

Here’s a breakdown of Utah’s rental assistance money so far:

A total of 17,009 rental households have received an average of $2,862 assistance in 2021. That is about 5% of the 300,000 rental households in Utah. 

There are two ways renters can get assistance:

First, renters can apply directly at www.rentrelief.utah.gov or work through a community partner agency like the Community Action Network. As of August, 12,395 renters have applied directly through the website. Approval times typically took 18.6 business days. The average benefit per household was $2,208.

The second way renters can receive funding is by applying through their landlord. In 2021, 4,614 households that applied through their landlord received an average benefit of $4,621. Approval took 9.9 business days.

“Renters who are applying through their landlord are receiving more than twice as much assistance in about half the time,” Smith added. “This is likely because landlords better understand the benefits renters are eligible for and ask for more than renters do on their own.”

If tenants are eligible, the program will cover rent that is past due and pay for future rent as well. Since most households who have received funds are eligible through September 2022, it is likely that the entire $212 million of first-round rental assistance will be utilized.

About the Utah Apartment Association

The Utah Apartment Association (UAA) is a non-profit trade association designed to protect, educate, connect, and grow the rental industry in the state of Utah. We represent more than 2,500 landlords and over 105,000 units. Our members range from basement apartment owners to large management companies. If you are in any way involved with the rental housing industry, we invite you to discover how membership with the UAA can support you and your business.

###

Dave Anderton | Public Relations

Anderton Group Inc.

dave@daveanderton.com | 801.707.0090

PRESS RELEASE - July 29, 2021

Utah Eviction Filings Down 44% in the First Six Months of 2021

 SANDY (July 29, 2021) – The Utah Apartment Association stated today that eviction filings in the first six months of 2021 fell to 1,975, down 44% compared to the same six-month periods for 2017-2019. Eviction filings were not compared to 2020, which was an anomalous year.

“Eviction filings are down primarily due to renters taking advantage of assistance programs to help them pay rent,” said Paul Smith, executive director of the Utah Apartment Association. “More than $60 million in rental assistance has been paid directly to landlords since the Covid crisis began, and more than $150 million in federal money is still available for Utah renters facing economic hardship. This money has helped hundreds of Utah families pay their rent. It has made many evictions unnecessary.”

According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, renters are eligible for rental assistance if they have a combined household income at or below 80% of area median income, have qualified for unemployment benefits, experienced a reduction in income or incurred significant costs due to the pandemic and are experiencing housing instability.

Smith says the federal eviction moratorium by the CDC played a small role in eviction reduction but will end on July 31. That moratorium required renters make partial payment and apply for rental assistance. Renters who did neither of those things could still be evicted, as could renters who committed criminal activity or violated lease agreements. “Because most renters with balances have received rental assistance, we don’t expect a spike in evictions in August,” Smith added.

Utah eviction filings may increase in the second half of 2021, Smith said, but the increase will likely be minimal. “Rental assistance to Utah renters will continue through September of 2022, so most low-income renters who need help will get it,” Smith added. “Utah’s private sector is in an aggressive hiring push. Signing bonuses and higher wages are being offered by many employers to fill jobs.”

Utah began providing rental assistance in April 2020 to keep Utah residents in their homes during the pandemic, despite job loss or other financial impacts, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Approximately $25 million in rental assistance was paid through December 2020. Congress then created the Emergency Rental Assistance program to continue providing rental assistance through September 2022. As of June 2021, this program has distributed $35 million to rental assistance. Utah has a centralized distribution portal –

www.rentrelief.utah.gov . Renters can apply themselves or through their landlords.

About the Utah Apartment Association

The Utah Apartment Association (UAA) is a non-profit trade association designed to protect, educate, connect, and grow the rental industry in the state of Utah. We represent more than 2,500 landlords and over 105,000 units. Our members range from basement apartment owners to large international management companies. If you are in any way involved with the rental housing industry, we invite you to discover how membership with the UAA can support you and your business.

###

Dave Anderton | Public Relations

Anderton Group Inc.

dave@daveanderton.com | 801.707.0090