Utah Rent Control Laws in 2024

Utah is considered a very landlord-friendly state when it comes to rental laws. Unlike some other states and cities, Utah does not have any rent control laws limiting how much landlords can raise rents each year.

This gives property owners wide latitude to increase rents to market rates when a lease expires, regardless of how much of a financial strain it may put on existing tenants. 

While Utah law does not impose statewide limits on rent increases, it does set forth regulations around rental agreements, deposits, evictions, and notice requirements. Understanding the basic rental laws in Utah can help both tenants and landlords navigate their rights and responsibilities.

Key areas of Utah's rental laws cover the allowed bases for terminating tenancy, required notices for entry or rent changes, occupancy limits, security deposit policies, prohibited lease terms, and discriminatory housing practices.

Overall, Utah leans toward landlord-friendly policies, with very few restrictions around raising rents when a lease ends. Tenants have little leverage or recourse when it comes to major rent hikes. However, renters do still retain basic rights when it comes to fair housing, proper notice, and habitable living conditions.

Rent Control in Utah

Utah does not have any statewide laws establishing rent control or limiting how much landlords can raise rents each year. The state legislature has not passed any laws that cap annual rent increases or that require landlords to justify large hikes. As a result, cities and counties in Utah do not have the authority to implement rent control ordinances within their jurisdictions. 

Rent control refers to policies that place limits on how much landlords can increase rents each year. Typical rent control laws restrict annual rent hikes to a small percentage, such as 2-5% a year. This protects tenants from sudden large rent increases. 

Without statewide authorization, cities and counties cannot establish local rent control ordinances. Landlords have free rein to raise rents to market rates when a lease expires, regardless of how substantial the increase may be. Tenant advocates have pushed for statewide or local rent control in Utah to promote housing affordability and stability, but so far no rent control laws have passed.

Utah's lack of rent control makes it very landlord-friendly. Proponents argue this encourages investment in housing. Critics say it leads to unpredictable rent hikes that displace tenants. The debate continues, but for now rent control remains prohibited across Utah.

Rent Increase Frequency in Utah

Utah does not limit how often rents can be increased. Landlords have the right to raise rents as frequently as they want, as long as proper notice is given. This sets Utah apart from places like California and New York that limit rent increases to once per year.

Unlike some other states, there is no law prohibiting landlords from raising rents multiple times in a single year. Theoretically, a landlord could increase rent every month if they wanted to, though this is highly uncommon. More typical would be raises occurring once or twice a year.

While landlords legally can raise rents frequently, market conditions often act as a limiting factor. Drastic rent hikes multiple times a year tend to result in vacancies as tenants get priced out and move elsewhere. Landlords aim to strike a balance between maximizing profits and keeping units filled. This practical reality discourages most owners from excessive rent increases.

So tenants in Utah should be prepared for the possibility of rent going up regularly, even multiple times in a 12 month period. Leases longer than 1 year provide the most protection against frequent hikes. There are no legal protections limiting how often raises can happen. Rent control proposals aim to change this, but for now, frequency of increases is entirely at the landlord's discretion.

No Limits on Rent Increase Amounts in Utah

Utah is considered a very landlord-friendly state when it comes to rent increases. Landlords have full discretion to raise rents by any amount when a lease term expires. There are currently no rent control laws at the state or local level in Utah that limit or cap the amount by which rents can be increased.

Unlike some other states that may cap annual rent increases between 3-10%, Utah landlords can raise rents by any percentage when a lease ends. There is no limit or cap restricting the amount. As a result, tenants may see rent hikes of 25%, 50%, 100%, or even more when their lease is up.

Landlords are not required to provide justification or explanation for large rent increases in Utah. The lack of rent control legislation gives property owners flexibility to charge market rates. If the market bears rents of $500 more per month in an area, landlords can raise rents to that level when leases expire. 

Tenants have little leverage or recourse when it comes to outrageous rent increases in Utah, since there are no laws prohibiting or limiting the hikes. The only protections are against retaliatory increases aimed at punishing tenants who complained or exercised rights. But market-based increases of any amount are allowed under Utah law.

Rent Increase Notice

In Utah, landlords are required to provide written notice to tenants 30 days prior to increasing rent for periodic tenancies. Periodic tenancies include month-to-month leases where the agreement automatically renews monthly or weekly rather than having a set end date. 

The 30 days notice must be properly served to the tenant in writing before the landlord can raise the rent. Verbal notifications or those without adequate notice are invalid. If the tenant has a fixed-term lease, no notice is required to increase the rent at the expiration of the lease term. However, landlords typically provide advance notice as a courtesy.

For periodic leases in Utah, the landlord cannot increase the rent unless they wait until 30 days after proper notice has been provided. For example, if rent is due on the 1st of each month, the notice would need to be given on or before the 1st to take effect on the 1st of the following month. The notice cannot be given mid-month to take effect the next month.

Some key points about proper rent increase notice in Utah:

  • Must be full 30 calendar days 
  • Must be in writing, verbal does not count
  • Applies only to periodic leases, not fixed-term
  • Notice cannot be delivered mid-month 
  • Increase takes effect on the next rental period after 30 days

Providing proper advance notice is crucial for landlords in Utah to legally raise rents for tenants on periodic leases. The notice must adhere to the 30-day requirement and be properly delivered in writing when the next rental period begins.

Mid-Lease Rent Increases

Utah landlords cannot raise the rent in the middle of a lease term unless the ability to do so was specifically allowed for in the original lease agreement. If the lease does not mention mid-term increases, the rent cannot be raised until the lease expires.

When a tenant signs a 6-month or 12-month lease, they are entering into a contractual agreement with the landlord that locks in the monthly rent amount for the full duration of the lease term. Unless stated otherwise in the lease, this means the landlord relinquishes the right to raise the rent until the end of the lease.

Attempting to increase the rent mid-lease without the contractual authority to do so would be a violation of the lease terms. The tenant could take legal action against a landlord improperly trying to raise rent in the middle of the lease period.

Some landlords will include clauses in their lease agreements that allow them to impose mid-lease rent increases under specific conditions, such as giving 60 days notice or limiting increases to a certain percentage. Tenants should review the fine print of any lease closely to see if such clauses exist.

If there is nothing in the lease contract permitting rent hikes before the term is up, the rent is locked in for the full duration of the tenancy. The landlord must wait until the lease expires before raising the rent to current market rates or making any other changes to the rental amount or terms. This provides stability and predictability for renters signing year-long leases.

Justifying Rent Increases

In Utah, landlords are not required to justify or provide any explanation for rent increases, even very large increases. The lack of rent control laws in the state gives landlords broad discretion to raise rents to whatever the market will bear. 

Landlords in Utah can raise rents for any reason when a lease term expires - to keep up with market rates, to cover increased costs, to bring rents in line with comparable units, or simply to increase profits. Many tenants are surprised to learn there are no restrictions requiring landlords to document the need for a rent increase with invoices, comparable rates, or any other evidence.

While excessive rent hikes may seem unfair or predatory, they are perfectly legal in Utah as long as proper notice is given. Tenants have little recourse or negotiating power when presented with a rent increase notice shortly before lease expiration. Their options are limited to trying to negotiate a smaller increase, moving out, or accepting the new rate.

Some landlords may choose to explain significant rent hikes as a courtesy to help tenants understand, but they have no obligation to do so under Utah law. Rent increases require no justification or documentation from the landlord. The lack of rent control puts tenants at a disadvantage in dealing with sudden rent spikes when their lease ends.

Tenant Recourse

Renters in Utah have limited options when facing substantial rent increases upon lease renewal. With no rent control laws in place, landlords can raise rents to market rates without justification. Tenants essentially have three options:

  1. Negotiate with the landlord. While landlords are not obligated to negotiate or compromise, some may if approached respectfully. Tenants could highlight their history of on-time payments or willingness to sign a longer lease. However, landlords hold the power in negotiations.
  2. Move out. If the increase is unaffordable, tenants may have no choice but to move. This can be extremely disruptive and costly, especially in tight rental markets with few vacancies. Moving is often the only way for renters to avoid large hikes.
  3. Pay the increase. As undesirable as this may be, many renters end upshouldering unaffordable rent hikes because they lack alternatives. This can mean cutting other expenses or taking on additional jobs or roommates. 

Tenants have little leverage or legal recourse in Utah to challenge unjustified rent increases. Their best option is trying to negotiate a smaller increase. Otherwise, they must either move out or pay the higher rent. Renters' rights advocates argue this imbalance of power highlights the need for reasonable limits on increases.

Tenant Rights in Utah 

Utah tenant rights are governed by both state and federal laws. Some key rights renters have in Utah include:


Landlords must provide and maintain housing units in a safe, sanitary, and habitable condition. Tenants can withhold rent or take other action if major issues are not addressed.

Fair Housing

Discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status is prohibited. 

Quiet Enjoyment

Tenants have a right to the quiet enjoyment of their rental property. Landlords cannot harass tenants.

Security Deposits

Landlords can only charge up to 1 month's rent as a deposit. Interest must be paid annually. Deposits must be returned within 30 days.

Lease Termination

For periodic leases, 30 days notice is required. For fixed term leases, notice depends on the lease terms. Military personnel have additional rights.

Eviction Protections

Landlords must go through the proper legal process to evict tenants. Self-help evictions are illegal. 


For issues affecting health/safety, landlords must make repairs within 3 days. Cosmetic issues may take longer. 


Landlords must give proper notice before entering rental units, generally 24 hours. Exceptions exist for emergencies.

These represent some highlights of Utah renter protections. The Utah Fit Premises Act and federal Fair Housing Act contain additional details.

Rent Control Efforts

Utah currently does not have any statewide rent control laws, as attempts to pass rent control legislation have not yet gained traction. However, there is a growing push by tenants rights groups and affordable housing advocates to implement some form of rent stabilization measures, particularly in cities like Salt Lake City. 

In 2019, State Senator Luz Escamilla [D-Salt Lake City] introduced a bill that would have allowed local governments to institute rent control policies. The bill did not pass, facing strong opposition from landlords and the real estate industry. Groups like the Utah Apartment Association argued that rent control would stifle new construction and availability. 

Despite this setback, housing activists have continued lobbying for rent stabilization regulations and tenant protections at the local level. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall expressed support for reintroducing a rent control bill, but so far no binding proposals have been brought before the city council. 

Affordable housing non-profits have put forward proposals like capping annual rent increases at 3-5%, requiring just cause for large hikes, and mandating relocation assistance for no-fault evictions. But any form of hard rent control faces an uphill battle in Utah's traditionally landlord-friendly legal environment.

Grassroots organizations like the Utah Renters Together continue to apply public pressure on state and city officials through protests, petition drives, and direct actions. With Utah's rapid growth and skyrocketing rents, the debate around implementing rent control seems poised to intensify in coming years. But any meaningful policy changes will likely require a shift in political will at the legislative level.

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