Utah Tenant Screening
Last Updated: February 6, 2015
Utah is a center of transportation, education, information technology and research, government services, mining, and a major tourist destination for outdoor recreation. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Utah had the second fastest-growing population of any state.
How to Screen a Tenant in Utah
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Step 1: Know Your Rights & Responsibilities
Landlords and property managers are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act [PDF] (FCRA) during the tenant screening process. Additionally, Utah has laws that affect the tenant screening process. You can find the current Utah Housing Codes on the Utah State Legislature website. If you are finding the formalities of the state code daunting, you might want to check out these friendlier sites:
Recent Law Changes/News
Utah facing affordable housing crisis, advocates tell lawmakers: To further complicate matters, the federal government has deeply cut the funds it provides to housing authorities to administer affordable housing and provide case management. “Here in Utah, we are facing an affordable housing crisis:”
Step 2: Required Forms & Disclosures
Tip: before you rent for the first time, consider hiring a lawyer to review all of the documents you will use during the application and rental process to ensure that you are protected to the fullest extent of the law.
- Rental Application [PDF] (this must be completed in full by the applicant prior to screening)
- Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act [PDF]
- Consumer Report Disclosure [PDF]
If you are ACCEPTING an applicant:
- Move-In Checklist [PDF]
- Lease Agreement (written), containing or attaching the following information:
- Owner/Agent Identity – This should include name and address, and if the owner/agent is out-of-state it must include contact information for a resident of the COUNTY in which the rental is located that can act as an agent for the purposes of serving notices and process.
- Security Deposit – This must include the amount of the deposit and the conditions under which some or all of the deposit may be withheld. It must also include the name and banking institution holding the deposit.
- Non-refundable Fees – Explicitly describe any non-refundable fees, and state clearly that they are non-refundable. By custom in Utah, landlords must disclose any nonrefundable fees to tenants. Specifically, if there is a written agreement and if any part of the deposit is nonrefundable, it must be so stated in writing to the renter at the time the deposit is taken. Check your local ordinance for any city or county disclosure requirements.
- Fire Protection & Safety Information: You must disclose the available fire protection and safety information specific to the unit you are renting, including smoking policy, evacuation plans, and who to notify in case of emergency.
If you are DECLINING an applicant:
- Adverse Action Notice [PDF]
Step 3: Order a Tenant Screening Report
What You’ll Need
- A completed rental application signed by the applicant.
- Some details about your applicant:
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Previous address
- Bank account number (optional)
- Bank routing number (optional)
What Will Be Covered
- Package Options
- Background Report Coverage for Utah:
- Criminal, OFAC/Patriot Act & Sex Offender Records – A nationwide search is always performed. These jurisdictions specifically are available in Utah: UT Admin Office OF Courts, UT Department Of Corrections, UT District Courts, UT District Courts Disposed Cases, Justice Court Criminal, UT Sex Offender Registry, Weber County Corrections.
- Eviction Records – records are available from the following counties: Beaver, Box Elder, Cache, Carbon, Daggett, Davis, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Juab, Kane, Millard, Morgan, Piute, Rich, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Summit Tooele, Uintah, Utah, Wasatch, Washington, Wayne, Weber.
- Bankruptcies, Liens & Judgments – records are available from the following counties: Beaver, Box Elder, Cache, Carbon, Daggett, Davis, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Juab, Kane, Millard, Morgan, Piute, Rich, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Summit, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, Wasatch, Washington, Wayne, Weber.
- Social Security Number validation, Death Index, credit checks, previous addresses, alias names, and the Rent Check Advisor include all information available regardless of location.
Resources for Utah Landlords
- Utah State Bar Association Lawyer Referral
- Utah Courts Index
- Law Enforcement Agencies in Utah (Wikipedia)