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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

Refunding Renters' Deposits

Refundable deposits

The landlord must return to the tenant any refundable deposit and pre-paid rent once the tenancy has ended, subject to some conditions.

Deposits are considered refundable unless they were designated as non-refundable - in writing - at the time the landlord took the deposit from the tenant. Utah Code Section 57-17-2.


Deductions from deposits

Once the tenancy has ended, the landlord can deduct from the deposit:

  • payment of rent,
  • damages beyond reasonable wear and tear,
  • cleaning, and
  • other costs provided for in the contract.  

Utah Code Section 57-17-3(1).

If the landlord deducts any amount from the deposit, they must provide the tenant with a written, itemized list of those deductions. Utah Code Section 57-17-1.


How soon the deposit must be refunded

The landlord must refund the deposit within 30 days after the tenancy has ended. The refund must be delivered to the tenant's last-known address. The tenant should be sure to notify the landlord of their current address.

In addition to the deposit refund, the landlord must provide:

  • the balance of any prepaid rent, and
  • a written notice itemizing and explaining any deductions the from the deposit or prepaid rent.

Utah Code Section 57-17-3(2).


If the landlord does not follow the law about refunding deposits

If the landlord does not return the tenant's deposit within 30 days, or if the landlord does not provide an itemized list of deductions, the tenant may give the landlord (or their agent) a Tenant's Notice to Provide Deposit Disposition. The Notice is provided in the Forms section.


Serving the Tenant's Notice to Provide Deposit Disposition

The Tenant's Notice to Provide Deposit Disposition can be given to the landlord ("served") one of these ways:

  • by delivering a copy to the owner (or their agent) personally at the address provided in the lease agreement;
    • if the owner or the owner's agent is not at the address provided in the lease agreement, by leaving a copy with a person of suitable age and discretion at the address; or
    • if a person of suitable age or discretion cannot be found at the address, by affixing a copy in a conspicuous place at the address provided in the lease agreement; or
  • by sending a copy through registered or certified mail to the owner (or their agent) at the address provided in the lease agreement.

If the landlord does not comply with the Tenant's Notice to Provide Deposit Disposition

The landlord has 5 business days to comply with the Tenant's Notice to Provide Deposit Disposition. If they do not, the tenant can sue the landlord for these things:

  • The full deposit - if the landlord doesn't return the balance of the tenant's deposit;
  • The full amount of prepaid rent - if the landlord doesn't return the balance of the tenant's prepaid rent; and
  • A civil penalty of $100.
  • If the court finds the landlord acted in bad faith, it can also award the tenant court costs and attorney fees.

Utah Code Section 57-17-5.


Forms

  • Tenant's Notice to Provide Deposit Disposition - PDF | Word

Related Information

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.


Page Last Modified: 2/6/2018
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