Knowledge is power. Educating yourself will give you ammunition if any disagreements happen between you and your landlord. It can also give you a heads up as to what kind of neighborhood you are moving into. Not only do you need to educate yourself by reading your lease thoroughly, but you also need to know what your rights and responsibilities are as a renter in Utah.
Read Your Lease
Before you sign anything, make sure that you carefully read your lease. Find out who is responsible for damages, if there are any hidden fees for late payments, if you are allowed to have pets (and if there are any additional fees for having them), what the policy is for guests, and what happens if you wish to end your lease early etc. Keep a copy of your signed lease for your records.
If you have any questions, make sure that you talk to your landlord to clear them up. If you found anything in your lease that was questionable, ask your landlord if they are willing to make any changes to the agreement. If you do make any changes, make sure that you get them in writing so that you and your landlord have documentation.
Learn Your Rights
As a tenant in Utah, you have the right to privacy, sanitation, safety, as well as fair housing. However, if you sign a contract that forfeits your rights, you will no longer be able to claim them. Always be careful when entering into housing contracts. For more information, check out our page on tenant’s rights.
Make sure that you research your landlord and the neighborhood you want to move into. Check out reviews on Yelp, as well as asking people who live in the rental units adjacent yours what they think of management. Find out if your landlord has the proper licenses. Check out the neighborhood you want to move into as well by researching it on sites like Home Disclosure to see if there are any environmental concerns or sex offenders nearby.