Utah Code – 38-8-1: Definitions.
As used in this chapter:
1 “Default” means the failure to perform in a timely manner any obligation or duty set forth in this chapter or the rental agreement.
2 “Last known address” means that address provided by the occupant in the latest rental agreement or the address provided by the occupant in a subsequent written notice of a change of address.
3 “Occupant” means a person, or his sub lessee, successor, or assign, entitled to the use of the storage space at a self-service storage facility under a rental agreement, to the exclusion of others.
4 “Owner” means the owner, operator, lessor, or sublessor of a self-service storage facility, his agent, or any other person authorized by him to manage the facility or to receive rent from an occupant under a rental agreement.
5 “Personal property” means movable property not affixed to land and includes, but is not limited to, goods, merchandise, and household items.
6 “Rental agreement” means any written agreement or lease which establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, rules, or any other provisions concerning the use and occupancy at a self-service storage facility and which contains a notice stating that all articles stored under the terms of the agreement will be sold or otherwise disposed of if no payment has been received for a continuous 30-day period. The agreement shall contain a provision directing the occupant to disclose any lien-holders with an interest in property that is or will be stored in the self-service storage facility.
7 “Self-service storage facility” means any real property designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage space to occupants who are to have access to the facility for the purpose of storing and removing personal property. No occupant may use a self-service storage facility for residential purposes. The owner of a self-service storage facility is not a warehouse as used in Section 70A-7a-102. If an owner issues any warehouse receipt, bill of lading, or other document of title for the personal property stored, the owner and the occupant are subject to the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, and the provisions of this chapter do not apply.
Types of Property for Tax Purposes
You’ve always dreamed of buying a home, condo, or other structure. You basically want a place you can truly call your “own.” But before you set out to buy your dream home, you’ll want to know more about the different types of property for tax purposes. Below you will find key information about real and personal property and where to go if you additional questions. Remember, it is always best to consult with a local real estate attorney before making any major real estate decisions to be sure you have the most up-to-date law in front of you.
Real and Personal Property
There are two basic categories of property: real and personal. The assessment procedures and the tax rate will vary between these two categories. Real property, in general, is land and anything permanently affixed to land (e.g. wells or buildings). Structures such as homes, apartments, offices, and commercial buildings (and the land to which they are attached) are typical examples of real property. Basically, personal property is any property that is not real property. Personal property is not permanently attached to land. In most cases, it is moveable and does not last as long as real property. Personal property includes vehicles, farm equipment, jewelry, household goods, stocks, and bonds.
Types of Personal Property
Personal property is divided into “tangible” and “intangible” forms. Tangible personal property is just that: it has a physical form. It can be seen, touched, and moved. Examples of tangible personal property include clothing, books, and computers. On the other hand, the notion of intangible personal property is an abstraction. They do not usually have physical forms (other than certificates or accompanying records). These include assets such as patents, trademarks, stocks, and bonds.
Classes of Property
In addition to the basic types of property, property is grouped into various classes and subclasses for purposes of tax assessment. These classes are based on the property’s use. These schedules of classes vary considerably from state to state. For example, a state may have the following classes of property:
• Class 1. Agriculture, grazing, livestock, notes, bonds, stocks, accounts receivable
• Class 2: Commercial properties
• Class 3: Motor vehicles
• Class 4: Personal property, except motor vehicles
• Class 5: Residential, farm homes
• Class 6: Swamp and waste
Before moving into a rental property, many landlords require their tenants to sign lease agreements. A lease is a contract between a tenant and landlord that gives a tenant the right to live in a property for a fixed period of time, typically covering a 6- or 12-month rental period. A contract between the landlord and tenant binds the parties to the lease.
Residential leases are tenant contracts that define in clear, thorough terms the expectations between landlord and tenant, including rent, rules regarding pets, and duration of agreement. A strong, well thought out, and well-worded lease contract can help ensure both parties’ best interests are protected, as neither can alter the agreement without written consent from the other.
Rental agreements are very similar to lease agreements. The biggest difference between lease agreements and rental agreements lies in the length of the contract. Unlike a long-term lease agreement, a rental agreement provides tenancy for a shorter period of time usually 30 days.
In most cases, rental agreements are considered “month-to-month,” and automatically renew at the end of each term period (month), unless otherwise noted by tenant or landlord. With a rental agreement, the landlord and tenant are free to change the terms of the agreement at the end of each month-to-month period (so long as appropriate notice procedures are followed).
Typical Items In Leases And Rental Agreements
Both lease and rental agreements may vary in terms of structure and flexibility. For instance, some contracts may include a rental unit pet policy, while others might include an additional addendum regarding rules or regulations, such as excessive noise. Depending on the state, landlords may be required to include certain disclosures on their lease or rental agreements such as asbestos, mold, and registered sex offender information. When drafting your lease or rental agreement, always be sure to comply with your state and federal laws.
Lease Agreement vs. Rental Agreement: Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of each specific contract fall into a few different categories and depend on the landlord-tenant relationship you’re looking for.
Pros of a Lease:
If stability is your main priority, a lease may be the right option. Many landlords prefer leases to rental agreements because they are structured for stable, long-term occupancy. Placing a tenant in a property for at least a year may offer a more predictable rental income stream and cut down on turnover costs.
Cons of a Lease:
That said, once a lease agreement is signed, the rental cost is set in stone until the end of the agreement. In an up-and-coming area with consistently growing property values, 12 months of a fixed rental cost could mean you miss out on substantial incremental income from market increases. According to Home Buying Institute, the median home price in the U.S. rose by 8.1% over the past year and is predicted that prices would rise by 6.5% in the next 12 months.
Pros of a Rental Agreement:
Due to the short term of a rental agreement, they allow much more flexibility when it comes to rent increases. Technically speaking, rent may be revised each month with a rental agreement to stay in-line with the current fair market rent so long as rent increases comply with local law and the notice provisions that govern the month-to-month rental. Using a tool such as Rentometer is useful for searching rental price comparisons in your area. It’s important your tenant understands with a rental agreement the landlord has the ability to increase the rent rate month to month. A rental agreement is ideal for a renter who can’t commit to a 12-month lease period. It may open the door to many qualified tenants looking for a short-term rental, which may be in high demand near college campuses or major hospitals.
Cons of a Rental Agreement:
A tenant looking for a long-term lease may be scared away by the flexibility of a month-to-month lease, which may leave them subject to frequent rent raises or indeterminate rental periods. For landlords, the costs of more frequent tenant turnover should also be kept in mind, including advertising, screening, and cleaning costs. Additionally, if your rental is located in an area with lower occupancy rates, you may have trouble keeping your unit rented for long periods of time.
Terms to Include in Your Lease or Rental Agreement
A residential lease or rental agreement is the blueprint of a tenancy: It lays out the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenants. It’s not only a binding contract that the parties can enforce in court; it’s also a highly practical document full of crucial business details, such as how long the tenants can occupy the property and the amount of rent due each month.
1. Names of All Tenants and Occupants
Every adult who lives in the rental—including both members of a married or unmarried couple should be named as tenants and sign the lease or rental agreement. Requiring all adult occupants to be official tenants is a form of additional insurance for landlords: Each tenant is legally responsible for paying the full amount of rent and following all other terms of the lease or rental agreement. This means that if one tenant skips out and fails to pay rent, you can legally seek the entire rent from any of the tenants. Also, if one tenant violates the lease or rental agreement, you have the right to terminate the tenancy of all the tenants—not just the offender. It’s also a good idea to add an occupancy clause stating that only the tenants and their minor children are allowed to reside in the rental, and that guests may stay no longer than a set number of days. Then, if a tenant moves in an unapproved roommate or sublets the unit without your permission, you have the right to terminate the tenancy and evict all residents, if necessary.
2. Description of Rental Property
Include the complete address of the property (including building and unit number, if applicable). You’ll also want to note any specific storage areas or parking spots that are included. For example, if the rental includes assigned parking, be sure to write in the stall or spot number. Similarly, specify areas that the tenants are not allowed to access (such as a locked shed in the backyard).
3. Term of the Tenancy
Rental agreements create short-term (usually month-to-month) tenancies that renew automatically until the landlord or tenants terminate. Leases, on the other hand, create tenancies that terminate after a specific term (usually a year). Whichever you use, be specific: note the start date, the tenancy length, and (if creating a lease) the expiration date.
4. Rental Price
Don’t just write in the amount of rent spell out when (typically, the first of the month) and how it’s to be paid, such as by mail to your office. (Make sure you comply with your state’s laws on paying rent.) To avoid confusion, spell out details such as:acceptable payment methods (for example, personal check only), whether you charge a late rent fee, the amount of the fee, and the grace period (if any), and any charges if a rent check bounces.
5. Security Deposits and Fees
Avoid some of the most common disputes between landlords and tenants by being very clear about:
• the dollar amount of the security deposit (be sure you comply with any state security deposit limit laws)
• how you might use the deposit (for example, to cover unpaid rent or repair damage the tenant causes) and how you won’t use it (for example, you won’t accept it in lieu of last month’s rent)
• whether you expect the tenant to replenish the deposit in the event you have to make a deduction mid-tenancy (for example, if you repair a window the tenant’s child throws a ball through two months into the tenancy)
• when and how you will return the deposit and account for deductions after the tenant moves out (check your state’s laws on returning security deposits), and
• any nonrefundable fees, such as for cleaning or pets (make sure your state allows nonrefundable fees).
It’s also a good idea (and legally required in a few states and cities) to include details on where you’ll hold the security deposit and whether you’ll pay interest on the deposit to the tenant.
6. Repair and Maintenance Policies
Your best defense against rent-withholding hassles and battles over security deposits is to clearly explain your repair and maintenance policies, including:
• the tenants’ responsibility to maintain clean and sanitary premises and to pay for any damage they cause (excluding normal wear and tear)
• a requirement that the tenants alert you to defective or dangerous conditions, with specific details on your procedures for handling complaints and repair requests, and
• restrictions on tenant repairs and alterations (for example, prohibit any painting of the unit unless you approve it in writing).
7. Landlord’s Right to Enter Rental Property
To avoid tenant claims of illegal entry or violation of privacy rights, your lease or rental agreement should clarify your right to access the rental. It’s okay (if permitted under your state’s landlord access laws) to have different policies for different situations—for example, you might provide 24 hours’ notice before you enter to make repairs or show the unit to potential renters, but you might not be able to provide advance notice in an emergency.
8. Rules and Important Policies
If a rule or regulation is so important to you that you’d want to remove a tenant who violated it, be sure to include it. Other, not-so-vital rules can be written in a separate rules and regulations document. Landlords commonly include the following policies in their leases and rental agreements:
• No illegal activity: To limit your potential liability, as well as help prevent injury to others and your property, you should include an explicit clause prohibiting illegal and disruptive behavior, such as drug dealing, drug use, and excessive noise or nuisance.
• Smoking: You have the right to prohibit or restrict smoking of any kind in your rental. If you don’t allow smoking, you might want to note that the ban includes all forms of smoking—including marijuana or vamping. If you limit smoking, write out where and what tenants may smoke.
• Pets: You have the right to restrict or prohibit pets in your rental, with the exception of service and emotional support animals. If your rental is pet-friendly, include your pet policies: Write out how many pets a tenant can have, and specify what types, breeds, and sizes of animals you allow. Also note if pets must be on leash outside the unit, or if tenants must clean up pet waste in common areas or a yard.
9. Contact Information
Consider requiring tenants to contact you in writing about certain matters. Although texts and instant messaging might work for some discussions, you want to be able to keep a reliable and printable, in the event you ever need to show a judge record of all communications with your tenants. For example, you might state that tenants must request repairs in writing or give notice to terminate the tenancy by sending a letter to a designated address. If you agree to accept email, make sure that you regularly check email and have methods for saving (and backing up) everything you send and receive.
10. Required Landlord Disclosures
Federal, state, and local laws might require you to disclose certain information in your lease or rental agreement. For example, you might have to inform tenants about lead-based paint or the unit’s bed bug history. You’ll also want to make sure your lease or rental agreement doesn’t violate any rent control laws, antidiscrimination laws, or health and safety codes. Consider having a local landlord-tenant attorney review your lease or rental agreement to ensure it complies with all applicable laws.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
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