Landlords - Security Deposit - Utah

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Feb 28, 2017
20
16
3
#1
Hello everyone,

I used to rent an apartment in Salt Lake City, Utah but moved to a different state. My lease ended on January 31st of 2018. I needed to move out of the apartment on January 6th because of my husband starting school in a different state. I paid my rent for the whole month of January and I did email the management in December to notify them that I would be moving out before January 31st.

I cleaned the apartment on January 5th and decided to drop off the keys to the management office the next day. They were usually open on Saturdays from 10 to 2pm. When I went there to drop them off, there was a paper sign saying they wont be open that Saturday. Since I was moving out of state, I did not want to wait till Monday. The same day I emailed the management and asked for the address where I can send the keys and forwarding address to. They sent me the address and I sent the keys and an envelope for security deposit with the address. They received the keys on January 12th. The manager emailed me back in January saying she would send me the statement as soon as they would receive the keys. No statement or invoice or anything like that was received. In fact, I emailed them a couple of times later and never got a response. I even stopped by the office when I was visiting Utah and asked about the deposit. She told me there wont be any charges and she would call me back as soon as she's finished with a customer. No phone call. Finally, I called her last week and asked if there would be any deductions from the deposit and when she thinks she would send the deposit. She said that there will be charges for the carpet cleaning. I asked how much, and she said she did not know but she would send me an invoice. No invoice so far. I did some research and found out that in Utah, if a landlord fails to return deposit in a timely manner, they might have to pay the deposit in full. Today is February 13th, they received the keys according to the tracking info on Jan 12th.

1. Do I count the 30 days from the day they received the keys? Does the 30 day period end on the day they mail the deposit or me actually receiving it?
2. In Utah, can landlords deduct money from security deposits for carpet cleaning? There were no damages and I cleaned the whole place. I assume this is a routine type of carpet cleaning. It says in Utah Code damages to the premises beyond reasonable wear and tear... or cleaning of the unit. I cleaned the unit and vacuumed the carpet, but of course there is no way I could clean the carpet.

If you could please help me to know what my rights are and how I can get my deposit back and know that the deductions are fair and legal. Thank you so much in advance!

Utah Code 57-17-3. Deductions from deposit — Written itemization — Time for return
Current as of: 2016 | Check for updates| Other versions

(1) Upon termination of a tenancy, the owner or the owner’s agent may apply property or money held as a deposit toward the payment of rent, damages to the premises beyond reasonable wear and tear, other costs and fees provided for in the contract, or cleaning of the unit.

Utah Code 57-17-5. Failure to return deposit or prepaid rent or to give required notice — Recovery of deposit, penalty, costs, and attorney fees
Current as of: 2016 | Check for updates| Other versions

(1) If an owner or the owner’s agent fails to comply with the requirements described in Subsection 57-17-3(5), the renter may:
(a) recover from the owner:
(i) if the owner or the owner’s agent failed to timely return the balance of the renter’s deposit, the full deposit;
(ii) if the owner or the owner’s agent failed to timely return the balance of the renter’s prepaid rent, the full amount of the prepaid rent; and
(iii) a civil penalty of $100; and


Security Deposit Section from my lease.

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 12.17.21 PM.png
 
Last edited:
Feb 28, 2017
20
16
3
#3
Here are some help from Utah gov:

https://www.utcourts.gov/howto/landlord/refunding_deposits.html

Sending the Tenant's Notice to Provide Deposit Disposition' form seems very effective.
Thank you so much! It was very helpful! Do you know if I can count from the day they received all the keys as the day when the lease ended? O do I have to count from the official lease end day (Jan 31st)? Also, they need to send the deposit within 30 days since the lease ended. So as long as they mailed the deposit to me within the 30 days, they are good?
 
Mar 17, 2015
383
542
93
38
#5
I think since you paid 100% for January and were not out on January 1st, the landlord has 30 days past the 31st. Even though they had access early to the apartment, your lease did not technically end until the 31st. A real estate/ landlord tenant attorney may know differently. I do not think they can charge you the carpet cleaning unless there was unreasonable wear and tear.
 

John Galbraith

Staff Member
Director
Jan 22, 2017
325
501
93
Poole
#6
Hi Lupus,

Ok it's not straightforward - according to the Utah court the deposit is due back 30 days after the tenancy ends. So i agree with Tanya - that is 30 days after 31st jan. However here is what the code actually says:

57-17-3 Deductions from deposit -- Written itemization -- Time for return. (1) Upon termination of a tenancy, the owner or the owner's agent may apply property or money held as a deposit toward the payment of rent, damages to the premises beyond reasonable wear and tear, other costs and fees provided for in the contract, or cleaning of the unit. (2) No later than 30 days after the day on which a renter vacates and returns possession of a rental property to the owner or the owner's agent, the owner or the owner's agent shall deliver to the renter at the renter's last known address:

To me that indicates that the 30 days could start once you gave the keys back because you had vacated and returned possession. The problem is you had said you were not moving out until 30 Jan - so they could try and argue you still had possession.

I would fill in the form and see what happens.

(p.s we can't give legal advice)
 
Aug 29, 2015
436
658
93
48
#8
Deducting for carpet cleaning is fairly standard, unless you provided a receipt for a professional, truck mounted, carpet cleaning company. It is good business practice to steam clean carpets between tenants. That is usually charged to the outgoing tenant . Dirt is not wear and tear.
 
Feb 11, 2018
5
1
3
78
#9
I think since you paid 100% for January and were not out on January 1st, the landlord has 30 days past the 31st. Even though they had access early to the apartment, your lease did not technically end until the 31st. A real estate/ landlord tenant attorney may know differently. I do not think they can charge you the carpet cleaning unless there was unreasonable wear and tear.
I can't comment on the technicalities of the dates, but I certainly agree about the carpet cleaning. Seems to me that cleaning the carpet should be routine between tenants.