2013 Legislation Update

Utah_Property_Management_Legislation

As members of the Government Affairs Committee for the UAA, we strive to be involved on a state and local level to see that any changes in legislation are for your benefit.  We also work with the UAA to work against bills that will limit your rights as rental property owners.

2013 was a relatively slow year at the capitol for legislation surrounding real estate and investment property.  This is a good thing.  However, there are a few good items which came out of this which we will continue to explain.  Please understand, every year we look at legislative changes and modify our internal policies to see that you are in compliance with these laws.  One more way we watch out for you and your interests.  Below are some items we would like to point out.  To get a full report on the session, please click here.  All new laws passed will go into effect towards the middle of May.

HB 067 – Property Taxation Revisions

Applies the primary residential exemption to household furnishings, furniture, and equipment used exclusively within a rental primary residential property; increases a property tax exemption for personal property from $4,000 to $10,000.  This means that the likelihood of you being required to pay personal property taxes decrease significantly.  You will simply have to send in the county tax postcard checking the box that you are exempt.

HB 286 – Disposition of Personal Property on Vacated Property

This bill really helps out property owners with reducing the time required to store personal property left by a tenant who moves out.

Requires a property owner to give notice to a former tenant of abandoned personal property before it is sold or donated;.changes the time a landlord must store abandoned property from 30 to 15 days; allows a tenant who has been a victim of domestic violence, was hospitalized for illness, or an estate of a tenant who dies to request 15 additional days to claim the property to the landlord along with written verification of the condition;

allows a tenant to recover abandoned personal property within 5 calendar days without paying if the property is

1) medical equipment or prescriptions,

2) identification or paperwork necessary to verify qualification for government benefits,

or
3) clothing; provides that a property owner is not required to store certain hazardous or dangerous abandoned personal property; exempts motor vehicles; and makes technical changes.

There were also some bills which we fought and were not passed which would have increased your liability and operating costs.  For example, a bill was proposed which would have required owners to test every house between occupants for radon gas, this would have increased costs significantly.  Now we only have to make the public aware of the seriousness of radon gas and provide education and solutions for it.  Another bill which was shot down was an anti-discrimination bill which would make size and weight a protected class.  Of course, we do not discriminate for size and weight, but we are against over complicating the law and adding more liability to property owners.

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