Utah Security Deposit
Security Deposits Utah

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Returning the Security Deposit  - The landlord must return a tenant's deposit within thirty days after the tenancy ends, or within fifteen days after the landlord's receipt of the tenant's new address, whichever is later. 

If you keep a tenant's deposit, you must detail all your expenses allowed by law or under the lease, deduct them from the deposit, and then refund the difference to the tenant. Landlords may keep a deposit to compensate for unpaid rent, damages beyond reasonable wear and tear, cleaning, and other costs provided for in the rental contract.

Your Deposit - What to do.

Utah law requires the owner to return the security deposit to the renter within 30 days of termination of tenancy or within 15 days after receipt of the renter's new mailing address, whichever is later, or send a written statement explaining why the deposit or any part of it is being withheld. The renter must notify the owner or agent of the location where payment and notice may be made or mailed. An exception is allowed when the premises are damaged—the time period is extended to 30 days.

Here are seven simple steps that could prevent security deposit nightmares for the renter. Follow these steps closely, and the chances are good that your deposit will not be withheld:

  1. Complete a cleaning and damage evaluation within five days of checking in the apartment. Note all damages and dirty areas left in the apartment. Give a copy to the landlord; if possible, have the landlord sign it. Keep a copy for your records.

  2. Keep the property clean and thoroughly clean it just before moving out.

  3. Promptly pay the rent and utility bills.

  4. Do not abuse the property or allow your friends to.

  5. Report all problems as they occur, even if you are at fault.

  6. Give the landlord proper, legal written notices, if necessary, before moving.

  7. Leave a forwarding address with your landlord in writing.


If the landlord or agent in bad faith fails to return the deposit within the legal limits described above, the law provides for recovery of the deposit in full as well as a civil penalty of $100 and court costs. However, the landlord must receive the renter's new address within 30 days of termination of tenancy for this law to be effective. In such case, the renter should respond in writing. It is wise to respond by registered or certified mail and keep a copy of your letter. In making a response, we suggest you include the following:

  1. Your name.

  2. The address of the former rental apartment (including apartment number).

  3. The dates of the tenancy.

  4. The amount of the deposit.

  5. That no refund has been received.

  6. The general condition of the vacated unit.

  7. A demand for payment.

  8. An address to which payment may be sent.

  9. A deadline for receiving payment.

  10. A reminder that bad faith retention carries a penalty. If the landlord does send you an itemized list of deductions within 30 days, but you disagree with the claims, you should also respond in writing and seek to negotiate a settlement. 

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