Safety Tips For Landlords

Dated: 01/28/2019

Views: 195

In light of the tragic murder of landlord David Stokoe while attempting to collect rent, the Utah Apartment Association, CDA Properties, and Nestwell Property Management want to remind the public of safety practices for owning and managing rental properties.

While violence against landlords is rare, it is a serious issue and all rental housing professionals should take steps to protect themselves and others from possible violence, including:

  • Thorough criminal background checks on all applicants to identify individuals with a history of violence and crime.

  • Enforcement of rules prohibiting tenants from allowing unverified individuals to “crash” or live in a unit without having undergone a criminal background check.

  • Taking two individuals, never one, when attempting to collect rent or into any situation where there is a reason to be cautious or that makes you uncomfortable.

When tenants violate lease agreements in any way, including allowing unauthorized individuals to stay in a rental home, or when they fail to pay rent, state law requires landlords serve a 3-day notice giving tenants an opportunity to come back into compliance with their lease or move within three days (except in cases of criminal acts – in that case, there is no right to correct and they must move in three days). If tenants do not correct the problem or move in three days,  landlords can hire an attorney and begin an eviction.

Tips for Evictions:

  1. While Utah law allows landlords to serve initial violation notices themselves, if you anticipate conflict or fear for your safety, hire a constable to serve the notice

  2. Once an eviction has begun, cease contact with the tenant. All correspondence should be through your attorney

  3. Lockouts can only be done with the supervision of a constable or Sheriff, after obtaining a court order.

Avoiding conflict/violence

If a tenant is ever threatening or violent, leave immediately, file a police report and avoid future contact while conducting the eviction (threats of violence are a lease violation)

Whenever you must enter a rented unit, be sure to give proper notice and always leave a note explaining why you entered and what you did (ie. changed smoke detector batteries or furnace filters)

About the rental housing market in Utah: 1/3 of Utah households rent. There are over 300,000 apartments and rental homes in Utah and tens of thousands of owners and managers engaged in housing Utah families

Support David Stokoe's Family A gofundme has been established to support David's family. Please support

About the Utah Apartment Association: We are the leading advocate for rental housing providers and provide training, resources, and support for landlords and property managers.

About Nestwell Property Management: We've been helping property owners get the most out of their rental homes for over 30 years. Our vibrant team of real estate pros constantly monitors market trends, listens to renter feedback, and works to identify areas of potential growth for our clients. 

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