Utah bill HB 68 (Rental Expenses Disclosure Requirements) would make the rental process for tenants more fair and transparent by requiring landlords to disclose specific information before a potential renter pays any application fee. Specifically, landlords would need to disclose the following:
- The amount of rent;
- The amount of each fixed, non-rent expense;
- The type of each use-based, non-rent expense that is part of the rental;
- The day when the unit will be available;
- The criteria the owner will consider in determining the renter’s eligibility, including the renter’s criminal history, credit, income, employment, or rental history; and
- The requirements and process for recovering money the renter pays in relation to the unit.
The requirement to disclose the criteria the landlord will use to determine a prospective renter’s eligibility is particularly important for people who are poor. Prospective renters should know before paying an application fee whether the landlord will check their criminal history, credit, employment, etc. If renters know they will likely be denied housing based on one of those factors, then they can save money and time by not applying there and looking elsewhere.
For many people, an application fee of $25 or $50 is a significant amount of money, so it’s better to help them avoid having to apply with numerous landlords only to discover after they apply which criteria were used to determine their eligibility.
We support HB 68 because it would make the rental process more fair and transparent, especially for those who are poor and disadvantaged.