Utah senators kill compromise bill giving tenants more notice of rent increases

Feb 28, 2024, 10:41 PM | Updated: Feb 29, 2024, 12:45 am

a sign announcing rent...

FILE — A "for rent" sign is posted in front of a home on December 12, 2023. According to AAA, the national average for unleaded gas was $3.14 a gallon on December 12, which helped slow the growth of the Consumer Price Index. But the cost of shelter remains high, pushing the entire index up 0.1% between October and November. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawmaker’s push to give tenants more notice of rent increases hit a wall as Republicans on a Senate committee voted not to advance it.

HB355, sponsored by Rep. Marsha Judkins, R-Provo, would have required landlords to give tenants 60 days’ notice if rent is increasing.

The compromise measure attracted broad support from groups such as the Rental Housing Association of Utah and the Utah Housing Coalition. It passed a House committee unanimously last month and earned two-thirds support in the full House of Representatives.

But after a brief hearing on the topic last week, the Senate Business and Labor Committee voted 5-2 to prevent the bill from moving any further in the final days of the legislative session.

“I believe in the free market. We should let people negotiate and live by the contracts they are,” Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said prior to the vote. “It just feels like this is trying to tie the landlord’s hands when the prices are very volatile in our housing market right now.”

Judkins had argued giving a 60-day notice of rent increase would help tenants have enough time to decide if they could absorb the increase or if they needed to find another place to live.

Many renters in Utah have to navigate a difficult market with tight supply and high prices.

This is the second year in a row that a bill giving more notice of rent increases has failed in the Utah Legislature. Judkins, who is not running for re-election, told KSL TV she plans to pass the issue to someone else and hopes that “third time’s the charm.”

“As far as I knew, everyone agreed on it,” Judkins said. “There was something else going on.”

KSL 5 TV Live

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Utah senators kill compromise bill giving tenants more notice of rent increases