Utah Law allows cities to charge disproportionate license fees if they conduct an impact study that outlines the usage of rental properties. In 2004 Ogden wanted to encourage the elimination of code violations and public nuisances while trying to prevent illegal activity on rental properties.
Cities that currently have Good Landlord programs: CenterfieldClearfield LoganMidvale North Salt Lake Ogden Salt Lake CitySouth Ogden South Salt LakeSunset TaylorsvilleWashington Terr. West JordanWest Valley City
Fee reduction examples: City Fee Reduced Fee Taylorsville$90$15 Ogden$156$13 Clearfield$190$27 SLC$342$20 While the programs are voluntary, 85% of Ogden properties participate in the Good Landlord program and Salt Lake has over 90% participation.
Crime on Good Landlord properties dropped 11%. Calls for services dropped 18% HIGHER REVENUE – LOWER COSTS While crime in Good Landlord cities dropped there was a proportional increase in crime in surrounding communities. Many of those communities now have Good Landlord programs.
Run a background check on every applicant and don’t rent to applicants with convictions within the last 4 years. Evict tenants who create problems THE GOOD LANDLORD PROGRAM Participating Landlords are Encouraged (or required) to:
Maintain properties to code including lawn/yard maintenance and junk storage. Take a city approved Good Landlord training class once every two or three years depending on the city. THE GOOD LANDLORD PROGRAM Participating Landlords are required to:
Reduce the per unit fee based on participation. Provide information on criminal activity. Provide training and education on city regulations and crime prevention. THE GOOD LANDLORD PROGRAM In return, city agrees to:
Ogden Good Landlord Program Benefits Since its induction in 2004, almost 85% of Ogden rental units have qualified for the Good Landlord incentive, which means the property owners qualified for a 90% discount on their annual business license fees. In its first year of the program, landlords who diligently followed the guidelines also saw a reduction in crime at their properties—in fact, 11.6% reduction in crime, according to reports.
The Good Landlord program is building more awareness that prevention really does reduce, and may even eliminate crime and unprofitable ventures associated with apartment ownership. Participating in the program proves to enhance property values by decreasing not only crime but also poorly maintained and improperly operated rental properties..
A summary of program benefits include: More profitable property ventures Potentially enhanced property values Better maintained & operated properties Decreased crime Business license 90% fee reductions
Program Drawbacks 1) Unhappy Landlords Sir, I resent the exploitation of tax payers by private industry. The "Good Landlord" training program was indeed the worst educational experience of my life. The presenter was rude, condescending and spent an inordinate amount of time telling horror stories from his personal experience as a landlord. His model for choosing a tenant was certainly to blame - a model he held up to be ideal. I will continue to pay inflated license prices just to avoid having to sit through another four hours of this nonsense. Shame on local officials for putting this program in place.
Program Drawbacks 2) Unhappy Tenants “My landlord locked me out and I can’t get my stuff” “We had a flood and now there’s mold everywhere and the landlord won’t clean it up.” “I hadn’t paid my rent so my landlord took all my belongings” “I received an eviction notice that says I have to move out at the end of the month”
Program Drawbacks 3) Housing Advocacy Groups A- No disclosure of tenant rights B- Disparate impact which targets formerly homeless, people with a mental illness and people with disabilities due to drug usage. C- The program doesn’t fix crime but only relocates crime. D- We are not rehabilitating someone with a criminal record and reintegrating them into society.
Program Drawbacks 4) Negative press and public perception “In Utah almost all released inmates who return to prison do so within three years — most of those within the first year after release. Yet state law allows cities to force landlords to deny tenancy to ex-offenders who have been out of prison less than four years.”
Program Drawbacks 5) Extra Work for licensing staff A- Tracking certificates B- Notifying Landlords of expiring licenses C- Phone calls from angry landlords/tenants
What kind of training do landlords receive and does it do any good? Good Landlord classes teach eight basic principles:
Terminating A Tenancy for Cause There are three causes to terminate a tenancy 1. Failure to Pay 2. Failure to Comply 3. Public Nuisance
1. The eviction process 2. Serving notices 3. Charging Fees 4. Using an attorney 5. Communicating with tenants
Crisis Resolution Nobody wants to be evicted and rarely do you have a tenant that should be evicted for any reason. Communicate with your tenants so they understand your needs and try to work out problems and misunderstandings before you both wind up in court.
Penalties Million dollar penalties and settlements are not uncommon! In 2009, former L. A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling paid $2.75 million to settle a discrimination lawsuit.
What is prohibited? It’s illegal to discriminate against someone because of their membership in a protected class Seven federally protected classes One Utah protected class Two City Protected Classes Types of Discrimination ◦Disparate Treatment ◦Disparate Impact
Protected Classes 7 Federally Protected Disability (48%)Familial Status Race(34%)Sex ColorReligion National Origin 1 State Protected Source of Income 2 City Protected Gender IdentitySexual Orientation
Exempt from Fair Housing Owner occupied buildings with no more than four (4) units. A private individual does not own more than three (3) rentals. Not Exempt from Fair Housing Real estate agents or anyone in the “business of real estate” Anyone advertising rentals
Working with the Police Let police know when you think criminal activity is taking place on your property Evict tenants who are breaking the law and let the city and the police know During inspections look for drugs and drug paraphernalia, let the police know what you find and let them decide what to do with it
What you learned Evictions Fair Housing Abandoned Property Tenant Screening Inspections How to be a GOOD LANDLORD!