This Tuesday, November 14th, the Council will consider the following ordinance as a tool to aid in the enforcement of occupancy limits. This is the current V2 draft the Council intends to vote on. One problem with this draft is that it defines the word “contract” to refer to disclosure documents that are not a contract from the standpoint of legal definition or common usage. This draft has been misinterpreted to mean that all landlords must include the disclosure documents in a written lease agreement, which would discourage verbal contracts and sublease arrangements. See the next blog post (Rental Disclosure Ordinance) for an alternative V3 draft that substitutes “disclosure and acknowledgment” for “contract”. The effect of these two drafts is the same from an enforcement standpoint but the wording in V3 is clearer and less subject to misinterpretation.
AN ORDINANCE ENACTING A NEW PROVO CITY CODE PROVISION REGARDING RENTAL CONTRACTS. (17-104)
WHEREAS, the Provo City Council’s Zoning Committee has recommended that Provo City Code Section 6.26.150 (Contract Required) be enacted in order to establish requirements of landlords in disclosing zoning rules for the property as part of the written tenant contract; and
WHEREAS, the action is also intended to clearly define the tenants’ rights and responsibilities in a document provided by Provo City; and
WHEREAS, the Zoning Committee reasons that this action will educate tenants and landlords and facilitate better zoning self-enforcement; and
WHEREAS, on August 29, 2017, September 19, 2017, and October 3, 2017, the Municipal Council held duly noticed public meetings to ascertain facts regarding this matter, which facts are found in the meeting records; and
WHEREAS, after considering the Zoning Committee’s recommendation and facts and comments presented to the Municipal Council, the Council finds (i) Provo City Code Section 6.26.150 should be enacted as recommended by the Zoning Committee and (ii) this action, as set forth below, reasonably furthers the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Provo City.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it ordained by the Municipal Council of Provo City, Utah, as follows:
Provo City Code Section 6.26.150 is hereby enacted as shown in the attached Exhibit A.
A. If a provision of this ordinance conflicts with a provision of a previously adopted ordinance, this ordinance shall prevail.
B. This ordinance and its various sections, clauses and paragraphs are hereby declared to be severable. If any part, sentence, clause or phrase is adjudged to be unconstitutional or invalid, the remainder of the ordinance shall not be affected thereby.
C. The Municipal Council hereby directs that the official 42 copy of the Provo City Code be updated to reflect the provisions enacted by this ordinance.
D. This ordinance shall take effect on January 1, 2018.
6.26.150. Contract Required.
(1) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Owner” includes any duly authorized agent of a property owner, including an authorized property manager, but does not include a tenant or sublessor.
(b) “Tenant” includes any lessee and/or sublessee.
(c) “Contract” means, at a minimum, a document executed by both the owner and one or more tenants that meets the requirements in subsection (4). It need not contain any additional terms to meet the requirements of this section.
(d) “Rental dwelling” has the meaning defined in Provo City Code Section 6.02.010, but also includes a mobile home rental dwelling as defined in that section.
(2) Every owner of a rental dwelling shall have a written contract with each adult tenant.
(3) Every adult tenant shall have a written contract with the owner of any rental dwelling.
(4) The contract shall contain the following:
(a) a copy of the rental dwelling license application approval letter for that property;
(b) a copy of the Tenants’ Rights and Responsibilities document provided by Provo City; and
(c) an acknowledgement by both owner and tenant of tenant’s intent to occupy the premises.
(5) The owner shall make the contract available to Provo City officials upon request when reasonable cause exists to believe that there is a violation of this section.
(6) It shall be unlawful for any owner, tenant, or other individual to violate the requirements of this section.
(7) Any owner, tenant, or other individual who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates this section shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.
(a) No person shall be in violation of this section unless he intends a violation, is aware that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause a violation of this section, or is aware of, but consciously disregards, a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his conduct will result in a violation of this section.
(b) A person shall not be held liable if a violation of this section results from his criminal or simple negligence.
(c) A second or subsequent conviction under this section shall be a Class B misdemeanor.
(d) For purposes of this section, a plea of guilty or no contest to a violation of this section, which plea is held in abeyance under Utah Code Title 77, Chapter 2a, Pleas in Abeyance, is the equivalent of a conviction, even if the charge has been subsequently reduced or dismissed in accordance with the plea in abeyance agreement.