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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This question came up on another board I'm on: Are there any laws in Utah that prevent a landlord from prohibiting the possession of firearms in his rentals by tenants?

I did a search through the portions of the state code relating to real estate (57-17-1 through 5 and 22-1 through 6) and was unable to find any reference to firearms. The only thing I found in the weapons laws was UCA 76-10-511 which says a person may have a loaded firearm in his place of residence. This however doesn't prevent a landlord from including a firearms prohibition clause in the lease/rental agreement.

There are ordinances in many urban municipalities that state a person may have up to x number of dogs or cats at a residence but that does not preclude a landlord from prohibiting pets. Would the same apply to firearms?
 

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I doubt many renters have policies and terms related to firearms, but if they did, I would ask them why. Get their answer and then contact the Utah Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and see if it's legitimate. It might be worth a call anyways (1-800-669-9777), just to see if something like that can legally be entered as a policy.

I have lived in a couple of units where there were illegal policies: no kids, no indoor flames (candles and such), etc. We asked the landlords about the policy and they said they didn't want the little kids making lots of noise or in the other case, open flames that could cause fires. I replied, "Wow, I see how that could be a problem, but did you know that policies like this are illegal and against the Utah Fair Housing laws? The reply I often received was, "It is? But it's my property? How can the state tell me what I can and can't do with my rentals?"

It seems that many landlords may be unaware that they have illegal policies in their rental agreements. Just make sure that you don't sign anything you don't agree with - I even took mine to a lawyer friend of mine to look over before signing. Watch your back :? and get back to me about what the Fair Housing Office says about firearms - I'm intrigued!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just sent the Utah HUD Office an email. I'll post the answer.
 

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A landlord violates law when refusing to allow tenants to obey constitutional rights. A tenant who is paying for the unit has every right under the constitution, thus the law, to have or possess whatever means of self defense they desire while living there. The landlord, should they discover a person has weapons in their unit may legally refuse to re-rent to them. This can lead to a lawsuit for constitutional infractions or harassment, or even for discrimination. The law is really on our side here. The exact Federal Statutes and State Statutes escape me at the moment, but they are there and they protect lawful gun & weapon owners.
Heaven forbid they deny to rent because you have a Chef's knife! :p
 

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Utah code does explicitely prohibit landlords from denying their renters the ability to lawfully possess firearms in their residence.

This legislation was part of the bill that allowed churches to ban firearms on their premises. You can find the full text here.

Here is the pertinent snippet from the code: (5) Nothing in this section permits an owner who has granted the lawful right of possession to a renter or lessee to restrict the renter or lessee from lawfully possessing a firearm in the residence.
 

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Car Knocker said:
This question came up on another board I'm on: Are there any laws in Utah that prevent a landlord from prohibiting the possession of firearms in his rentals by tenants?

I did a search through the portions of the state code relating to real estate (57-17-1 through 5 and 22-1 through 6) and was unable to find any reference to firearms. The only thing I found in the weapons laws was UCA 76-10-511 which says a person may have a loaded firearm in his place of residence. This however doesn't prevent a landlord from including a firearms prohibition clause in the lease/rental agreement.

There are ordinances in many urban municipalities that state a person may have up to x number of dogs or cats at a residence but that does not preclude a landlord from prohibiting pets. Would the same apply to firearms?
Utah Code Section 76-10-50076-10-500. Uniform law. (1) The individual right to keep and bear arms being a constitutionally protected right, the Legislature finds the need to provide ...
le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE76/htm/76_0C029.htm - 3k - Cached - Similar pages

76-10-500. Uniform law.
(1) The individual right to keep and bear arms being a constitutionally protected right, the Legislature finds the need to provide uniform laws throughout the state. Except as specifically provided by state law, a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien shall not be:
(a) prohibited from owning, possessing, purchasing, selling, transferring, transporting, or keeping any firearm at his place of residence, property, business, or in any vehicle lawfully in his possession or lawfully under his control; or
(b) required to have a permit or license to purchase, own, possess, transport, or keep a firearm.
(2) This part is uniformly applicable throughout this state and in all its political subdivisions and municipalities. All authority to regulate firearms shall be reserved to the state except where the Legislature specifically delegates responsibility to local authorities or state entities. Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or rule pertaining to firearms.

Enacted by Chapter 5, 1999 General Session
Download Code Section Zipped WP 6/7/8 76_0C029.ZIP 2,221 Bytes

Utah Code Section 76-10-530Trespass with a firearm in a house of worship or private residence -- Notice -- Penalty. ... (i) the church or organization operating the house of worship; ...

76-10-530. Trespass with a firearm in a house of worship or private residence -- Notice -- Penalty.
(1) A person, including a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm pursuant to Title 53, Chapter 5, Part 7, Concealed Weapon Act, after notice has been given as provided in Subsection (2) that firearms are prohibited, may not knowingly and intentionally:
(a) transport a firearm into:
(i) a house of worship; or
(ii) a private residence; or
(b) while in possession of a firearm, enter or remain in:
(i) a house of worship; or
(ii) a private residence.
(2) Notice that firearms are prohibited may be given by:
(a) personal communication to the actor by:
(i) the church or organization operating the house of worship;
(ii) the owner, lessee, or person with lawful right of possession of the private residence; or
(iii) a person with authority to act for the person or entity in Subsections (2)(a)(i) and (ii);
(b) posting of signs reasonably likely to come to the attention of persons entering the house of worship or private residence;
(c) announcement, by a person with authority to act for the church or organization operating the house of worship, in a regular congregational meeting in the house of worship;
(d) publication in a bulletin, newsletter, worship program, or similar document generally circulated or available to the members of the congregation regularly meeting in the house of worship; or
(e) publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the house of worship is located or the church or organization operating the house of worship has its principal office in this state.
(3) A church or organization operating a house of worship and giving notice that firearms are prohibited may:
(a) revoke the notice, with or without supersedure, by giving further notice in any manner provided in Subsection (2); and
(b) provide or allow exceptions to the prohibition as the church or organization considers advisable.
(4) (a) (i) Within 30 days of giving or revoking any notice pursuant to Subsection (2)(c), (d), or (e), a church or organization operating a house of worship shall notify the division on a form and in a manner as the division shall prescribe.
(ii) The division shall post on its website a list of the churches and organizations operating houses of worship who have given notice under Subsection (4)(a)(i).
(b) Any notice given pursuant to Subsection (2)(c), (d), or (e) shall remain in effect until revoked or for a period of one year from the date the notice was originally given, whichever occurs first.
(5) Nothing in this section permits an owner who has granted the lawful right of possession to a renter or lessee to restrict the renter or lessee from lawfully possessing a firearm in the residence.
(6) A violation of this section is an infraction.

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Amended by Chapter 203, 2003 General Session
Download Code Section Zipped WP 6/7/8 76_0C058.ZIP 3,068 Bytes

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Sections in this Chapter|Chapters in this Title|All Titles|Legislative Home Page

COULD ??? WHAT YOU RENT BE CONSIDERED "THEIR" PRIVATE PROPERTY???

I do recognize the following as well...

...""Here is the pertinent snippet from the code: (5) Nothing in this section permits an owner who has granted the lawful right of possession to a renter or lessee to restrict the renter or lessee from lawfully possessing a firearm in the residence. ""
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is the response fron the Utah HUD office:

Hi Donâ€"

Thank you for contacting the Utah HUD Office. I am not a lawyer and don’t know the answer to your question. You can search Utah Laws here:

http://www.le.state.ut.us/Documents/code_const.htm

I took a look and didn’t see anything in the Utah code on the issue. As far as I can tell, what a tenant can and cannot do in a rented property (beyond what the law restricts) is completely up to the contract the landlord and tenant agree on and sign. If you are a tenant and low income, you may get assistance from Utah Legal Services at 328-8891.

If I can help you with anything else, please contact me.

Jeff Stowell

Utah State Web Manager

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

125 South State Street, Suite 3001

Salt Lake City, UT 84138

801-524-6070
 

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Wow, a totally unhelpful response from the web master. How helpful! :?

I'm not sure what to recommend now. This guy probably should have pushed this question up the line a bit to somebody that knows or can find out. At least we are all in agreement that if it's not in the contract, it's not an issue. I definitely wouldn't sign a contract that has a a 'no weapons' clause and would either get the clause removed or seek further guidance as to whether the landlord is within his rights to do that.
 

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If you read my previous post, you'll see that there is already legislation that prohibits landlords from denying their renters the right to possess firearms. Therefore it is illegal for a rental agreement to have a "no weapons" clause.
 

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ebrinton said:
If you read my previous post, you'll see that there is already legislation that prohibits landlords from denying their renters the right to possess firearms. Therefore it is illegal for a rental agreement to have a "no weapons" clause.
Watch what you sign. While it may be illegal to ban firearms, by signing a contract accepting this clause it can be grounds for eviction on the basis that you are not following the agreed policy. Now while you may be able to take the matter to small claims court and win it is time and money on your part.

My wife was in an apartment before we got married that changed the locks and took all her things to a storage area to be locked up and sold because she had got out of town for a week for work and thus had “abandoned” her apartment according to the 62 page rental agreement. While this is illegal to do it has taken 3 years to straighten out and while we finally received some money for replacement items she still lost all her pictures and other irreplaceable items that were destroyed/discarded before the judge’s decision.
 

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Good advice!
 
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