Real Estate Law in Utah
In Utah, real estate law is a very broad area of law covering anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many different facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
Utah real estate law can be very complex, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good basic knowledge of Utah real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as buying a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
Utah is located in the Western region of the U.S. It has over 2.7 million residents, with about 80% of the population living near Salt Lake City. Utah is an important state in terms of technology and research, heavy industry, and outdoor recreational tourism. Utah became a state on January 4, 1986.
Salt Lake City is Utah's state capital and is a center of economic and social life. The state's Capitol Building is located there. Utah's state Supreme Court used to meet in the Capitol Building. Now, the Utah Supreme Court convenes at the Scott M. Matheson courthouse, also located in Salt Lake City. The multi-million dollar Matheson courthouse has been nicknamed "The Taj Mahal" in reference to its extraordinary cost.
Other courts of law in Utah include the Justice Courts, District Courts, and the Courts of Appeals. The state judiciary also maintains an online media resource center that assists media representatives in covering trials. Utah's laws are among the most restrictive in the nation. For example, the state has many laws outlawing activities such as gambling and it places heavy restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
Recognizing the community's legal needs, the Utah State Bar has officially partnered with LegalMatch. The state of Utah currently uses LegalMatch as its official attorney-client matching service. You can find lawyers in Utah through LegalMatch by posting your case through our online system. Utah lawyers offer services in many fields in order to meet the legal needs of Utah residents.
Find Real Estate Lawyers and Law Firms in the Largest UT Cities
Common Real Estate Issues in Utah
Financing: Most people in Utah probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Therefore, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, usually a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When a house or other structure is for sale, the seller has to tell prospective buyers about all physical defects of which the seller is aware, and which the buyer couldn't be reasonably expected to discover. However, if you are selling a house, you should probably just disclose every defect you're aware of. This will save you a great deal of potential liability. Even if your disclosure of a particular defect wasn't required (because the buyer could have easily discovered it), the buyer might still sue, and the cost of defending this lawsuit, even if you win, will be very high.
Warranty of Habitability: All residential property which is being rented must be fit for human habitation. This is usually not a difficult standard for a reasonably well-maintained unit to meet (or one would think), but violations of this rule still occur. When renting an apartment, the landlord is implicitly promising that the unit will be habitable, whether or not such a promise is actually written in the lease, or even if the lease disclaims it. There are many requirements for a dwelling to be habitable, and most of them are fairly obvious- they include heating, running water, electricity, and basic protection from the elements. There are many other requirements, however.
Zoning Laws: Zoning laws dictate what kinds of buildings can be placed on lots in certain parts of a town or city. Their purpose is to ensure, for example, that sewage treatment plants don't get built next to homes, or that noisy, polluting factory doesn't get built next to a daycare center. To this end, they "zone" sections of the locality for different uses, such as residential, industrial, commercial, etc. If you are buying a piece of vacant land, it's essential that whatever use you intend to make of it is compatible with Utah's zoning laws.
Do I Need a Utah Real Estate Lawyer?
These issues, and the others that can affect real estate transactions, can be pretty complicated. Therefore, it's a good idea to contact a Utah real estate lawyer to advise you on the laws affecting your real estate transaction, or any other projects you may be planning.