Landlord Station strongly believes that the first line of defense you have as a landlord is the power of knowledge. Many landlord-tenant disputes in Wyoming are caused by simple miscommunications and/or misunderstandings of the individual/entity’s rights and responsibilities under the law. Though you should always consult an attorney for real legal advice regarding Wyoming rental laws, LandlordStation.com presents the following information about WY landlord tenant laws in hopes that you can proactively insulate yourself against potentially major landlord-tenant conflicts.
Wyoming rental laws are covered in W.S. § 1-21-1202, which you should at the very least review yourself. However, again, it is ideal to go over these laws with an experienced attorney first, before entering any Wyoming landlord/tenant relationship.
When directly referencing these WY landlord tenant laws, it is important to keep in mind that certain legal definitions are different than the corresponding colloquial definitions. For instance, the Wyoming legal definition for "owner" as it is used in these statutes includes: the owner, the lessor, the sublessor, and sometimes the managing agent, leasing agent, or resident manager; a renter is any renter, lessee, tenant, or other person entitled under a rental agreement to occupy a residential rental unit to the exclusion of others; a rental agreement is any agreement, oral or written, which establishes or amends terms regarding the occupancy/use of the unit. When the law refers to the residential rental unit, it is also referring to any grounds, common areas, facilities, or attachments to the unit which are provided to the renter in the agreement.
Once you understand who and what the law is talking about, it is then important to understand that in general the Wyoming rental laws in W.S. § 1-21-1202 requires that the landlord (or “owner”) to maintain the rental unit in a safe and sanitary condition fit for human habitation. This includes the unit being outfitted with operational electrical, heating, and plumbing with hot and cold running water – the exception being seasonal rentals. The law also requires that the renter maintain the unit as established per the rental agreement – such as keep the unit in clean and safe condition.
According to the tenant rights in Wyoming, your renter can exercise certain actions should you not comply with your end of the agreement and some of the consequences can be quite severe. The following are examples of when your tenant may have a right to remedy against you.
• Renting the unit when it is not reasonably safe, sanitary, or fit for human occupancy.
• Failure to maintain the common areas of the unit in a reasonably sanitary and safe condition.
• Failure to maintain the required electrical systems, plumbing, heating, and hot and cold water.
• Failure to maintain any other appliances or facilities as specified in the current rental agreement.
Under the Wyoming law, as a landlord you are not required to fix any condition that the renter, or his or her guests, caused through inappropriate misuse of the property. However, all tenants have rights and there are conditions that you are responsible for resolving.
Your lessee’s tenant rights in Wyoming include the following:
• Any renter current on payments who has evidence the rental unit fails to comply with required health and safety standards can advise the owner/landlord in writing both of the condition and the requested remedial action.
• If the owner/landlord fails to commence remedial action or dispute the claim within a reasonable time after notified of the condition, the renter may cause a “notice to repair or correct condition” to be served on the owner/landlord.
• The legal notice to prepare will demand that the uncorrected conditions begin to be remedied within 3 days or the renter will seek remedy in the courts.
• If the condition is not remedied and the owner/landlord and tenant go to court, the tenant is eligible to receive damages like rent for the period the condition existed or a termination of the rental agreement.
• If the rental agreement is terminated, the tenant is entitled to a refund of the rent balance and deposit.
Not complying with your responsibilities as a landlord can result in consequences that can have a detrimental financial impact on you. However, circumstances like these are entirely preventable if you proactively maintain your duties and obligations as a Wyoming landlord. Wyoming rental laws are reasonable, and so long as you are aware of what is expected of both you and your tenant, the rental agreement should go smoothly. Remember, this information is merely a general overview of WY landlord tenant laws and should not be taken as legal advice. For specific legal advice concerning your Wyoming rental agreement, please seek the counsel of an experienced attorney.
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