Orem landlords and owners of rental units have 30 working days to register with the city.
Last December, the Orem City Council voted 7-0 to require landlords to register and to have city utility bills from their rental units placed in their name.
To date, about 1,000 landlords have registered, according to Steven Downs, deputy city manager. There is an estimated 4,000 landlords or owners in the city.
Renters who have typically received a paper billing through the mail will be able to have them sent online. Renters should work with their landlords to make those arrangements.
Beginning July 1, landlords will have to pay a $50 license fee to rent their units. The yearly fee will run in tandem with the city’s fiscal year July 1 to June 30.
Registration began Jan. 1 to give owners and landlords of non-commercial rental properties ample time to register.
Orem is enacting landlord registration because the city turns in about $70,000 in unpaid utilities to collections each year as a result of renters leaving their dwellings without paying their utility bills. The city also hopes the registration will help build a contact list of landlords and give police quicker accessibility if there is an issue on the rental property.
Orem typically sees about $30,000 collected. The city is hoping holding landlords responsible for the outstanding debt will garner most of the remaining $40,000 back to city coffers.
The new database also will address “illegal rentals” by quickly determining if they have a rental license.
Over time, the city also will be able to identify landlords they’ve determined are not attentive to the happenings at their property.
The new licensing program will reduce the amount of work city employees spend performing shut-offs, reading meters, reviewing lease agreements and dealing with various challenges of rental properties, according to Downs.
Landlords who own multiple buildings will not have to pay more than the $50 charge, according to state law.
“You will have to be licensed to be a landlord in the city,” Downs said.
Information about the changes are online at https://orem.org/landlords.
Getting licensed will be as simple as getting the utilities in the names of the owners (adding a property manager, when applicable). Minimal programming will need to be done internally to allow this system to accommodate both the utilities and the rental licensing, Downs said.
If the home has been duplexed to have a separate downstairs apartment with a separate entrance, then the owners would have to register.
Shut-off notices will be sent if a utility bill is three months behind.
For answers to questions concerning the landlord licensing program, visit https://orem.org/help.