Wyoming Landlord Tenant Law

Looking for clear and concise information on Wyoming landlord tenant law? Get all your answers from this plain English guide to Wyoming landlord tenant statutes.

WY Landlord Tenant Law:

  • Wyoming Statutes Title 1, Chapter 21, Article 10 - Forcible Entry and Detainer
  • Wyoming Statutes Title 1, Chapter 21, Article 12 - Residential Rental Property
  • Wyoming Statutes Title 1, Chapter 21, Article 13 - Wyoming Safe Homes Act

Tenant Application

Application Fees

The landlord can ask prospective tenants for application fees to cover the costs of background and credit checks. The fee amount should be reasonable - We recommend charging $25 to $30 per applicant. If the landlord did not run any tenant screening checks, the fees should be refunded.

Background and Credit Check

Before running background or credit checks on tenant applicants, landlords must first obtain the applicant's written permission. [Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)]

For landlords to run background and credit checks, the tenant application form needs to ask for the applicant's:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • social security number or ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number)
  • current address
  • signed consent (e.g. "I authorize the use of the information and contacts provided to complete a credit, reference, and/or background check.")

Avoiding Discrimination

The federal Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from rejecting prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, nationality, sex, *familial status or physical/mental disability. *Familial status means landlords cannot reject someone for having one or more children under 18. Familial status also includes pregnant women and people planning to have (or adapt) children under 18.

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Tenancy Agreement

A tenancy agreement (also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement) can be written or verbal.

The landlord and tenant can choose between a month to month tenancy or fixed term lease. For a month to month tenancy, the landlord or tenant can change its terms and conditions at the end of every month. For a fixed term lease, the landlord and tenant CANNOT change the lease terms and conditions during its duration... unless there is written consent from both parties.

Required for Tenancy Agreement

Wyoming landlord tenant law requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:

  • Disclosure and information of lead-based paint in the property (for housing built before 1978)

Recommended for Tenancy Agreement

  • Name and address of tenant(s)
  • Number of people (occupants) staying on the property
  • Type of tenancy: month to month tenancy or fixed term lease
  • How much is the rent
  • When, how and where the rent is to be paid
  • When is rent is considered late and the penalties for late rent payment
  • How much is the security deposit and pet deposit (if any)
  • Who holds the deposit(s) and where will it be held
  • What utilities and services are provided and who pays for them
  • What are the landlord's and tenant's duties for property maintenance
  • Can the tenant sublet the property or assign the lease
  • When to inform the landlord if tenant will be away for a long time
  • Prohibited activities and items

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Security Deposit

As long as the tenant is agreeable, Wyoming landlord tenant law doesn't limit the maximum amount of security deposit the landlord can ask for.

If any nonrefundable deposit has to be stated in the written rental agreement. The landlord or landlord's agent must also inform the tenant of this in writing when collecting the deposit. [WY 1-21-1207]

The landlord doesn't have to pay the tenant any security deposit. [WY 1-21-1208.(a)]

Deductions and Returns

Wyoming landlord tenant law requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.
  
Valid reasons for security deposit deductions (under Wyoming landlord tenant law) include:

  • Rent owed
  • Property damage due to negligence, misuse or abuse by tenant, occupants or tenant's guests
  • Cleaning expenses to return the property to its original condition (before lease began)

The landlord is NOT allowed to take money from the security deposit due to damage from *normal wear and tear. *Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration of the property (and its contents) from normal everyday use.

Within 30 days of the lease terminating, the tenant has to give the landlord a forwarding address where the landlord can send a list of security deposit deductions and refund any remaining security deposit (plus prepaid rent). This list has to individually account for all damages and rent owed in writing.

If there is no property damage, the landlord must send the above list and remaining security deposit (plus prepaid rent) within 30 days of lease termination or 15 days of being informed of the tenant's forwarding address (whichever is later).

If there is no property damage, the landlord must send the above list and remaining security deposit (plus prepaid rent) within 60 days of lease termination or 45 days of being informed of the tenant's forwarding address (whichever is later).

If the landlord fails to follow Wyoming landlord tenant law for deducting and returning security deposit, the tenant can recover the full deposit amount and court costs. [WY 1-21-1208.(c)]

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Cheyenne, Wyoming WY

Wyoming Landlord Tenant Law

Photo by David Jones

Rent

Late Rent

There are no WY landlord tenant laws on imposing charges for late rent payments.

If the landlord wants to impose late rent charges, it has to be specified in the tenancy agreement. While there are no state laws on late fees, landlords cannot overcharge or impose unfair terms. Otherwise the tenant can refuse to pay and challenge the late fees in court.

Most states consider reasonable late fees to be around 3 to 5% of the rent amount. In addition, landlords should wait until rent payment is at least three days late before charging late fees.

Raising Rent

There are no specific Wyoming landlord tenant statutes on raising rent.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:

  • When can the landlord raise the rent?
  • How many days notice does the landlord have to give before raising the rent?
  • How many days notice does the tenant have to give if he or she is moving out due to the rent increase?
  • Maximum amount or percentage of rent increase (optional)

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Property Maintenance

Landlord Duties and Responsibilities

The Wyoming Landlord Tenant Act requires the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition [WY 1-21-1203.(a)]:

  • Condition: Rent out properties that are safe and habitable
  • Common Areas: Keep all common areas clean and safe
  • Maintenance: Maintain all electrical, plumbing, heating, hot and cold water facilities in safe working condition

Tenant Duties and Responsibilities

Wyoming landlord tenant law also requires the tenant to keep the property in a clean and safe condition [WY 1-21-1204] [WY 1-21-1205]:

  • Cleanliness: Keep the property clean and safe (as far as conditions will allow)
  • Common Areas: Keep all common areas clean and safe
  • Plumbing: Keep all plumbing fixtures in rental unit clean (as far as conditions will allow)
  • Proper Usage: Use all facilities and appliances properly. This includes all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, kitchen and common area facilities
  • Overcrowding: Avoid exceeding the maximum number of people allowed on the property by the lease agreement
  • Payment: Pay all fees and bills on time
  • Handover: Restore the property to its original cleanliness (before tenancy) and dispose all waste from the property before the lease terminates
  • Property Damage: Avoid property damage due to negligence, misuse or abuse by the tenant, occupants or tenant's guests
  • Neighbors: Avoid disturbing other residents on the property
  • Property Access: Allow the landlord, landlord's agent or property manager to enter the property if they have valid reasons - See Property Access below

If Landlord Fails to Maintain Property

If the landlord fails to maintain the property and it affects health and safety, the tenant can give the landlord a written notice stating the problems, the repairs required and giving the landlord a reasonable amount of time to correct it. [WY 1-21-1203.(b)]

If the repair costs are too high, the landlord can choose to refuse repairs and terminate the rental agreement. In this case, the landlord has to inform the tenant in writing that the tenancy is being terminated in 10 to 20 days (number of days to be decided by landlord). The tenant shall have to pay (pro-rated) rent up to the termination date and the landlord shall return all prepaid rents and deposits after deductions. [WY 1-21-1203.(d)]

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Property Access

When Tenant's Permission is Required

According to Wyoming landlord tenant law, the landlord, landlord's agent or property manager is only allowed to enter the property for the following reasons [WY 1-21-1205.(a)(iii)]:

  • Performing property maintenance or repairs
  • Inspecting property
  • Showing property to prospective buyers or tenants

In the above situations, they should inform the tenant at least 24 hours in advance before entering the property. They should only enter the property with the tenant's consent and during reasonable hours.

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Subletting

There are no specific Wyoming landlord tenant laws on subletting.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:

  • Is the tenant allowed to sublet the property? If yes, is the landlord's written consent required before the tenant can sublet?
  • Is the landlord allowed to screen and reject every prospective subtenant?
  • Can the landlord ask for additional rent and security deposit if the tenant sublets?

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Buffalo, Wyoming WY

Buffalo, Wyoming WY

Termination of Tenancy

TENANT

If you are the tenant, the following are the minimum number of days for giving your landlord a notice to quit:

Tenant or household member is a victim of domestic abuse or sexual violence

7 days

Tenant or Household Member is a Victim of Domestic Abuse or Sexual Violence

If the tenant or tenant's household member is a victim of domestic abuse or sexual violence, the tenant can terminate the rental agreement by giving the landlord a written seven day notice to vacate.

This notice has to state that the reason for vacating the property (threat of domestic abuse or sexual violence against tenant or tenant's household member) AND include medical, court or police evidence of domestic abuse or sexual violence). [WY 1-21-1303]

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Eviction

According to Wyoming landlord tenant law, the following are valid reasons for evicting tenants and the minimum number of days for giving them a notice to quit [WY 1-21-1002]:

Tenant did not pay rent

3 days

Tenant remained on property after tenancy has terminated

3 days

Tenant failed to performed duties - See Tenant Duties above

3 days

Before filing for eviction, the landlord must give the tenant a written three day notice to quit premises in person. If the tenant can't be found, the landlord can leave this notice at the tenant's home or work address. [WY 1-21-1003]

If the tenant is evicted because he or she did not pay rent, then the landlord can recover rent owed plus court costs and attorney fees. [WY 1-21-1008.(b)]

Unlawful Eviction

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Abandonment

When is it Abandonment?

There are no specific Wyoming landlord tenant laws on when the property is considered abandoned by the tenant.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:

  • When is the property considered abandoned by the tenant? - Tenant hasn't paid rent for X days, Tenant has been absent from the property for X days (without informing the landlord)
  • After the property is abandoned, does the tenant have to continue paying rent until the landlord finds a new tenant?

Dealing with Abandoned Belongings

If there are (tenant's) belongings left on the property after the tenancy has terminated or the tenant has abandoned the property, the landlord can immediately any items that are hazardous, perishable or valueless. [WY 1-21-1210.(a)]

If there are items of value, the landlord must give the tenant a written notice containing the following:

  • Description of the abandoned belongings
  • Tenant (or tenant's agent) has seven days to claim the belongings or inform the landlord in writing that he or she intends to claim the belongings
  • Belongings shall be disposed if the tenant fails to claim them or respond in writing within seven days

If the tenant responds in writing within seven days, the landlord shall have to give him or her seven additional days to take back the belongings.

If the tenant is taking back the belongings, the landlord can charge the tenant for their moving and storage costs. [WY 1-21-1210.(b)] Otherwise the landlord can keep or dispose them once the deadline is up.

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Resources

Wyoming Landlord Tenant Law:

Wyoming Landlord Tenant Handbook: Wyoming Landlord Tenant Information

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