State Rules and Regulations for Wyoming Rental Properties and Landlords
In Wyoming, whenever rent is exchanged for inhabiting a property, then a lease agreement exists and it carries certain automatic rights and responsibilities. Under Wyoming law, (Wyoming Statutes Tit. 1 Ch. 21 Article 12) renters have the right to a habitable dwelling and the right to not be discriminated against in housing.
Landlords also have rights, such as the right to collect rent in a timely manner and the right to evict when a lease agreement has been violated.
Wyoming Official Rules and Regulations
- Wyo. Stat. Title 1, Chapter 21, Article 10: Forcible Entry and Detainer
- Wyo. Stat. Title 1, Chapter 21, Article 12: Residential Rental Property
- Wyo. Stat. Title 1, Chapter 21, Article 13: Wyoming Safe Homes Act
Wyoming Security Deposit Limit and Return
- Security Deposit Maximum: No statute.
- Security Deposit Interest: No statute.
- Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute.
- Non-Refundable Fees: There is no statute governing what sort of non-refundable fees a landlord can charge a tenant. However, if there are non-refundable fees, the rental agreement must state whether any portion of the security deposit is non-refundable. The landlord must also given written notice regarding the non-refundable fees included in the security deposit when the tenant pays the deposit (Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1207).
- Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 30 days after the termination of the rental agreement or 15 days after the landlord receives the tenant’s new mailing address, whichever is “later.” If the rental unit has been damaged beyond normal wear and tear by the tenant, the period to return the deposit is extended by an additional 30 days (Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1208(a)). Utility deposits must be repaid within 10 days of the tenant proving that all utility charges have been paid. For information regarding deadlines for when such proof is not shown and when the landlord must make utility payments, see statute. (Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1208(b)).
- Permitted Uses of the Deposit: Landlords may use a portion or entirety of the security deposit to pay for past due rent, damages made by the tenant beyond normal wear and tear, cleaning costs, “and to other costs provided by any contract.” (Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1208(a)).
- Security Deposit can be Withheld: Yes. (Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1208(a)).
- Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes (Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1208(a)).
- Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: The landlord must provide an itemized list of deposit withholdings and mail it to the tenant along with the security deposit (Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1208(a)).
- Failure to Comply: Tenants may recover the full amount of the security deposit and court costs if the security and utility deposits are not return within the deadlines set in statute. (Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1208(c)).
Lease, Rent & Fees Under Wyoming Law
- Lease Provisions: No state statute. However, it is generally accepted that leases must use words with common and everyday meanings and must be clear and coherent.
- Late Fees: No state statute. We note, however, that rent is legally due on the date which is specified in your lease agreement. In the event the tenant fails to timely pay the rent, the landlord is permitted to charge late fees. There is a caveat, in that the landlord may not impose a late fee if the lease agreement does not contain a clause concerning late fees.
- Increase in Rent: No state statute. We recommend, however, that a landlord give a tenant at least 30 day’s written notice to increase the rental amount or change any other terms in a month to month lease agreement. And for long term leases, we recommend that the landlord not increase the rental amount until the lease agreement has terminated.
- Retaliation or Discrimination: In the United States, a landlord is not permitted to increase rent in a discriminatory manner, i.e. race, gender, religion, etc. Landlords are also not permitted to increase rent in retaliation against a tenant if a tenant has exercised a legal right, such as filing a legitimate complaint to a local housing authority concerning their tenancy.
- Termination for Non-payment of Rent: A landlord may file for eviction when a tenant’s rent is three days or more late and the tenant has been given at least three days’ notice. A landlord is also permitted to terminate the rental agreement with an Unconditional Quit notice. Wyo. Stat. §§ 1-21-1002 to 1-21-1003.
Housing Discrimination in Wyoming
Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, sex, or disability. These rules do not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes operated by religious organizations. Wyoming does not offer any extra protections to groups not outlined in the Fair Housing Act.
Discriminatory acts & penalties. Housing discrimination cases are handled by Equal Justice Wyoming which functions as part of the state government. The following business practices and behaviors have been highlighted as potentially discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected class:
- Refusing to rent or sell on a bona fide offer
- Falsely representing the availability of a unit
- Offering different terms, conditions, or privileges
- Refusing to provide certain financial service
- Failing to provide reasonable accommodations
Notices and Entry Under Wyoming Law
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No statute. Typically, no notice is given as the lease simply expires.
- Notice to Terminate Any Periodic Lease of a Year or More: No statute.
- Notice to Terminate a Periodic Lease – Month-to-Month: No statute.
- Notice to Terminate a Periodic Lease – Week-to-week: No statute.
- Notice to Terminate Lease due to Sale of Property: No statute.
- Notice of date/time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute.
- Eviction Notice for Nonpayment of Rent: Three days (Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1002).
- Eviction Notice for Lease Violation: Three days (Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1002).
- Required Notice before Entry: No statute.
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes. In general, tenants are prohibited from “unreasonably” denying access to the rental unit or refusing a landlord entry (Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1205).
- Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes
- Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: Yes.
- Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute.
- Lockouts Allowed: No statute.
- Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No statute.
Evictions in Wyoming
Landlords in Wyoming are empowered to evict tenants for the following reasons:
- Nonpayment of rent – If a tenant does not pay rent, the landlord may issue a 3-Day Notice to Quit, after any applicable grace period. If the tenant still does not pay then the landlord may begin eviction proceedings.
- Lease violation – If a lease violation occurs then the landlord may issue a 3-Day Notice to Quit. Wyoming landlords are not required to provide a chance to fix the behavior, although most landlords do. If a Wyoming tenant fails to meet the terms of the notice the landlord may begin formal eviction proceedings.
- Illegal acts – If a Wyoming landlord has evidence of illegal activity taking place on the property, then they may file a 3-Day Unconditional Notice to Quit. Wyoming landlords have broad authority to determine which illegal activities warrant eviction.
Wyoming is one of the few states that has no protections for at-will tenants on the books. As such, at-will tenants can be evicted for any reason at any time, without prior notice.
It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant as a form of retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies
- U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development–Wyoming
- Wyoming Community Development Authority
- Wyoming Real Estate Commission
- Wyoming Division of Banking
- Public Housing Authority Contact Information–U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Casper Housing Authority
- Cheyenne Housing Authority
- Housing Authority Board–City of Douglas, Wyoming