Prove renting tightens up

On March 24, 2009 the Provo Municipal Council met to discuss a number of issues including zoning laws in Provo, specifically R1 zones with an A and S overlay. According to the minutes, the Council wants to redefine the terms owner-occupant, primary residence and trust.

An R1 zone is an area set aside for a one-family occupancy according to the Provo City Code. The A and S Overlay are two special additions to the R1 zone allowing for part of the house to be rented out.

The A Overlay is for an accessory apartment. This overlay allows for an owner-occupant to rent out a basement or second level apartment to two related or unrelated individuals while they live there.

The S overlay is for student housing, which like the A overlay, allows an owner-occupant to rent out a basement or a second level apartment to four students while occupying the residence.

The redefining of owner occupancy makes it so that if there is an accusation that the owner does not live in the residence, the owner must prove that he or she does by providing documents showing income and depreciation of the property, that they are borrowers on the mortgage or that they are the owner listed on the lease with the tenants, and that they pay the property taxes.

Trust was redefined to require that all creators of the trust must live in the house. Primary residence tax applies in situations where a special occupancy right has been granted to an owner with multiple residences. This is proven with car registration, tax return, drivers’ license address and voter registration.

Enforcing ordinances has been difficult in the past because owners were often ignoring them and packing as many people as possible into a house without living there themselves. These new definitions are now in place to help catch rental cheats.

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