Residential leases have been more or less an orphan child in the Wyoming legal structure, perhaps with understandable social and economic reason. With a small body of landlord tenant law based primarily on outdated common law principles, the protections that a tenant can expect are quite limited. The Wyoming legislature took a significant step in an attempt to deal with some of the more pressing issues presented by residential leases. In its 1999 session, it adopted, and the governor signed, an act entitled "Residential Rental Property." The Act obligates landlords to provide tenants in residential rental properties with units that are "in a safe and sanitary condition fit for human habitation," requires that tenants participate in the maintenance of their rental units, and provides tenants with remedies if their landlords breach their obligations under the Act. The Act also creates certain duties and procedures for landlords in refunding deposits or applying those deposits to the payment of damages caused by tenants. Finally, the Act creates a procedure for removing personal property left in the units by tenants and returning it or, in the alternative, disposing of it without liability for conversion. This Article examines the Wyoming Residential Rental Property Act in detail and concludes with recommendations that would assure tenants in Wyoming that they genuinely have an implied warranty of habitability.
35 Land & Water L. Rev. 455 (2000)