If my landlord doesn’t have a license to rent, can I get my money back?

Upon moving out of our recent house, our landlord is attempting to keep our

security deposit from us. In doing some research with the city we found out that he does not have a license to rent. This makes sense as a lot things in the house weren’t up to code and there were no smoke detectors. I am confident we will be able to use this to get our full security deposit. However, if he is not licensed to rent, can we fight to get our rent payments back from the previous year due to negligence?

Asked on August 13, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't get your rent back. Even if someone was not licensed, you can't legally get something for nothing: you lived in his building and had the benefit of a place to live; under several legal theories (e.g. "unjust enrichment") you are obligated to pay for the benefit you received.


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