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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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