Not all landlords are created equal. Renters occasionally come across a landlord who violates their rights or commits a fraudulent act. No matter why a tenant labels a landlord as "bad," the tenant must report the landlord to the proper officials to document the case and possibly have retributions paid. The nonprofit Utah Legal Services created the "Utah Renters Handbook," which outlines renters' and landlords' rights and responsibilities as well as basic information regarding rental properties within the state.
Document the reasons for labeling your landlord as “bad.” Some common reasons include not returning a deposit within the 15-day window outlined by the "Utah Renters Handbook," discriminating in a rental contract based on race or gender, not providing ample notice of an eviction and locking a tenant out from the property without notice or reason. Back up your complaint with documented proof, such as a paid rent check, end-of-lease agreement or other documents that verify your statements.
Read the Renter’s Rights section of the handbook for your rights as a tenant, and document any rights that have been violated by the landlord.
Contact the local housing office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, if your rental property is a federal property. You can find out if it is a federal property by locating a HUD or U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development logo on your rental contract or application. The HUD's Bad Landlord complaint department is reachable toll-free at 800-685-8470.
Contact a local real estate attorney if your rental property does not qualify for a HUD complaint. Use Utah Legal Services to file an official report and receive legal assistance for your landlord complaint by visiting utahlegalservices.org. Visit utcourts.gov for information regarding your rights as a renter who is suing a landlord. Utah courts allow tenants the ability to file small claims cases on their own, without the use of an attorney, as long as the amount a tenant seeks is less than $7,500.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Tenant Rights, Laws and Protections: Utah
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Complaints; Bad Landlords in Federal Housing Complaints
- Utah Legal Services: Utah Renters Handbook
- Utah State Courts; Landlord-Tenant; What if My Landlord Does Not Return My Deposit?; Feb. 28. 2011
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Utah Federal Rental Assistance Facts
Shailynn Krow began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous online and offline publications. Krow holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an Associate of Science in pastry arts from the International Culinary Institute of America.