Denver, CO asked in Landlord - Tenant for Utah

Q: Is it legal for the apartment complex I just move into to give me a bedroom door as my front door?

My front door is a flimsy bedroom door, it doesn’t close properly, the deadbolt doesn’t lock, the door gets stuck and I can’t get out of the door without a huge struggle, I’ve complained 3 times and I was only told that they would come and paint the door and replace the locks if I bought one of my own and even still the door does not operate properly nor does it make me feel safe. There’s also a huge gap on the bottom of the door where any bug or small creature can enter.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth Prigmore
Kenneth Prigmore
  • Spanish Fork, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: There are normal minimums that come with making an agreement with someone. In the case of an apartment, safety and security are high on the list. If you feel the landlord isn't providing you with a secure situation, you can just leave, and then sue for any money you gave them. When addressing problems with any rental, always bring your concerns to the landlord in writing, and keep a copy. This will be evidence you can use later in court.

There is no guarantee that you will win any money back, and small claims court will cost you at least $100 to file the claim. If you decide to leave, but not sue, there is still the possibility the landlord will try to pursue you for payment on any time period you agreed to stay. It is unlikely a Judge will make you continue payment for a year if you didn't feel safe or secure from bugs and weather. But again, there are no guarantees. You are clearly in a bad situation, and any time you spend examining an apartment before signing and paying and moving in will save you much more time and money later on.

Your experiences so far with your landlord suggest they are not going to be attentive, and any time something goes wrong in the future, you can expect them to do the minimum required of them, or even less.

Good luck!

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