Salt Lake City, UT asked in Landlord - Tenant for Utah

Q: My landlord says I will receive a fine if garbage cans are taken out before Wednesday and not put back into the garage

by Friday. When I moved in the bins were filthy!! It was almost unbearable of the stench coming from the bins in my garage. He said it's the law to have them in the garage. I smell mold and I have been sick a number of times. So I took them out early this week. He told me I now have to pay a fine. Doesn't he need to provide an open area for garage bins? This seems very wrong. He said it's under Utah Code 57-8a-208, and he happens to be the President. This townhome was disgusting when I moved in. I had to wash everything took me days. And I receive many notices they were going to clean the bins but they never did. I don't believe I should pay this fine he came up with.

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

A: Your relationship is controlled by your Rental Agreement. Also, if you agree in the rental agreement to follow townhome community rules, those rules will control your relationship with the landlord as well.

If those documents make it clear that you are not allowed to put bins out early, the fine may stick. However, enforcement of the fine is in the hands of the current president. You could avoid paying and then run for president and if elected waive the fine, although that adds significant work on your part to avoid the fine.

You might also consider negotiating with the president for a waiver. Perhaps you could use the money you would have spent on the fine to pay someone to clean the bins for you. This compromise would result in your being comfortable with keeping the bins in the garage in the future.

Good luck!

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