General Information about Retaliation

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The following document ONLY applies to jurisdictions in Kentucky that have enacted the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act. These jurisdictions are: Barbourville, Bellevue, Bromley, Covington, Dayton, Florence, Lexington-Fayette County, Georgetown, Louisville-Jefferson County, Ludlow, Melbourne, Newport, Oldham County, Pulaski County, Shelbyville, Silver Grove, Southgate, Taylor Mill and Woodlawn.

If you do NOT live in one of these jurisdictions, please do not rely on this document for legal advice.

Further, this information only applies to residential leases. It does not apply to: commercial units, properties under contract for sale, hotels or motels, or people who are employed by the landlord.

Your landlord may not retaliate against you by filing an eviction, threatening to file an eviction, increasing the rent or decreasing services if you have:

  • Complained to a governmental agency responsible for enforcement of a building or housing code regarding something affecting your health or safety.
  • Complained to the landlord regarding his maintenance obligations.
  • Organized or joined a tenant's union.

If your landlord has retaliated against you, you have a defense in eviction court. This defense will not hold up if you:

  • Are in default in rent.
  • Caused the violations you complained about.
  • Would have to move out in order for the landlord to be able to fix the violations you complained about.

You also have a claim against your landlord for up to three months rent damages if he or she retaliates against you. You could make this claim as a counterclaim in an eviction action, or in a separate civil case (such as small claims court).

View a Retaliatory Conduct Prohibited letter that you can send to your landlord if you believe he or she is acting in retaliation.

Your landlord also may not file an eviction action against you in retaliation because you have made a fair housing complaint.

Reviewed August 2009