Taylorsville, Utah — (KUTV) Citing deplorable conditions at the Taylorsville apartment she rented with her family, Charlotte Gines says she felt justified in withholding rent. The move backfired. The Atheron Park Apartments got a court order and kick Gines and her family to the curb. All of their belongings were locked inside, including her son’s seizure medicine.
Gines says she contacted the apartment complex and demanded that she be allowed to go in to get the medicine but was told she could do so only on one condition.
"He said, to get any of your items you have to pay the full month’s rent plus all the judgment," Gines said.
But Utah Legal Services Attorney Jacob Kent says Utah law is clear: there are some items tenants are allowed to retrieve from their home if they’ve been locked out. It’s called exempt property.
"You’re entitled to get some property back within a five-day period free of charge, that’s going to be your clothing, your medical documents, prescriptions," he said.
Beds and bedding, pets, and even furniture worth under $1,000 is considered exempt from withholding under Utah Law. Kent says if the landlord doesn’t let you retrieve these items, then a tenant’s only recourse is to call the police or sue.
But no lawsuit will be necessary for Gines to get her son’s medicine. After calls from Get Gephardt to the Atheron Park Apartments, they relented and allowed her to retrieve the drugs.
Neither Atheron Park Apartments nor their lawyer Kirk Kullimore wished to comment for the story.
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