Kentucky Landlord Retaliation Laws

Kentucky Landlord Retaliation Laws

Last Updated: April 29, 2023

NOTE: In many of Kentucky’s jurisdictions, there is no legal protection against retaliatory eviction, and the landlord’s only responsibility to the tenant is to keep the terms of the lease. This article applies only to places which have passed Kentucky’s Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (URLTA).

Tenant Protected Actions
  • Health/Safety Complaints to Gov’t
  • Complaints to Landlord re: Statutory Repairs
  • Participating in a Tenant Organization
Landlord Retaliatory Actions
  • Raising Rent
  • Decreasing Services
  • Eviction
Penalties for Retaliation
  • End Lease
  • Repossess Property
  • Sue for Damages

When Is It Illegal for Landlords to Retaliate in Kentucky?

It’s illegal for Kentucky landlords to retaliate with raised rent, reduced services, or threatened eviction against tenants who have taken one of the following protected actions in the past year:

  • Complaining to the government about health and safety.
  • Asking the landlord to do statutorily required repairs.
  • Participating in tenant organizations.

The law allows an exception when the landlord can prove a non-retaliatory, good-faith reason for the alleged retaliatory action. For example, a landlord who raises rent proportionately in response to a large increase in property tax is not retaliating, even if a tenant has recently complained about maintenance.

What Can Tenants Do in Response in Kentucky?

Kentucky tenants can respond to retaliation by suing for quiet enjoyment of the property, and can recover possession of the property or cancel the rental agreement, plus recovering punitive damages.