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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33724
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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I've been living in a new apartment months now. upon

Customer Question

I've been living in a new apartment for five months now. upon my initial inspection the day after I took possession, I took pictures and documented broken windows, roaches , mold, poor plumbing and misc. problems. I have decided to withhold rent after my may rent check, orkin invoice and mold removal invoice was not received. My landlord walked into my apartment after I did not answer door on sunday May 24th. demanding rent after I had already paid. Now I'm upset and would like to retaliate in a positive, legal manner if possible. Could you please give me direction as to what I should do to properly withhold rent?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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This is covered under Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-507 which states:
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""38-12-507. Breach of warranty of habitability – tenant’s remedies
(1) If there is a breach of the warranty of habitability as set forth in section 38-12-503 (2), the following provisions shall apply:
(a) Upon no less than ten and no more than thirty days written notice to the landlord specifying the condition alleged to breach the warranty of habitability and giving the landlord five business days from the receipt of the written notice to remedy the breach, a tenant may terminate the rental agreement by surrendering possession of the dwelling unit. If the breach is remediable by repairs, the payment of damages, or otherwise and the landlord adequately remedies the breach within five business days of receipt of the notice, the rental agreement shall not terminate by reason of the breach.
(b) A tenant may obtain injunctive relief for breach of the warranty of habitability in any court of competent jurisdiction. In any proceeding for injunctive relief, the court shall determine actual damages for a breach of the warranty at the time the court orders the injunctive relief. A landlord shall not be subject to any court order for injunctive relief if the landlord tenders the actual damages to the court within two business days of the order. Upon application by the tenant, the court shall immediately release to the tenant the damages paid by the landlord. If the tenant vacates the leased premises, the landlord shall not be permitted to rent the premises again until such time as the unit would be in compliance with the warranty of habitability set forth in section 38-12-503 (1).
(c) In an action for possession based upon nonpayment of rent in which the tenant asserts a defense to possession based upon the landlord’s alleged breach of the warranty of habitability, upon the filing of the tenant’s answer the court shall order the tenant to pay into the registry of the court all or part of the rent accrued after due consideration of expenses already incurred by the tenant based upon the landlord’s breach of the warranty of habitability.
(d) Whether asserted as a claim or counterclaim, a tenant may recover damages directly arising from a breach of the warranty of habitability, which may include, but are not limited to, any reduction in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit, in any court of competent jurisdiction.
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So you have to give the landlord ten days notice about any problems and if he doesn't fix them within 5 days you will withhold rent and take legal action to obtain an injunction from the court to force him to make repairs.
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Then if he doesn't make repairs, you can file suit in small claims court and ask a judge to order him to do so as well as reduce the rent, both retroactively and going forward until he makes the repairs., as damaged payable to you for the reduced value of the dwelling.
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So, I need to read the statute.
please provide a link to wgere I would submit to small claims court. Would a possession inspection report be enough for court if signed by landlord?
get me what I need to submit to court and if neccessry my phone numbe is(###) ###-####I will pay you directly if things get filed and I move forward.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
This is a link to the source of the statute:
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http://coloradorenters.org/legal/colorado-revised-statues/
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""Would a possession inspection report be enough for court if signed by landlord?""
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If it sets out the condition of the dwelling and you have proof that it is not what the landlord states, then yes. So you would need photos of all the problems and I would suggest sending the landlord copies along with your notice to repair letter so you have proof that you acted in good faith in requesting repairs before you took legal action to withhold rent.
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As for small claims court, you would need to visit the local courthouse and obtain the small claims court summons and complaint for breach of contract from the clerk if the landlord didn't make repairs within the notice period to file suit and get an order forcing him to make repairs.
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thanks
Barrister