Basically one would need to review the lease to see if there is an affirmative defense- some reason for not paying the rent; one example would be if the space violated public safety codes - however, typically the tenant would be required to provide notice of such to the landlord, requesting the landlord to comply with the safety code; but generally if a party uses the space and vacates without paying rent, the court will find them in violation of the tenancy and order back rent, possible future rent (for example, if the lease required one month notice to vacate and the tenant moved out without notice, they can be liable for the time the unit remained vacant, up through the one month period. The landlord does have a duty to mitigate damages, so if there was a willing party to rent the space, the landlord could not unjustly refuse).
Information on the process is located here:
complaint is here: https://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/PDF/JDF%20250T%20Notice%20Claims%20and%20Summons%20for%20Trial%20R1%2014%20(FINAL).pdf
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