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My husband, 1 year old daughter and I rented an old home

Hello, my husband, 1 year...
Hello, my husband, 1 year old daughter and I rented an old home near Vail, CO. We have discovered excessive radon, mold and mice have been present since we moved in and likely for many years before. We have home inspection reports to back it up. I understand by law we are allowed to break the lease and move out immediately. However, we are expecting the landlord to blame us for certain damages that we deny are our fault. Two questions: 1. If we move out immediately, are we no longer obligated to pay for remaining rent and/or damages. 2. Are we entitled to get our deposit back and/or a refund of rent for the past 9 months?
Thanks,
Holly
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
1/12/2018
Damien Bosco
Damien Bosco, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3,407
Experience: Helping you with your legal questions.
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Hello: My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. Please give me a moment to review your question. I may ask some questions to clarify issues.

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Have you discussed the radon, mold and mice with the landlord? Is the landlord refusing to rectify the situation?

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Customer reply replied 11 days ago
it has been discussed. They originally told us it was our responsibility to deal with the mice or pay orkin. Then the offered to split the orkin bill. They also said to scrub off the mold and it will go away. Now that the inspection report confirms all three violations we have not heard back yet. However based on their record, it seems unlikely they will invest a large chunk of money into remediation. The mold is throughout the entire house and it is likely we would have to move out for the repairs anyway.

There are various options here. A landlord has a duty to provide a habitable abode to tenants. Making a written demand for a remedy to have it on record is a good idea. If the landlord does not remedy the situation, you would arguably be "constructively evicted," because the home is uninhabitable and you would be able to move without breaking the lease. Also, if the landlord were to fix the situation, most landlords would cover the price of the relocation and you would not have to pay the rent during the renovation. Now, if the landlord is to blame it all on you and not return the security deposit, then you would have to go to small claims court. Or if the landlord attempted to sue alleging you breached the lease agreement, then your defense would be that you were constructively evicted.

Lastly, if you did not want to take all the risk involved in moving, you would file a claim in court now against the landlord and request the court to declare you are constructively evicted and the landlord cannot sue you for breaking the lease and must return the security deposit.

I know this a lot to absorb.

If you have all the information you need, please remember to rate my answer between 3 to 5 stars without any additional costs to you. That is how I get credit for answering your question. If I have not answered all your questions, just let me know what more you need. Best regards.

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Customer reply replied 11 days ago
Thank you for the detailed response. It is very helpful. The last option seems like it may be the safest route. If we file a claim, how much does it cost? What evidence must we provide? Do text messages count as written documentation? Will it be on our record or deter future landlords from renting to us?

You are welcome. The cost of filing if you are doing it yourself (and many people do it themselves) is not that expensive depending on the court. It could range from $45 to $125 or somewhere around those amounts. Hiring a local attorney to file the papers and argue in court for you would be more expensive (of course). Probably an attorney would want about $3,000 -$5,000 in a retainer fee. It could be the best bet to go to speak with the court clerk for landlord-tenant issues to see if you can get the form to file the complaint. That way you can see if you want to do it yourself or hire an attorney.

I hope I answered all your questions at the moment.

If so, please remember to rate my answer between 3 to 5 stars without any additional costs to you. That is how I get credit for answering your question. If I have not answered all your questions, just let me know what more you need. Best regards.

Damien Bosco
Damien Bosco, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3,407
Experience: Helping you with your legal questions.
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Customer reply replied 11 days ago
Great thank you! Excellent job. Very satisfied.

You are welcome!

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