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Attorney & Mediator
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My daughter, her husband and their 17 month old daughter live

Resolved Question:

My daughter, her husband and their 17 month old daughter live in a rental unit in the Denver Colorado area. There are 8 units in their building. The main water inlet to the building froze. They have been without water for 2 days. Does this constitute "uninhabitable" ? Are they entitled to not pay rent. What course should they pursue ?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 6 years ago.
They have been without water for 2 days. Does this constitute "uninhabitable" ?

Uninhabitable means the unit is unsafe for a person to live in due to violations of the health and safety code. Further the freezing was not caused by the landlord as it is due to weather conditions. So this would not make the unit uninhabitable to be released from the lease.

Are they entitled to not pay rent. What course should they pursue ?

They are still obligated to pay rent unless the landlord fails to repair within a reasonable period of time (considered 30 days) or a court of law find in favor of your daughter in not paying rent.

Before they can refuse to pay rent, they must first send a written letter to the landlord demanding repairs and allow 30 days for the landlord to do their job. If the landlord fails to make the repairs then your daughter has the option to vacate or sue for breach of the landlord's obligations. Make sure this letter is sent in writing and copies are made to be used as evidence.






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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
30 days without water seems unreasonable. From a sanitary point of view (can't flush toilets or wash dishes), 48 hours seems to be very generous. I am a plumber. I could have fixed the problem in about 4 hours. It seems the landlord may be waiting for mother nature to warm things up. Is that a bit unreasonable ?
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 6 years ago.
I understand what you are saying, but the term "reasonableness" is determined on a case by case basis, depending on the issue, immediate needs, feasibility to make the repairs, etc... However if the landlord is just being uncooperative or lazy, meaning the repairs can be made without any other problems arising, your daughter can contact the local housing code inspector with a complaint. The inspector can force the landlord to comply or be cited. Your daughter can also request that you be allowed to make the repairs and that your costs be deducted from their rent. Either way, your daughter needs to send the landlord her request in writing as that will serve as evidence if your daughter has to vacate, call the inspector, make the repairs herself or sue the landlord for breach. Hope this makes sense.





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Please Note: JustAnswer.com is a public forum. JustAnswer.com is not a law firm. JustAnswer.com is only a question and answer site. Asking a question does not create an attorney-client relationship nor is your question protected under the attorney-client privilege. An attorney-client relationship is established when you enter into written contract for representation and pay a retainer directly with the attorney or attorney’s firm.

JustAnswer.com uses the term “Expert”. I do not hold myself as an expert when I answer your questions. The information given by me is not legal advice. I am not establishing an attorney-client relationship with you. I am providing only research, resources and information only for you to be informed and educated about your particular needs and my answer is limited to the facts presented. You are only paying me for such information given.

My answer or reply is limited to your facts presented and additional information you post may not come in after my reply or answer has posted, if this has occurred please let me know and I will answer further. Due to site tech reasons, oftentimes I am initially only able to see the first part of your post, so this may result in more interactions between us. There might also be a delay in my reply or answers, as I may be helping other customers, or called away from my office or have logged off. Please be assured your question(s) will be answered promptly.

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