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Colorado Tenant Remedies for Uninhabitable Property

The Colorado Revised Statutes Title 38, Article 12, Section 507 provides the following remedies for tenants when a landlord fails to provide a habitable rental property:

Landlord Breach of the Warranty of Habitability

If there is a breach of the warranty of habitability as set forth in the section Colorado Landlord Obligation to Maintain Habitable Property, the following provisions shall apply:

Tenant May Terminate Rental Agreement

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.

Tenant May Obtain Injunctive Relief

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 the section Colorado Landlord Obligation to Maintain Habitable Property.

Tenant May Use Uninhabitable Defense Against Eviction

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.

Tenant May Seek Damages

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.

Attorneys Fees and Costs

If a rental agreement contains a provision for either party in an action related to the rental agreement to obtain attorney fees and costs, then the prevailing party in any action brought under this section shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees and costs.

C.R.S. 38-12-507

Return to Colorado Landlord-Tenant Laws.