Withholding rent in the state of Colorado?

Is it legal to withhold rent if the washer and dryer provided for the whole building are broken and not functional? We have multiple issues with our apartment that haven't been fixed. Moldy shower sealant that is peeling off, a broken floor piece in the kitchen, broken metal frame for the back door, non functional electrical outlet above the kitchen counter, and our wooden deck outside (we are on the 2nd floor) is full of cracks and splits. The railing is just barely hanging on and we can't put any weight on it, and the stairs were loose and falling apart when we moved in... she just had her son nail them down, but they still tilt forward and we have to go down the stairs to access the utility/laundry room. As I'm sure you can imagine it is VERY scary to go down those stairs after it has snowed. Both my boyfriend and I have almost slipped and fell down those 14 stairs onto a concrete foundation. Is it legal to withhold rent for any of those reasons? We live in Colorado.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Colorado Law on Rent Withholding

    Tenants may deduct from one or more rent payments the cost of repairing or remedying a situation that qualifies as a breach of the warranty of habitability. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-507(1)(e).) Colorado Revised Statute section 38-12-503 sets forth situations that violate the warranty of habitability, including the presence of hazardous mold, lack of weather protection, lack of running water, insufficient heating, and anything else that materially interferes with the tenant’s life, health, or safety. (Also see Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-505 for conditions that make a residence uninhabitable.)

    Tenants cannot withhold rent if they themselves, a member of their household, or a guest caused the harmful condition (unless the condition is the result of domestic violence of which the landlord has been made aware of). (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-503(3).)

    Tenants must provide landlords with at least ten days’ written or electronic notice of their intent to withhold rent. The notice must meet certain requirements—for example, it must contain a copy of at least one good-faith estimate of costs to repair or remedy the situation, and the date of the tenant’s notice. After the tenant provides this notice, the law lists many other steps that both the landlord and tenant must perform. See Colorado Revised Statute section 38-12-507 for the full list of requirements, or consult a local landlord-tenant attorney for assistance.

    Colorado law also specifies situations under which tenants may terminate the lease or rental agreement (without penalty) due to the landlord’s breach of the warranty of habitability. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-507(a).)

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  • 1 month ago

    No, it is NOT legal to withhold rent for that reason.  In fact, the landlord is NOT required to repair or replace them.  Those are considered an amenity - for your convenience.  They are not part of the unit you rented.  About the repairs you want:   None of those things, except nails sticking out are things he has to repair or replace either.  Why did you rent a place you were not happy with?  It is your responsibility to clean the shower sealant, and everything else in the apartment.  Your job.  If you continue to harass him about it, expect to be evicted.  Better yet, when your lease is up, move to a place in better condition - one you are happy to begin with.  It is unreasonable to move in and expect that the landlord will upgrade the place to your standards.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience & with Landlord & Tenant law experience.
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  • 1 month ago

    You can withhold rent for issues of habitability (the dangerous stairs). Broken tile is cosmetic. mildewed caulking in bathroom is cosmetic.

    • Krystl1 month agoReport

      It is mold, not mildew.

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  • G R
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Check the laws for your state online. I think with holding rent because the W/D is out, is not a good idea. The washer/ dryer are a convenience of living there not a necessity as far as habitability goes. Sure they should be fixed, but they aren't a priority. Safety concerns like the railing and deck need to be addressed asap. Moldy shower sealant, if became moldy AFTER you moved in then that is likely something YOU need to address and clean. If it was like that when you moved in and didn't say anything about it, that is your problem also. If you moved in and the stairs were crappy then and you still moved in, you basically said that you approved and all is ok.

    Have you notified the landlord about these issues have your neighbors? Do you have proof that he received this information or do you just assume he/they did?

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    • G R
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Krystal, that is still no excuse unfortunately you took the risk/chance of signing.  You could have written it up during your pre-move in inspection walk through and reported it.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Google Colorado tenant / landlord laws.😉

    Cal your local legal aid it's free and they can help you.

    • Krystl2 months agoReport

      I tried, but I can't understand it. I'm too dumb :P

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