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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3

    Angry No Heat in the Winter

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Colorado

    So I have lived in a new apartment for just over three months. The building is small and was built in the 1930's, so everything is very old but for the most part well maintained. As the summer month cool down and we head in to winter, the air gets cold fast. For the first cold weeks the heat never came on in any of the three radiators in our unit. We were told that they don't turn on the boiler until the beginning of October, regardless of how cold it gets outside. Well now the boiler is supposedly on, but heat doesn't ever come out of the radiators. We have contacted our property manager each time that this has happened, and she has sent someone out to look at our unit. She claims that no one else in the building is complaining and that we are essentially just winy people. They have replaced some damaged parts of one of the radiators but the heat still doesn't come on. We complained again today and her response was that this isn't the building for us, and if we would like to we can break our lease and move out. But we don't want to move. We like the building and the neighborhood. We just want to be able to turn on the radiators when it gets cold and have heat come out. On top of all of this we are paying an additional $35 a month for heat. What can I do legally?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    25,693

    Default Re: No Heat in the Winter

    so, do you have a thermometer to where you can actually record the fact there is no heat?

    Have you given the LL written notice of the problem? If not, start there.

    Here is the law regarding your rights in the matter:

    (1) If there is a breach of the warranty of habitability as set forth in section 38-12-503 (2), the following provisions shall apply:
    (a) 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.
    (b) 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 section 38-12-503 (1).
    (c) 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.
    (d) 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.
    (2) 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 part 5 shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees and costs.
    Source: L. 2008: Entire part added, p. 1824, 3, effective September 1.
    I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: No Heat in the Winter

    I am buying two thermostats today and will start recording video every day that the issue is not resolved. By written notice does an email not count? Do I actually need to type a real letter and send it to the LL?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    25,693

    Default Re: No Heat in the Winter

    emails are accepted in some states/jurisdictions for certain actions. I don't know offhand if it would be acceptable or not in your state. I would send a snail mail version just to be sure though. Registered, return receipt requested would be my choice as it proves delivery. There is nothing to prove an email has been read or even received.
    I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: No Heat in the Winter

    Ok thank you for your advice. I will send the letter on Monday.

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