What can a tenant legally make a rent reduction for?

I have a rental lease contract with some tenants. The maintrnance part states that tenant is responsible for minor wear and tear except that of things caused by unforseen events caused by natural causes. The tenants called a plumber cause of an over flowed toilet and deducted the cost from the rent which I did not allow. So is this wrong of them or me that I won’t allow that or that am I responsible for the toilet?

Asked on September 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, a tenant can legally repair and deduct future rent for repairs that the landlord fails to make in a reasaonable amount of time pertaining to habitability and/or safety issues.

The issue concerning the toilet depends upon whether you were given timely notice of the problem with it soon after it overflowed and if so, did you make a hasty effort to get the situation resolved?

If you were not given an opportunity to fix the toilet in a reasonable amount of time then it was wrong of the tenants to hire a third person to make the repairs and to have deducted the costs from the following month's rent.

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