If I have lived my house over a year but my landlord has not fixed the water impurities problem, what should I do?

There’s 5 times more sulfate than there should be.

Asked on November 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Every residential tenant has what is known as the right to the "warranty of habitability". This is an implied right in every lease, which gives a tenant the right to live in a clean and safe (i.e. "habitable") premises. And water impurity issue would be such an issue. Accordingly, if your landlord refuses to make necessary repairs, you can:

  • Repair and deduct - You can fix the problem and then charge your landlord for reimbursement;
  • Withhold rent - You can withhold further rental payments until the water is drinkable; or
  • Terminate your lease - You can end your tenancy and move.

 

However, you need to first consult with a landlord-tenant lawyer before pursuing any of these remedies. If you fail to follow the proper procedures for attempting any of these self-help measures you could be held liable financially. At this point, you can either hire an attorney  or contact a tenant's rights organization. Finally, I would contact your county/city health department to report this condition; if things are as you say, it will compel your landlord to take corrective action.


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