What is the legality of living in an apartment without a working kitchen?

About 2 months ago 1 of our dogs turned on a stove while we were at work and set our kitchen on fire. While a cleaning company was removing the burned kitchen they found asbestos in the kitchen so they stopped working. Give or take 3 weeks later another company came in and removed that and the burned matter. Now 1 more month has gone by and we still have no word of anyone working on our kitchen. Then 3 days ago we saw our first contractor and when he went to get a permit he was told “it is illegal for someone to inhabit a home without a kitchen” and we are now being told to leave the home. Is there anywhere I could find this law or any way around it?

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

My understanding is that it is not illegal to inhabit a dwelling unit without a kitchen that is functioning. Many people live in a boarding house situation where there is a common kitchen sometimes off site of the unit actually being occupied. Running water and a bathroom are a requirement for habitability purposes.

One reason for you to leave the unit that had a fire is due to the discovery of asbestos in the unit which is known cancer causing agent. Possibly the reason for you not being allowed to live in the home is the fire issue and the discovery of the asbestos.

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