What are my tenant rights if my apt. building is under construction and the Boiler has blown?

The boiler went out in our building about a week ago. The complex is in the process of fixing this, which leaves my building somewhat closed off for construction to fix the boiler. My landlord gave me a key to another apt. accross the property to shower. However, they did nothing else to accomodate me. I still have to pay full rent even though for two weeks we have no hot water, can not use our main entrance, have to listen to construction all day, can not wash dishes or do laundry! Can’t I even get a discount on my rent? I’m living in a construction zone!

Asked on June 9, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yup, you have an uninhabitable dwelling.  In most states, you can actually stop paying rent based in most states until the problem is fixed. Or you can offset by making him pay for a hotel for you or another apt until yours is fixed.

See the following:

1. Colorado Attorney General's office (file a complaint).

2. In Colorado: Habitability Code - Habitability is the condition of a building in which inhabitants can live free of serious defects that might harm their health and safety (example - a lack of running water or heat adversely effects the apartment habitability).  A Colorado Revised Statute does not exist covering this type code.  There are a number of communities which have habitability codes.  For more information check with the Community Development or Planning Office within the city where you reside.   See the link: http://www.dola.state.co.us/cdh/researchers/documents/Advances/tenant-l.htm

3. You may also wish to try hiring counsel to help you.  Try www.attorneypages.com and check his or her record at the Colorado State Bar.

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