DoI have any defense on being sued for unpaid rent when there were lock-outs and refusal toaccept rent?

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DoI have any defense on being sued for unpaid rent when there were lock-outs and refusal toaccept rent?

We were recently evicted from our place for back rent. It is a long drawn out process and the landlord just wanted us out and never gave us a chance to catch up our rent when we were only 1 month behind. She also locked us out twice in which we had to call the police to let us in. The eviction notice we received gave us no option to correct the rent, only to vacate immediately. Do I have any defense in court to the back rent which they would not take at the time? Now I have had to move and incurred charges in doing so (Ihad to use all of the money that I had.

Asked on February 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, if the reason for eviction is a failure by the tenant to pay rent, if the tenant comes up with the *full* amount owe and duing, the landlord may not evict. (It's important that the amount be the full amount owed; a landlord does not have to let a tenant stay for a partial payment.) If the landlord refused to accept a profer of full rent due, you may have a cause of action against the landlord. You may also have one if you were a residential tenant and the landlord locked you out him- or herself, improperly, since eviction and lock-outs may only be done by court officers, sheriffs, etc. If you believe your rights have been violated in one or more  of these ways, you should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney to evaluate  the strength and value of your case and take appropriate action.


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