If my landlord agreed to pay utilities in our leasebut has nowthen refused to do so, can I paythem and deduct the cost from my rent?

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If my landlord agreed to pay utilities in our leasebut has nowthen refused to do so, can I paythem and deduct the cost from my rent?

Asked on January 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. Unfortunately, under the laws of most states in this country, you cannot pay the agreed upon utility bills that the landlord initially agreed to pay and then recanted and then deduct the amount from the following month's rental.

The only time that a tenant can legally pay and deduct for something is when there is an item dealing with habitability issues needing immediate repair and the landlord fails to do the repairs.

In your situation, I would send a copy of the paid utility bills by you to the landlord on a monthly basis seeking reimbursement for such. If the landlord fails to do so, then after three months or so of utility bill payment by you, your option would be to file a small claims action against the landlord for repayment of these utility bills that you paid.


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