What are a tenant’s rights if there is no heat in the house?

UPDATED: Dec 2, 2011

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What are a tenant’s rights if there is no heat in the house?

There is no heat in the house with little children and below freezing temps. My landlord said it will be a week before its fixed. Is it legal for her to do this and can we break the lease cause of it?

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good question. From what you have written it sounds as though your landlord is somewhat responsive concerning the lack of heat issue with the rental that you have where there are children residing in the unit.

Lack of heat especially in cold weather is a significant habitability issue. I would call and immediately write your landlord about the need for him or her at his or own cost to put your family up at a motel pending the repairs of the heating system of your rental. Make sure you have a copy of the letter for future need.

In the interim you should not be obligated to pay rent for the time period that the rental is without heat. If your landlord is unwilling to put you and your family up in a motel at the landlord's cost, you should consult with a landlord tenant attorney.


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