Each residential lease that is given to tenants within the State of Colorado includes what is called a “Warranty of Habitability”. In short, this law places landlords in the position of maintaining living spaces that they rent or lease according to a set of standards put into place. These standards deem the property “safe” and “fit” to be lived in by people. In this comprehensive guide, we will expound on this particular warranty and what it entails.

safe home

What are Landlords Required to Provide to Ensure Habitability?

Each of the properties that a landlord leases or rents to tenants are required – by law – to have the following in place:

  1. The water in the dwelling must be running and it must include both cold water and hot water going to the designated fixtures and connected to the sewer system associated with said property.
  2. There may be no mold in the structure that is associated with moisture that could detrimentally impact the health, well-being, and safety of those residing on the property.
  3. The structure must be sound and offer protection from weather conditions and water. This includes the roof, the walls, the doors, and the windows.
  4. All appliances within the structure should be safe and in good working order. Regular maintenance is required.
  5. All facilities associated with gas and/or plumbing of the structure must be working and maintained so that they are able to adhere to the building codes where the property is located.
  6. All of the exterior or entryway doors and all windows that are capable of being opened must include either locks or other equivalent security devices to ensure the safety of the building and the tenants.
  7. The structure must include a functional and safe heating system that complies with building codes. Please note that the landlord is not required to include air conditioning or another type of cooling system. The only requirement – by law – is a heating system.
  8. The floors, the railings, and the stairways associated with a rental property in the State of Colorado must be maintained and they must be in good working order.
  9. Electrical lighting that works, is safe, and is maintained is required and must meet any guidelines as put in place by building codes.
  10. If an infestation has developed that includes rodents, extermination services must be pursued and completed within the structure.
  11. There must be trash receptacles that work provided to the tenants of a property in the State of Colorado.
  12. If there are any areas that are considered to be “common areas”, those must be kept clean and sanitary. This includes no presence of trash, no presence of other types of rubbish, and free from the presence of bugs and other types of pests.
  13. All building, health, and housing codes must be adhered to so that the violation of non-adherence does not detrimentally impact the safety, health, and/or life of a tenant or members of their family.

If any of the above-listed requirements are not met, the rental/leased property will be deemed “uninhabitable” according to the law of the state.

Safe Family in a Habitable home

What are Tenant Requirements Under Warranty of Habitability?

While it is true that landlords have a lot of responsibility under the Warranty of Habitability, tenants have their own set of requirements. These are as follows:

  1. The rental must be kept clean, sanitary, and as safe as possible.
  2. If an issue develops that could result in inhabitability of the property, the landlord must be promptly notified in writing.
  3. They must comply with all duties as specified by codes – be it health, building, or health.
  4. They should act so that the neighbors that they have are not deprived of their peace.
  5. Dispose of garbage, waste, and other types of debris in a manner that is legal, safe, and sanitary.
  6. Use all appliances, facilities, and systems of the property in a manner that is safe and reasonable.
  7. Not destroy, damage, or impair the property and ensure that the visitors that they have do not do anything to impair, destroy, or damage the property.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Warranty?

If the said property is a single-family home/structure, there are some instances in which it may be put into writing that the tenant will handle some of the work that is necessary to ensure that the structure is in compliance with local codes and governing laws.

This must be an agreement that is written out and adheres to the laws of the state. It must be apart from the lease that is specified at the time that the tenant takes over the property.

It is a document that must be signed by the tenant AND the landlord. This provides a bit of an exception of the Warranty of Habitability.

What if the Landlord Does Not Keep Up Their End?

A landlord must be provided with written documentation that there is a problem with the property. It must include a complete description of the issue or issues that is occurring. It must also include permission for the property owner to enter the property in order to do the proper maintenance and/or repairs. Communication must be sent to the landlord according to the specifications as outlined in the lease or rental agreement.

If the issue is one that negatively impacts the health or safety of the tenants, action must be taken within 24 hours of officially receiving notification of the issue. If it does not impact the health or safety of the tenant, the landlord will be allowed up to 96 hours or 4 days to initiate action on resolving the issue. Tenants are not allowed to quit paying rent while waiting on the property owner to make repairs. If this occurs, the landlord has full rights to initiate the eviction process.

The tenant may contact the Health Department or another agency that directly enforces any and all building codes if the problem could be a danger to the health. In most instances, an inspection will occur. If a violation of the codes governing health or the building itself is discovered, the landlord will be provided with a notice that informs them the issue must be remedied or a fine will be imposed and/or other consequences. In the worst case, the property may be officially condemned.

There are other actions that a tenant may take. This includes sending an additional notice, ending the lease and relocating, imposing a lawsuit against the landlord, deducting monies from rent for the necessary repairs, and using the failure on the part of the landlord in order to defend themselves against any type of eviction that is brought forth as a result of the issue at hand.

Contact Us Today

If you rent or lease your property, it is imperative that you know and understand the Warranty of Habitability. We know and understand the challenges associated with laws, codes, and processes pertaining to subletting property. We here at Pioneer Property Management can help clarify these aspects of your business and even act as your management team over your property to ensure complete compliance. If you would like to learn more or need assistance, our team of dedicated specialists is standing by to assist you. We encourage you to review the services that we offer on our website and to give us a call today. You may reach us immediately by calling the following number now: 720-839-7482

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