Colorado Rental Laws

Written by on December 19, 2012

Flag of ColoradoThis article summarizes some key Colorado Landlord-Tenant laws applicable to residential rental units.

We’ve used the Official State Statutes and other online sources cited below to research this information and it should be a good starting point in learning about the law.

With that said, our summary is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice. Laws and statutes are always subject to change, and may even vary from county to county or city to city.

You are responsible for performing your own research and complying with all laws applicable to your unique situation.

If you have legal questions or concerns, we recommend consulting with the appropriate government agencies and/or a qualified lawyer in your area. Your local or state bar association may have a referral service that can help you find a lawyer with experience in landlord-tenant law.

Official Rules and Regulations

Details

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No Statute
  • Security Deposit Interest: No Statute
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No Statute
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No Statute
  • Non-Refundable Security Deposit Allowed: No, landlord must return the “full” deposit (C.R.S. 38-12-103(1))
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: One Month, unless previously agreed to other deadline but never more than 60 days. (C.R.S. 38-12-103) If hazardous conditions force tenant to vacate, Landlord must return the deposit within 72 hours (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays) (C.R.S. 38-12-104).
  • Require Written Description / Itemized List of Damages and Charges: No Statute
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No Statute
  • Failure to Comply:
    • If the landlord fails to provide the tenant written notice of withholdings and other required information within the time limit, the landlord forfeits of all his/her rights to withhold any portion of the security deposit. (C.R.S. 38-12-103(2))
    • The willful and wrongful retention of a security deposit in violation of this section shall render a landlord liable for triple the amount of that portion of the security deposit wrongfully withheld from the tenant, together with reasonable attorney fees and court costs. (C.R.S. 38-12-103(2) and (3a))

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • Rent Increase Notice: No Statute
  • Late Fees: No Statute
  • Prepaid Rent: No Statute
  • Returned Check Fees: No Statute
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Issues of Habitability: Yes, with restrictions (C.R.S. 38-12-507)
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No Statute
  • Landlord Allow to Recover Court and Attorney’s Fees: Yes, if the lease allows it. (C.R.S. 38-12-507-2)
  • Restrictions on Handling Abandoned Property: Yes (C.R.S. 38-20-116)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: No, Under the “benefit of the bargain” rule, an innocent landlord is entitled to recover only the amount of damages required to place it in the same position it would have occupied had the tenant performed according to the terms of the lease. Schneiker v. Gordon, 732 P.2d 603 (Colo. 1987).

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate a Lease with a Fixed End Date: No notice is needed as the lease simply expires. (C.R.S. 13-40-107-4)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Yearly Lease: 91 days (C.R.S. 13-40-107-1a)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – 6 Months or Longer, but Less than 1 Year: 28 days (C.R.S. 13-40-107-1b)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – 1 Month or Longer, but Less than 6 Months: 7 days (C.R.S. 13-40-107-1c)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – 1 Week or Longer, but Less than 1 Month: 3 days (C.R.S. 13-40-107-1d)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Less than 1 Week: 1 day: (C.R.S. 13-40-107-1e)
  • Notice of date/time of Move-Out Inspection: No Statute
  • Eviction Notice for Nonpayment after Notice of Nonpayment is Served: 3 days (C.R.S. 13-40-104-1d)
  • Eviction Notice for Lease Violation: 3 days to remedy or quit (C.R.S. 13-40-104). Repeat violations are grounds for immediate lease termination. (C.R.S. 13-40-104-e.5)
  • Required Notice before Entry: No Statute
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): No Statute
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No Statute, but reasonable entry during an emergency is always allowed.
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No Statute
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No, and tenant can sue for damages (C.R.S. 38-12-510)
  • Self-Help Evictions Allowed: No, unless promulgated by the state board of health for the cleanup of an illegal drug laboratory or is with the mutual consent of Landlord and Tenant. (C.R.S. 38-12-510)
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No, and tenant can sue for damages (C.R.S. 38-12-510)

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA): No
  • Landlord is not required to look for or rent to a new tenant while previous tenant still has an active lease.
  • Landlord’s Duty to Provide a Habitable Premise (C.R.S. 38-12-505):
    • Waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls maintained in good working order, including unbroken windows and doors;
    • Plumbing or gas facilities that conformed to applicable law in effect at the time of installation and that are maintained in good working order;
    • Running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times furnished to appropriate fixtures and connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law;
    • Functioning heating facilities that conformed to applicable law at the time of installation and that are maintained in good working order;
    • Electrical lighting, with wiring and electrical equipment that conformed to applicable law at the time of installation, maintained in good working order;
    • Common areas and areas under the control of the landlord that are kept reasonably clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, and garbage and that have appropriate extermination in response to the infestation of rodents or vermin;
    • Appropriate extermination in response to the infestation of rodents or vermin throughout a residential premises;
    • An adequate number of appropriate exterior receptacles for garbage and rubbish, in good repair;
    • Floors, stairways, and railings maintained in good repair;
    • Locks on all exterior doors and locks or security devices on windows designed to be opened that are maintained in good working order; or
    • Compliance with all applicable building, housing, and health codes, which, if violated, would constitute a condition that is dangerous or hazardous to a tenant’s life, health, or safety.
    • No deficiency in the common area shall render a residential premises uninhabitable as set forth in this section, unless it materially and substantially limits the tenant’s use of his or her dwelling unit.
  • Domestic Violence:
    • Tenant may terminate a lease early in special circumstances involving sexual assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence but Tenant may be responsible for 1 extra month’s rent. (C.R.S. 38-12-402-2)
    • Landlord cannot terminate the lease of a victim of domestic violence. (C.R.S. 13-40-107.5-c)
    • Landlord may require proof of domestic violence status. (C.R.S. 38-12-402-2)
    • A landlord shall not include in a residential rental agreement or lease agreement for housing a provision authorizing the landlord to terminate the agreement or to impose a penalty on a residential tenant for calls made by the residential tenant for peace officer assistance or other emergency assistance in response to a domestic violence or domestic abuse situation. (C.R.S. 38-12-402-1)
  • Retaliation:  A landlord shall not discriminatorily increase rent or decrease services or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession in response to the tenant having made a good faith complaint to the landlord or to a governmental agency alleging a breach of the warranty of habitability. (C.R.S. 38-12-509)

Court Related:

Business Licenses:

  • Business License required: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
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748 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Renee Suttles

    I have two questions. We rented a home and moved in Nov. 1st. Our landlord has been at the house EVERYDAY except most weekends, doing “maintence” like installing a door on the patio and putting something to keep leaves out under the deck. Issue is it took him a month to do the door and under the deck (which still isn’t done). He would come at 8 or 9 am and stay until 5 or 6:30. We also had an agreement in the lease that he would make every effort to fix the fireplace by Christmas 2014. He didn’t start it until 3 days before Christmas. He keeps finding reasons to be at the house. I think we have had a total of 14 days ( Mon-Fri and some Sats) where he wasn’t there. Some days he came at 3 and stayed until 8 pm.
    we cant enjoy the house at all, our dogs cant be outside to just hang when he is there. it is taking him forever to finish minor things. My husband is in construction and he knows how long things take.

    Second he charged a 400.00 dollar non refundable pet deposit. Can he do that?

    • Renee Suttles

      Oh and when we ask him if he can not come so often he just states he can be there whenever he wants and it is a big home and he needs to work on it all the time. it is really making us uncomfortable. My 17 year old daughter doesn’t like him and he makes her uncomfortable, which I don’t like. We didn’t know any of this moving in. he has his old a/c units in the year and old hot tub, it is basically his storage. he also stated in the lease that there is no “implied quiet enjoyment” So are we just supposed to deal with him working there everyday?

      is there anything we can do?

      • Lucas Hall

        Hi Renee,

        That does seem extreme. On one hand, the landlord is attempting to make the place better for you. On the other hand, he’s infringing on your right to quiet enjoyment because of the way he is going about it – yes, there is a such a thing. You have the right to reasonable privacy and quite enjoyment.

        Here’s an article I wrote for Trulia on the topic: http://www.trulia.com/pro/rentals/2-undeniable-clauses-in-every-lease/

        Further, most states require that the landlord give proper notice before coming over – but in CO, there isn’t a statute that regulates this. However, most courts still want to see 24 hours notice before arrival. The assumption that “he can come over whenever” is generally wrong and typically frowned upon in court.

        Though you have exclusive rights to occupy the premise, sometimes it’s reasonable for a landlord to store items on-site, it if helps with the maintenance. For example, during the winter, many landlords store the window AC units on the property because they will be needed in the summer. Further, it’s reasonable to store pool supplies if there is a hot tub or pool. Some landlords abuse this by storing vehicles, or boxes that they never moved out.

        As for the deposit, a non-refundable deposit is not allowed at a state-level in Colorado. The landlord must return the “full” deposit according to C.R.S. 38-12-103(1), minus actual damages.

        I hope that helps. Please know that I’m not a lawyer, so don’t consider this legal advice. I’m just an experienced landlord, trying to help.

        • Renee Suttles

          Is there anything we can do. Can we get out of the lease? He is driving us nuts. Always there. He is doing things to the home that are not needed for us to enjoy. We cant even trim the bushes or trees in the backyard because they are his “friends” and he likes them overgrown. We have tons of mice in the backyard bushes that my dogs chase. Crab apple trees dropping in the grass and killing it not to mention making my dogs sick when they eat them. I appreciate your advice.
          I don’t mind him storing things, but these are old broken units and hot tub just leaning on the shed. He has also blocked off the side yard until further notice. he say that in his lease that there is a statement of no implied quiet enjoyment so he isn’t breaking any.

          I am at a loss.

          • Lucas Hall

            Hi Renee,

            Your comment made me laugh, but I have to apologize because your situation is not funny at all.

            I just thought it was humorous that he said “there is no statement of implied quiet enjoyment in the lease”. By the definition of “implied”, there doesn’t need to be a statement. It’s simply an expectation that is built into every lease – and publicly/legally accepted. I guess your landlord didn’t get the memo. The bottom line is that his behavior is causing a nuisance and is breaching your right to quiet enjoyment.

            Since he doesn’t seem to respect you, it’s likely that a letter from you will have little effect. However, if you pay a lawyer a small fe ($50-$100), he/she will be able to draft up a demand letter that orders the landlord to stop _________ behavior, or you will be terminating the lease. A lawyer will be able to cite the appropriate local laws, and the landlord will likely take that seriously.

            Good Luck!

  • Renee Suttles

    Thanks for your advice!! But what is even more fun is that in the lease there is a sentence that reads, ” there is no implied covenant of quiet enjoyment”. Now does that mean that since it is in the lease we don’t have the right to it?

    Again thanks for all you advice. I think we will be seeing an attorney.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Renee,

      I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know for sure, but my gut feeling is that a statement like that would not hold up in court. It’s similar to putting a statement in the lease that says you waive all your legal rights. Ridiculous.

  • Renee Suttles

    I was told by an attorney that a landlord can charge a non refundable pet deposit in Colorado. Just not the security deposit, they have to be separate. Just an FYI

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Renee,

      Whenever someone (even a lawyer) tells you that you can do something, be sure to ask for the statute or case law that supports it. A lawyer should have no problem citing their sources. If they are just giving their opinion, they should disclose that.

      The ONLY thing I’ve found in the statutes that references the return of the deposit is C.R.S. 38-12-103(1), where is says the landlord must return the “full” deposit. To me, that seems all encompassing of a non-refundable pet deposit. You might be able to get around it by calling it a one-time pet fee, but even then, a judge might look at it differently.

      My suggestion would be to ask for an additional deposit because of the pet, but make that fully-refundable too. Then, in your lease, make it a requirement that they have to professionally clean the carpets (and air ducts if you want). The tenants are still on the hook for any damage the pet causes, but if there is not any actual damages, there’s no real reason for you to keep the “non-refundable” portion – except to line your pocket book. It just seems like an unnecessary risk given C.R.S. 38-12-103(1).

      If your lawyer provides you with a statute or case law to support his opinion, would you please let me know? I’ll update this page to reflect it.

      • Stacy

        Hi,
        I am a landlord and a pet fee can be non refundable, however any damage done by the pet needs to be deducted from that amount not the security deposit. The fee is not a deposit. You may also charge a pet rent per month.
        I am not a lawyer, however, we do have one that we consult on our leases.

  • Renee

    Our landlord put a non refundable pet deposit in our lease of 400. The attorney said if it states nonrefundable pet then it is. It is separate from the security deposit which cannot be nonrefundable. I dont know where the attorney got that info.

  • Willy

    We are our landlord’s first tenants. From passing remarks, we seem to have major misunderstandings about who bears the financial responsibility to maintain/replace appliances. Specifically, if the pipes burst, my landlord thinks I must pay for all related damages. If my furnace stops working (as it has), my landlord thinks that I must pay for the technician or replacement. Is our landlord correct?

    After seeing cat hair and a small spot on the carpet, the landlord informed me that we must replace the carpet. The spot on the carpet cleaned right up, it was certainly not an “indelible” stain. (There is a similar story with the linoleum. ) We were told that these replacements will first be taken from our security deposit, but we are expected to pay for any additional cost. The carpet was not new when we moved in. The previous tenant used it, but I’m not sure how old it is. We vacuum, but our vacuum is of low quality. Landlord’s vacuum picks up hair ours missed. Are we being negligent?

    • Stacy

      Hi Willy,
      Follow what’s in your lease. We are landlords here in denver and can not hold the tenant responsible for major repairs, unless they caused the damage. If a pipe burst because of something you did or didn’t do, for example the house was winterized and your landlord let you know, yet you still connected a hose and left the water on for the pipes to freeze, she could hold you responsible. The same with the appliances. In Colorado we must make sure there is adequate heat for the tenants. This is the responsibility of the landlord.
      As for the carpet, are you moving out? Why was the landlord there and inspecting the carpet? Unless the capers was new, your obligation is to clean the carpet upon move out. You would only be responsible for a portion of what the landlord calls damaged. The landlord can not make you replace all the carpet and take it out of your deposit. That would never hold up in court. Please know this is not legal advise, I am just an experienced landlord

      • Willy

        Thank you.
        To my knowledge, our house is not winterized (our spigots have a rod not a valve). The problem came from the extreme cold around the holidays and our furnace. The furnace would light up to indicates that it’s working properly, but no hot air would come out. Our landlord seemed to think that we would split the technician bill, so we opted to use our gas powered fireplace to heat our home. The fireplace is located in the living area, so parts of the home were (sometimes much) colder than others (pro: saves money, con: cold back rooms). Our landlord opened and emptied our exterior-wall-sharing closet to help warm the pipes. The pipes did not burst.
        I understand that a pipe burst from extreme weather would not be our fault, but would it have been our fault if the pipes burst because the back rooms were too cold when our furnace didn’t work?

        We are not moving out. Before the dispute, our landlord used to pay us visits often to chat (usually daily or more). We are neighbors.

  • Renee Suttles

    What is the rule for giving 30 days notices? Our landlord is allowing us to get out of lease and go month to month, thank god!!!! But I wanted to check that if we found a house in the middle of the month if we could give our notice then or had to wait until the first of the next month to give a notice. Thanks

  • ben

    i rent the basement of a house here in greeley . there is another family that rents the upper part of the house. The rental company splits the utilities between us. Now none of the utilities are in my name or the people living upstairs. The bills seem to me to be high . Do i have a legal right to got the utility companys and get them to give me a copy of the actual bill they send to the management company?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Ben

      I’m not sure, it really depends on how your lease is written. I think it’s a reasonable request, but if they say “no”, then your only option is to take them to small claims to prove it.

  • bella

    Hi Lucas,

    My boyfriend just signed a lease for his apartment. On the inspection day he saw a few bugs in the carpet, and he complained to the land lord. She told him that she will not replace it even though it’s obvious that the carpet is in bad shape like burned spots, very old etc, and even weird small bugs. Also he has extreme allergies and if these bugs are from pets he’ll get sick. The landlord assured him that the previous tenant didn’t have pets, but what she doesn’t understand is that the previous tenant might have had people who own pets visit him/her.
    What will happen if he moves in and these bugs infest into his stuff. What can he do at this point?

    • Barb

      Don’t move in. If that Landlord is renting as is and your boyfriend knows he has issues with bugs, don’t move in. Anyone who rents out a substandard property is likely to not care about his property or his tenants. Take this as a warning and find another place. If you want to fight with the landlord before you even have a deal, it’s not looking good for your emotional well being.

      • bella

        Thanks for the reply Barb. The problem is that he signed the lease without ever seeing the apartment. She did show him a model apartment a couple weeks before. So after he signed he went to inspect the new place, and now he gets what a stupid thing that was. If he tries to get out of the lease it will cost him 2000 dollars if he moves in he’ll probably be sick with allergies all the time, and the scary thing is that depending on what kind of bugs all of his stuff might get infested. He asked me to research and see if she should be responsible for changing that before he moves in, because he has no time to deal with it.

        • bella

          Also if she offers to have the place sprayed for bugs without changing the carpet then the chemicals left behind can really be hazardous to his health and not to mention the allergic response. Let me tell you this building is Downtown Denver and it’s less than 10 years old, but she feels like she doesn’t have to do anything because she gave him affordable income price of 1,100 for one bedroom. She feels like he’s not appreciating what she gave him, and doesn’t want to understand that even though he’s affordable income he still deserves to have comfort in his own place, and that he’s human after all.

          • Willy

            I have an entomological background. Can you provide photos or detailed descriptions of the “bugs”? I don’t want him to have to move into this place, but maybe I can rule out fleas, bedbugs, and lice.

            If you can’t provide photos (I don’t think you can share them on here anyway) and you would like to provide as detailed a description as possible, I still might be able to rule some things out.

            Hopefully they are just beetles or something that wont be drinking his blood.

          • Barb

            The landlord is only obligated to provide what is offered in the lease and the habitability laws are not strong enough to address this issue, in my opinion. The Landlord is obligated to minimize the charges against the damage deposit and being it is in Denver where there is so little to rent, she should be able to rent it right away. She just can’t keep the whole $2000. she can deduct advertising costs and any lost days but she just can’t keep the whole deposit because he backed out of the deal. His health is first priority, and he would have a chance to express this in small claims court. The Landlord misrepresented the property if her unit is substandard to the one she showed him. I think the judge would listen to this and it’s cheap to go to small claims court except in terms of time.

          • bella

            Barb,
            How would he start to approach getting out of the lease?

          • bella

            Willy,
            I worked in a hotel before that was infested with bed bugs and I used to write incident reports all the time because people would report them in their rooms. The ones in the apartment look almost positively like the bed bugs.

  • Elle

    We opted to not renew our tenant’s month to month lease. We sent a certified letter with 50 days notice (only 30 days are required). However they will not pick the letter up from the post office. Does this mean our notice does not count? Or will they still be required to be out on the day we indicated? I’m not comfortable hand delivering the notice and I worry they might refuse that as well. what are our options?

    We appreciate your advice!

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Elle

      Some people refuse all certified mail since they don’t think it will ever be good news. If the tenant didn’t get the message, you won’t be able to prove it in court. I suggest bringing a friend and hand delivering the notice or taping it to the door while recoding the whole thing on video. You could also hire a server – which is what the courts do. The server will deliver it, and document the whole thing. Then, you could also send it via regular mail with standard tracking (no signature) and make a couple phone calls and text messages with the same message. Cover all your grounds to be sure they understand they the tenancy is ending – and hopefully the judge will accept it if the tenants refuse to leave.

      • Elle

        Thankfully we ended up being successful in hand delivering the non-renewal notice.
        Now we have another question about the security deposit. Within this last year we have been called in several times to make repairs which included a broken window, damaged door, etc. Rather than battle over money at the time of repair we thought we would wait and take the cost out of the security deposit. Can we legally withhold money from their deposit to cover the cost of these previously handled repairs or can we only withhold money for repairs made after they move out?

        Thank you for your advice!

        • Lucas Hall

          Hi Elle

          The security deposit can be used to pay for any excessive damages beyond normal wear and tear – regardless of when the damage happened.

          • Stacy

            Hi. Just to add a little to Lucas comment. Make sure the damage was caused by the tenant. Document what was broken, maybe taking pictures. If they caused the broken window (kicking in, ball through it) you can charge the tenants. This is a fine line, as I had a tenant that the neighbor shot a Bebe through and that I could not charge to the tenant. A bedroom door hinge broke, not because of anything they did it was old and the holes were worn. Just a bit of advise. I am not an attorney, when it comes to holding security deposit in Colorado if you are not sure, please consult with a real estate attorney.

  • barb

    I sent by certified mail a summons to small claims court to my tenant, and she did not pick up the mail. This did not count as being “served” by the Courts.

    However, perhaps in your Lease you specified notices to be sent to a specific address. I state, “All notices shall be in writing and be personally delivered or sent by first class mail, unless otherwise provided by law, to the respective parties at the address immediately below their signature.”

    I would post the notice in a conspicuous place – taped to the front door, one on their car, another mailed priority with tracking and maybe mailed to their work address.

    If they don’t move as requested then you should check the self-help forms on the Colorado Courts’ website and use the “right to possession” notice. http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=28

    Best of luck,
    Barb

  • Jim

    I have a Tenant (Colorado) that has been on a “month to month” lease for around 3 years. He gave me a 30 day notice to move out on February 10th. He claims that he is only responsible for rent for the first 12 days of March (30 days from his notice).

    Am I forced to pro-rate March, or can I collect for the whole month and try to Mitigate his damages by re-renting the home before April 1st?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Jim,

      The amount of notice required for a month-to-month agreement is regulated by C.R.S. 13-40-107

      http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/colorado?app=00075&view=full&interface=1&docinfo=off&searchtype=get&search=C.R.S.+13-40-107

      13-40-107. Notice to quit
      (1) A tenancy may be terminated by notice in writing, served not less than the respective period fixed before the end of the applicable tenancy, as follows:
      (c) A tenancy of one month or longer but less than six months, seven days;

      Though the amount of required notice is 7 days for M2M tenancies, it should be in respective to the date rent is due. Further, it doesn’t prevent you and the tenant from agreeing to a different notice period. Meaning, if your lease says 30 days is required, that could be contractual – albeit, it would be better if it specified “30 days from…..”.

      If your lease doesn’t mention a notice period, then the statute would be the default period.

      I hope that helps, please keep in mind I’m NOT a lawyer, nor is this legal advice. Please consult an attorney before taking action.

  • Barb

    This is something that has been bothering me for awhile… so if I have a year long lease that turns month to month after the year is up (lease remains in force per Lease)… does this become a tenancy of more than one year or is it a month to month tenancy? I cover myself through my lease which actually specifies 30 days from first day of each new rental period for notice so I’m covered for the full month but what if there was no lease? Are they speaking total time as tenant? What does the law actually mean? How do they calculate this?

  • Brian

    Hi Lucas,

    It looks a though you have answered quite a few questions. I have a scenario I would like to run by you. We live in a duplex house with a tenant below us in the basement area. He is an all day marijuana smoker. The smell and the smoke fills our home all day every day. It is quite a potent odor. He is an older man with his own business and he works from home so he is always home and smoking. We were unaware of be able to smoke inside of the house before we signed our lease. After several conversations with him smoke and smell was still coming into our unit. We brought it up to the landlord three separate times. She ceased all smoking in the house but then told us that we need to deal with our “lifestyle issues” between ourselves. Smoke and smell is still coming in. How do we handle this if he doesn’t listen to us and the landlord refuses to intervene? I feel like it is her responsibility to deal with her tenants, not ours. Thanks in advance!

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Brian,

      Though the tenant might have a right to smoke in his/her own unit (with the landlord’s permission), once it starts to interfere with the quiet enjoyment in other units, it becomes a nuisance.

      The landlord should be responsible for ensuring that your implied warranty of quiet enjoyment is not infringed on. If the neighbor is creating a nuisance then that could be considered a lease violation, and the landlord should handle it as such.

      The easiest solution would be to get the tenant to stop smoking indoors, but if he doesn’t, and if the landlord isn’t willing to stand up for you, then you should be allowed to terminate your lease.

      Here’s an article I wrote for Trulia on the matter, but please know that I’m not a lawyer, nor is this legal advice. If you don’t get any help from the tenant or the landlord, please contact a lawyer to enforce your rights. http://www.trulia.com/pro/rentals/2-undeniable-clauses-in-every-lease/

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