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Civil Fugitives- Landlord/Tenant Relationship - Peace and Quiet

Every lease contains an implied promise by the landlord that the tenant may enjoy the possession of the unit in peace, free from interference or disturbance. This is called the "covenant of quiet enjoyment."

 

CAN THE LANDLORD ENTER THE UNIT WITHOUT THE TENANT'S PRIOR PERMISSION?

  • Yes. The landlord may enter the unit at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner without force or physical threats in the following situations:
    • The tenant has given permission
    • There is an emergency such as fire, flood or gas
    • The landlord is asserting a valid, legal landlord's lien
    • The landlord enters to make repairs ordered by health, building, fire or other code inspectors
    • The landlord may enter at other times if the tenant has given permission, either verbally or in the lease. A Realtor's lock-box may be placed on the unit's door and the landlord may show the unit to new tenants or prospective purchasers only with the tenant's express permission."
    • The parties have agreed otherwise, and the lease so provides
    • The landlord is responsible for maintaining the parts of the building which are under the landlord's exclusive control. For example, the landlord maintains the stairwells, hallways, laundry rooms and roof of an apartment building since these are part of the building under the landlord's control. However, since the roof of a single-family house that is rented entirely, to one tenant is not under the landlord's control, the landlord has no obligation to repair it unless the parties have agreed otherwise
    • The landlord must repair hazardous conditions caused by gas-burning equipment
    • The landlord must correct dangerous, latent conditions

WHAT CAN A TENANT DO WHEN THE LANDLORD ENTERS WITHOUT PERMISSION?

  • If the landlord enters the unit without permission or without other proper authorization, the tenant may consider taking the following steps:
    • Send a written complaint to the landlord and/or manager documenting the landlord's or manager's actions. Keep a copy of this complaint. Request that the actions stop immediately or that permission be obtained from the tenant in the future
    • If the landlord's invasion of privacy continues, document the landlord's disregard of the last letter by sending another letter, stating that you intend to take other action to assert your legal rights
    • Change the locks and do not provide the landlord with a key. Remember, the tenant assumes full liability in case of an emergency and must reinstall the original locks upon moving out. Send a letter advising the landlord that the locks have been changed due to the landlord's continued invasion of privacy and that the landlord should contact the tenant to gain entry to the unit in the future
    • Subject the landlord to arrest for breaking and entering by calling the police while the landlord is improperly in the tenant's unit. Report all threats, intimidation, and physical attacks to the police immediately. Be sure to keep a copy of any complaint filed with the police

IS THERE SOMETHING A TENANT CAN DO ABOUT THE NOISE OF NEARBY TENANTS?

  • Yes. The tenant may have a claim against the landlord for a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment because of the acts or noise of a nearby tenant that is renting from the same landlord. The landlord must know of the other tenant's actions and not stop or control them. A landlord is not responsible for the acts of other neighbors who are not renting from the same landlord

WHAT CAN A TENANT DO IN THE CASE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

  • Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is prohibited by the Colorado Fair Housing Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act. It is illegal for a landlord or agent to base housing decisions or conditions on whether an individual submits to or rejects sexual advances or favors.

CAN A TENANT BREAK A LEASE BECAUSE OF HARASSMENT?

  • Breaking a lease is a serious matter. However, if a tenant decides that the landlord's harassment is making the unit unlivable, the tenant may be able to move before the expiration of the lease term without liability for unpaid rent or re-rental fees. The tenant must have solid, convincing documentation outlining the type of harassment, when it occurred and who did the harassing. Send a letter to the landlord stating this information and the intention to move because of it. The tenant should keep a copy of this letter. After moving, the tenant may have to present a defense if the landlord tries to collect unpaid rent for breaking the lease

For more information or to file a complaint, contact the Colorado Civil Rights Commission 303.894.2997 or the United States Fair Housing Enforcement Center 303.672.5437.

NOTE: This is intended only to be a guide for both landlord and tenant. This information is provided to you as a service of the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office. Should you still need further assistance in regard to legal matters mentioned in this guide, please contact an attorney of your choice.

 

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    Pueblo, CO  81003
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Pueblo County Sheriff's Office