Never refuse to pay rent as a way to solve landlord problems

DENVER -- The building boom continues in Denver as rental rates remain as high as some of the new structures that make up the city's skyline.

The average rent for a two bedroom apartment in Denver is now at $1,725 according to the Rent Cafe website.

The higher the rent soars, the less patient tenants become when their home needs repairs.

While many renters may be tempted to cease payment of rent until repairs are made, legal experts say that's the worst thing anyone could do.  FOX31 asked noted tenant rights attorney Eric L. Nesbitt about options renters have.

He says the first thing to do is document issues then make a complaint. "The proper thing to do is to look at your lease and see what it says about landlord repairs, then give  formal notice."

That may include sending the complaint via certified mail.

Nesbitt warns against suddenly deciding to stop paying rent until repairs are initiated, "It would put the tenant at breach of the lease, you don't want to have the landlord defaulting by not making the repairs, but they could counter by saying now you're in default by not paying the rent."

Tenants may be advised by legal professionals to file a Warrant of Habitability, which can allow the tenant to terminate the lease in cases where the landlord is deemed to have failed to maintain a healthy and safe environment as required by law.

For more information about tenants rights visit the Action Center tenant-landlord helpline website.

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