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Entry & Repairs FAQ

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Can my landlord come into my apartment whenever they feel like it?

Generally, reasonable notice should be given unless there is an emergency. Reasonable notice is usually defined as 24 hours. However, unless it is specifically stated in the lease, there is no specific time period that the landlord must give to come into their property. This is something that the landlord and the tenant should work out together, preferably before the lease is signed.

My landlord keeps saying they will fix broken things in the house but never gets around to it. Can I withhold my rent until things are fixed?

Generally not; the duty of the tenant to pay rent does not depend on the landlord's duty to maintain the premises. You can be evicted for not paying rent. You can try to negotiate with the landlord over the time frame when things will be fixed, possible compensation for the inconvenience, or compensation for failure to fulfill conditions as promised. If you are not comfortable with or are unable to negotiate in person or over the phone, another option is to write a letter.

The letter should clearly state the problem you would like fixed, the time frame for fixing it, and any help you can provide to make that happen (i.e.. when the unit will be available for repair people to get in, etc.). If the landlord is not responsive to requests for maintenance or repairs, you may want to check with an attorney for other options or call Rental Licensing (if the property is located in the City of Boulder) to see if the maintenance issue violates city codes. The phone number for Rental Licensing is 303-441-3152.

If conditions are extreme or severe and long term you should talk to an attorney about options for remedy or termination and rent obligations.

If you have other questions or would like to speak with someone in person about a particular problem or issue, please call the Community Mediation Service at 303-441-4364. The Community Mediation Service provides information on tenant/landlord, neighbor/neighbor, and roommate matters. We can discuss your options for resolution including low or no cost mediation for people who live in the City of Boulder. Because the Community Mediation Service is a City of Boulder office and funded exclusively by the residents of Boulder, mediation services cannot be provided to people who live outside the city limits. Mediators are not attorneys and do not offer legal advice. 

I have a list of repairs that I want done on my apartment. Is it OK for me to go ahead and pay for the repairs and then deduct that amount from my rent?

You cannot make repairs and deduct your costs without the permission of the landlord.