Profile picture for lukas hass

Can my tenant just leave if they say the house is not clean?

We have tenants that have been claiming that there is something in the house that is making them sick/ill.  They have gone to the doctor but their reports are inconclusive and they do not tell them that the house is making them ill.  We have cleaned the carpets, and done anything and everything we can to make them happy but they are 6 months into a 1 year lease here in Colorado.  We have told them that if they like we can discuss breaking the lease but as the landlord am I entitled to ask for a few months rent in the deal?  We dont want them to just walk claiming an unhealthy living situation.  There was mold in the shower and under a toilet from a drip that we have since fixed this week that they think is making the two sons ill and they want to get out.  My question is that would a judge consider what we are doing fair - offering to break the lease with them paying only another month or two of rent to help us absorb costs.  We dont want them to just leave.  We just want to get something for having to let them go and make it seem reasonable for them so that they dont just say "take us to court cuz we are leaving now"
  • January 23 2010 - Fort Collins
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Answers (7)

this thread is almost two years old... 
  • December 16 2011
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Profile picture for Rob Kittle
For me, i will let them go because this will just cost you a lot of discussion with them and it sounds like they really have no intention of staying, you should settle and for them to leave not having trouble or arguing with the landlord. Though Job!
  • December 16 2011
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Let them go on terms of keeping security so you have time to find another tenant
  • July 14 2011
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if you are the landlord and will allow them to 'break the lease' that is between you and them... I do not believe though that you can re-rent and have money from them and a new tenant... you can only become 'whole'

  • January 26 2010
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I'd probably find a happy medium and let them go. They are not going to be happy, easy-to-work-with tenants for you. Review your lease and the local laws regarding canceling a lease. Then negotiate on how much lost rent they will pay.

If no reports have been performed re: hazardous conditions, I would think it would be hard for a court to side with them. But even walking into court is more costly than saying 'goodbye'.

Once they are out, I'd suggest doing a through check of the property and address any needed repairs.

Best of luck, Baidra
  • January 25 2010
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I'm also a landlord, if I were you, I rather let them go and find another tenant, it is not worth to deal with "the problem renter", your times and your peace in the mind are more value, if you priced your rental at the right price, I believe that many of the renters will rent your house.
  • January 24 2010
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Your question is loaded with land mines for anyone to attempt to answer. Mold is a very particular beast with technical and legal implications. You should call a lawyer.

Tenants do have general rights under HB 1356, which includes a section on mold. However, mold must be discovered by a specialist before it can be determined to be mold. Black stuff in the shower has no legal implication until you admit that it is mold. Mold which is black is also not a legal term, however black mold is. This is why you need a lawyer. I fear they are not after breaching the lease, but after damages, which if they get a lawyer, they are damn close to having a case, simply based on this discussion.

To answer the general question, tenants can not leave because it is dirty absent some provision in the contract to the contrary, unless it rises to the level of non-habitability. Social services makes that call often with regard to children who live in filthy, unsafe homes. Usually tenants have the duty to maintain the premises in good condition, however you should call a lawyer to review your contract and make real recommendations. You don't need a broker/blogger's defense, you need a legal defense!

Black mold is one of the most toxic forms of mold, which if it is determined by an inspection to be black mold, they can walk and get damages. Call a lawyer. I recommend Culver 303-345-3508. Just leave him a message.
  • January 23 2010
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