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Lesson 9: What if the issue comes back?

Sometimes when a landlord fixes an issue, it can be a temporary fix. The issue may come back and cause problems again. If the issue was fixed and has come back within 6 months, renters can start the process from the beginning by asking the landlord fix the issue with a first letter. Learn how to send a first letter in Lesson 3. In some cases, the renter can end their lease and move out instead. We learned about renters ending their lease and moving out in Lesson 7, however with a repeat issue there are some differences.
In order to take action, renters should make sure they sent their landlord a first letter about the original issue within the last 6 months. For more information on how renters should let their landlords know about an issue, review Lesson 3.

If the only issue is a refrigerator, stove, or oven

If an issue with a renter's refrigerator, stove, or oven has come back within 6 months, renters can start the process from the beginning by asking the landlord fix the issue with a first letter. Learn how to send a first letter in Lesson 3.
Renters can also decide to end their lease and move out early. To end their lease early, a renter must send a second letter to their landlord, explaining the issue with the appliance. The letter also tells the landlord that the renter would like to end their lease early and move out unless the appliance is fixed within 14 days. The letter should include the date the renter will move out if the appliance is not fixed within 14 days. The renter's move-out date must be at least 14 days from when they sent their landlord a first letter. Renters can create this second letter for free.
Once a landlord receives this second letter from their renter, they have 14 days to fix the appliance. If the landlord fixes or replaces the appliance within 14 days, the renter can NOT end their lease early. If the landlord does not fix the appliance within 14 days, the renter can move out and end their lease. Renters can send a third letter to their landlord, letting them know that they are ending the lease and include the date they will be moving out. This letter is optional but recommended. Renters can create this third letter for free.
If a refrigerator, stove, or oven issue has come back more than 6 months since it was fixed, a renter should start from the beginning by sending a first letter telling the landlord about the issue. Learn how to send a first letter in Lesson 3. If you have questions about how this applies to your situation, please contact the Colorado Poverty Law Project.

How to send the letter

Landlords can require in the lease that renters communicate with them in a specific way. They may ask renters to use a website, online “portal”, email, or text message.
  1. 1.
    Check the lease. If a lease says renters must communicate in a specific way, you should use that method.
  2. 2.
    If the landlord does not specify in the lease, you should communicate the way you have in the past.
  3. 3.
    If you have not communicated with your landlord in the past, you can send your letter
    • In an e-mail
    • With certified mail or USPS first class
    • Hand-deliver the letter to the landlord or property manager's business office
If an appliance issue has come back more than 6 months since it was fixed, or if you have questions about how this applies to your situation, please contact the Colorado Poverty Law Project.

If the issue is NOT a refrigerator, stove, or oven

If an issue has come back within 6 months, renters can start the process from the beginning by asking the landlord fix the issue with a first letter. Learn how to send a first letter in Lesson 3.
Renters can also decide to end their lease and move out early. To end their lease early, a renter must send a second letter to their landlord, explaining the issue that has come back, and tell the landlord they will be ending their lease and moving out in 14 days. This second letter must say the date that the renter is ending the lease. The day the renter ends their lease and moves out must be at least 14 days from when they sent their landlord a first letter. Renters can use our free form to create this second letter. Renters can move out immediately after sending this second letter.
If an issue has come back more than 6 months since it was fixed, or if you have questions about how this applies to your situation, please contact the Colorado Poverty Law Project.

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