Chapter 17-36


17-36-010    Retaliatory conduct.

17-36-010 Retaliatory conduct.

A.    Except as provided in this section, a landlord may not retaliate by increasing rent or decreasing services including necessary maintenance and repair services or by terminating a rental agreement or bringing or threatening to bring action for possession or by refusing to renew a rental agreement which provides therein for such right of renewal because the tenant has:

1.    Complained in good faith of a code violation to a government agency charged with the responsibility for the enforcement of such code (i.e., city);

2.    Complained to the landlord of a violation under Section 17-24-010(C)(4) or (D) of this title;

3.    Organized or became a member of a tenant association or similar organization; or

4.    Exercised or attempted to exercise any right or enforce any remedy granted to him under this title.

B.    If the landlord acts in violation of subsection A of this section, the tenant has a defense in any retaliatory action against him for possession and is entitled to terminate the rental agreement and in either case recover an amount equal to not more than two months’ rent and such damages, costs and fees as court shall determine and award. If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all security and interest recoverable under Section 17-24010(A) of this title and all prepaid rent. Such conduct of a landlord subsequent to tenant activities described above in subsection A of this section without justifiable cause may be considered retaliation.

C.    Notwithstanding subsections A and B of this section, a landlord may bring an action for possession if:

1.    The violation of a code was caused primarily by lack of care by the tenant, a member of his family or other person on the premises with his consent; or

2.    The tenant is in default in rent, other than a purported default under Section 17-32-010(D) of this title. (Ord. 3122 § 1 (part), 2004)