Legal Disclaimer: The following is basic legal information, provided as a public service by Wyoming’s lawyers. The information provided is not a substitute for speaking to an attorney. Only an attorney can give you legal advice regarding your specific situation. Click here for help finding a lawyer.
However, you also have duties as a renter concerning the condition of the property. These duties include:
Keeping the rental unit in a clean and safe condition;
Disposing of all garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner;
Keeping all plumbing fixtures in a sanitary condition;
Using all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, and other facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner (you should inspect regularly and report problems immediately); and
Any other duties required by your rental agreement or lease.
Can I make the repairs myself and deduct that from my rent or withhold rent to force the landlord to make the repairs?
If you make any agreement with your landlord regarding repairs, for example if you and your landlord agree that you will make the repair yourself and deduct that repair from your rent, make sure you get that agreement in writing and keep your receipts.
However, your landlord cannot require you to make (or pay for) repairs for the essential services for which he or she is responsible, unless you caused the damage.
First, write a letter to your landlord, listing the services and repairs you need, and asking they be repaired in a reasonable time. A reasonable time will depend on the urgency of the services or repairs.
You should keep a copy of this letter, and you should send this letter via certified mail. Click here for a sample letter (forms provided by Legal Aid of Wyoming, Inc.).
At this point, you landlord is required to either repair the problem or inform you in a certified letter that he is disputing your claim.
If you landlord does not respond or refuses to make the repairs you need within a reasonable time, send a second letter to your landlord. In the second letter, you must:
Repeat your repair request;
State the number of days since your first notice letter; and
Tell your landlord that if he or she does not fix the problem within three (3) days, you will sue him or her in court to require the landlord to fix the problem or terminate the lease.
You must keep a copy of this second letter, and you must send this letter via certified mail. Click here for a sample second letter (forms provided by Legal Aid of Wyoming, Inc.).
Your landlord must also provide you with at least ten (10) days, but no more than (20) days, from the date of his notice to find substitute housing. Also, if the lease is terminated, your landlord must refund rent already paid for the days you will not be living there, along with any deposit due.
If you make any agreement with your landlord regarding repairs, for example if you and your landlord agree that you will make the repair yourself and deduct that repair from your rent, make sure you get that agreement in writing, and keep your receipts. Remember, in Wyoming you are not allowed to withhold rent in order to make repairs.