Tenants in Wyoming have the legal right to repairs for issues that place the property in violation of state health and safety standards. To exercise this right, they must properly notify the landlord in writing and allow a reasonable time for the repairs to be made.
In Wyoming, every legal obligation between the landlord and the tenant can be changed or waived through a written agreement. None of the default standards apply if the written lease explicitly says otherwise.
Wyoming Landlord Responsibilities for Repairs
Wyoming landlords are responsible for keeping all of the following in good working condition:
Hot / cold water.
Anything else necessary for safe and sanitary human habitation.
What Repairs Are Tenants Responsible for in Wyoming?
Wyoming tenants are responsible forfixing issues that don’t impact safe and sanitary human habitationon the property. They must also repair damage they actually cause themselves, and damage that occurs when they’re behind on rent.
Requesting Repairs in Wyoming
Wyoming tenants must request repairs bynotifying the landlord of the issue in writing.The request must be either served personally, posted at the landlord’s residence or business office, or delivered via certified mail. The landlord can dispute the need for repairs by following the same service requirements.
If the landlord doesn’t dispute the need for repairs, he has a “reasonable” time to fix the issue. If the issue isn’t fixed, the tenant must (under the same service requirements) deliver asecond written“notice to repair or correct condition” that specifically mentions all of the following items:
Description of the problem and request for repairs (repeated from the first notice).
Time since request was served, and declaration that this amount is reasonable.
Description of remaining problems and demand that these remaining problems be fixed (if some repairs have been made).
Declaration of an intent to sue the landlord if the issue isn’t fixed within three days
How Long Does a Landlord Have To Make Repairs in Wyoming?
Wyoming landlords have“reasonable” time (determined case by case)to make repairs after initial notice in writing from the tenant about the issue. When the tenant sends a properly executed “notice to repair or correct,” the landlord must complete repairs within three days, or else the tenant can file suit.
Can the Landlord Refuse To Make Repairs in Wyoming?
Wyoming landlordscan refuse to make repairsafter a tenant request, by challenging the need for repairs in a writingthat follows a number of special legal requirements. Whenever repairs would be unreasonably expensive, the landlord can also cancel the lease and give the tenant 10-20 days for moving out.
Do Landlords Have To Pay for Alternative Accommodation During Repairs in Wyoming?
Wyoming landlords arenot required to pay for alternative accommodationwhile they conduct repairs.
What If a Landlord Does Not Make Timely Repairs in Wyoming?
Wyoming tenants cansue for damagesorget an injunctionwhen the landlord disputes the need for repairs, or doesn’t make timely repairs after a “notice to repair or correct.” For severe issues, the tenant can claim constructive eviction, move out, and end the lease.
Can the Tenant Withhold Rent in Wyoming?
Wyoming tenantscan’t withhold rent.In fact, if the tenant isn’t current on rent for any reason, the landlord isn’t legally required to make repairs.
Can the Tenant Repair and Deduct in Wyoming?
Wyoming tenantscan’t arrange for repairs and deduct from the rent.If the tenant makes rent reductions that haven’t been authorized by court order, this makes the tenant liable for nonpayment of rent and the landlord stops having a legal obligation to make repairs.
Can the Tenant Break Their Lease in Wyoming?
Wyoming tenantsusually can’t break their lease.As a matter of state public policy, judges dislike breaking a lease, so it’s usually not allowed outside court process, except in cases ofconstructive evictionthat substantially prevent the intended use of the rental property.
Can the Tenant Sue in Wyoming?
Wyoming tenantscan sue when issues aren’t repaired,three days after proper “notice to repair or correct.” They can also sue when the landlord formally disputes the need for repairs. The tenant can seek monetary damages or injunctive relief, including an order to repair or permission to break the lease.
Can the Tenant Report the Landlord in Wyoming?
Wyoming tenantscan report landlords for some code violationsaffecting health or safety. Local health departments handle mold and infestation. Utility providers handle electricity, heating, and water service. Lastly, local code enforcement handles trash accumulation.For other issues, the tenant may have to file a court case against the landlord.
Wyoming landlords aregenerally allowed to retaliate against tenantsby evicting or changing the terms of the tenancy in response to something the tenant does. If the response is legal in general, it’s still legal for a landlord to do even with a retaliatory intention.
“Given the legislature’s use of the conjunction ‘and’ in § 1-21-1203(a) and its delineation of the four specific duties constituting the owner’s general duty to provide safe, sanitary and fit premises, we are not persuaded that the duty imposed by the act is limited to providing electrical, heating and plumbing systems, and hot and cold water. We hold that the Residential Rental Property Act imposed a duty on landlords to provide and maintain premises in a safe and sanitary condition fit for human habitation.”
“To protect the physical health and safety of the renter, each owner shall: (i) Not rent the residential rental unit unless it is reasonably safe, sanitary and fit for human occupancy; (ii) Maintain common areas of the residential rental unit in a sanitary and reasonably safe condition; (iii) Maintain electrical systems, plumbing, heating and hot and cold water; and (iv) Maintain other appliances and facilities as specifically contracted in the rental agreement.”
“If the renter is current on all payments required by the rental agreement and has reasonable cause supported by evidence to believe the residential rental unit does not comply with the standards for health and safety required under this article, the renter shall advise the owner in writing of the condition and specify the remedial action the renter requests be taken by the owner. Within a reasonable time after receipt of this notice, the owner shall either commence action to correct the condition of the residential rental unit or notify the renter in writing that the owner disputes the renter’s claim. The notices required by this subsection shall be served by certified mail or in the manner specified by W.S. 1-21-1003 [‘by leaving a written copy with the defendant or at his usual place of abode or business if he cannot be found.’].”
“The owner shall not be required to correct or remedy any condition caused by the renter, the renter’s family or the renter’s guests or invitees by inappropriate use or misuse of the property during the rental term or any extension of it.”
“(b) If a reasonable time has elapsed after the renter has served written notice on the owner under W.S. 1-21-1203 and the owner has failed to respond or to correct the condition described in the notice, the renter may cause a “notice to repair or correct condition” to be prepared and served on the owner by certified mail or in the manner specified by W.S. 1-21-1003 [‘by leaving a written copy with the defendant or at his usual place of abode or business if he cannot be found.’]. This notice shall: (i) Recite the previous notice served under W.S. 1-21-1203(b); (ii) State the number of days that have elapsed since the notice was served and that under the circumstances the period of time constitutes the reasonable time allowed under W.S. 1-21-1203(b); (iii) State the conditions included in the previous notice which have not been corrected; (iv) Demand that the uncorrected conditions be corrected; and (v) State that if the owner fails to commence reasonable corrective action within three (3) days he will seek redress in the courts.
“(c) If the owner has not corrected or used due diligence to correct the conditions following notice under this section, or if the owner has notified the renter that the claim is disputed, the renter may commence a civil action in circuit court.”
“…[The landlord may] terminate the rental agreement if the costs of repairs exceeds an amount which would be reasonable… If the owner refuses to correct the condition and intends to terminate the rental agreement, he shall notify the renter in writing within a reasonable time after receipt of the notice of noncompliance and shall provide the renter with sufficient time to find substitute housing, which shall be no less than ten (10) days nor more than twenty (20) days from the date of the notice. If the rental agreement is terminated, the rent paid shall be prorated to the date the renter vacates the unit and any balance shall be refunded to the renter along with any deposit due in accordance with W.S. 1-21-1208.”
“As a rule, in order to constitute a constructive eviction, acts or omissions of a landlord in interference with his tenant’s use and enjoyment must indicate an intention on his part that the tenant shall no longer continue to hold and enjoy the demised premises.” Mileski v. Kerby, 57 Wyo. 109, 117 (Wyo. 1941) (quoting 36 C.J. 263 § 989) (See for clarificationScott v. Prazma, 555 P.2d 571, 580 (Wyo. 1976) (“[T]here must be an intent on the part of the landlord to deprive the tenant of the enjoyment and use of the premises before there can be a constructive eviction. That does not mean there must be an actual subjective intention in the mind of the landlord. It may be inferred from the character of the lessor’s acts if their natural and probable consequences are such as to deprive the lessee of the use and enjoyment of the leased premises.”)
“Forfeitures are not favored. Before one can declare a forfeiture it must appear that he has a clear right and then too he himself must be free from blame in the premises. Every reasonable presumption is against a forfeiture and every intendment and presumption is against a person seeking to enforce it.”
There are significant limitations on a tenant’s ability to report a landlord for unsafe living conditions in Wyoming. See, e.g., this guidance from the City of Casper’s Code Enforcement department: “At this time, the State of Wyoming does not regulate housing codes: Therefore, deplorable living conditions may be considered a civil issue between the tenant and property owner/manager.”