33-1491. Retaliatory conduct prohibited; eviction

A. Except as provided in this section, a landlord shall not retaliate by increasing rent or decreasing services or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for eviction after any of the following:

1. The tenant has complained to a governmental agency charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building or housing code of a violation applicable to the premises materially affecting health and safety.

2. The tenant has complained to the landlord of a violation under this chapter.

3. The tenant has organized or become a member of a tenant's union or similar organization.

4. The tenant has filed an action against the landlord in the appropriate court or with the appropriate hearing officer.

B. If the landlord acts in violation of subsection A of this section, the tenant is entitled to the remedies provided in section 33-1475 and has a defense in action against him for eviction. In an action by or against the tenant, evidence of a complaint within six months prior to the alleged act of retaliation creates a presumption that the landlord's conduct was in retaliation. The presumption does not arise if the tenant made the complaint after notice of termination of the rental agreement. For the purpose of this subsection, "presumption" means that the trier of fact must find the existence of the fact presumed unless and until evidence is introduced which would support a finding of its nonexistence.

C. The landlord of a mobile home park shall specify the reason for the termination of any tenancy in such mobile home park. The reason relied on for the termination shall be set forth with specific facts, so that the date, place and circumstances concerning the reason for termination can be determined. Reference to or recital of the language of this chapter, or both, is not sufficient compliance with this subsection.

D. Notwithstanding subsections A and B of this section, a landlord may bring an action for eviction if either of the following occurs:

1. The violation of the applicable building or housing code was caused primarily by lack of reasonable care by the tenant or other person in his household or upon the premises with his consent.

2. The tenant is in default in rent. The maintenance of the action does not release the landlord from liability under section 33-1471, subsection B.