Klass Law Group

Colorado's Premier Landlord-Only Law Firm

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Colorado Landlords - You Once Again Have A Choice

Klass Law Group - Colorado’s Premier Landlord-Only Law Firm

We have merged our law practice into a larger law firm in order to serve you better! KlassLawGroup has become part of the Law Offices of Brandon R. Ceglian.

Brandon Ceglian is an experienced real estate, eviction and litigation attorney with resources to assist you with the full range of landlord-tenant representation that KlassLawGroup has provided for years as well as a wider range of real estate transactional and litigation services. Phil Klass will remain on staff in an “Of Counsel” capacity.

Law Offices of Brandon R. Ceglian, P. C.

Call (555)123-4567

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2109 S. Wadsworth Blvd | Suite 202 | Lakewood, CO 80227
Phone: (303) 758-0500 | Fax: (303) 969-0501

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March 2018 Legal Tidbit

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Question: What effect does acceptance of a partial payment of rent have?

Answer: Acceptance by a landlord of a partial payment of rent from a tenant is, first and foremost, a business decision, but it may have legal ramifications. If you have already served a Demand for Compliance or Possession (3 day notice), then your acceptance of a partial payment will be a defense to any eviction case based upon that Demand. So, if you wish to accept a partial payment, serve the tenant with a new Demand for the new balance due. That will give the tenant another 3 days to pay the balance. You can also have the tenant sign a written agreement in which he waives any defense to an eviction on the partially paid Demand. If an eviction case has already begun when the partial payment is tendered, then acceptance of the partial payment will give the tenant a complete defense. If you then dismiss the eviction case, you may not be able to collect the attorney’s fees and court costs for the eviction because you did not prevail in the eviction lawsuit. However, the tenant can sign a written agreement to pay the attorney’s fees as a condition of your acceptance of the partial payment.

February 2018 Legal Tidbit

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Question: My tenant’s lease is expiring and I want him to move. What should I do?

Answer: When a landlord accepts rent for any time period after lease expiration, the lease becomes a month-to-month tenancy. To avoid that, immediately after expiration you may evict. Since the tenant should know that his lease is expiring and his right to occupy the rental premises is ending, no legal notice is required prior to starting eviction proceedings. Do not accept any rent for any time after the expiration date. It is recommended (but not legally required) that you send the tenant a written notice 30 to 60 days prior to lease expiration telling him that you have elected not to renew his lease and that he will be expected to surrender the rental premises and his keys to you on or by the lease expiration date.

January 2018 Legal Tidbit

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Question: What does “normal wear and tear” mean?

Answer: Colorado law defines "normal wear and tear" as “that deterioration which occurs… without negligence, carelessness, accident, or abuse of the premises…” The longer that a tenant has been living in the rental unit, the more likely that a court will find that incidental damage is "normal." While there will be no question that a red wine stain in carpet or a large hole in drywall is beyond "normal wear and tear," traffic patterns in carpet, scuff marks on walls, and dings in walls may very likely be viewed as “normal,” particularly if the tenant has been living there a long time or has children and/or pets. Keep in mind that if the expected useful life of paint and carpet in the rental unit has passed, then courts will be unwilling to tax the tenant for any of the costs of new paint or carpet. Since “normal wear and tear” is a subjective judgment by the courts and the statutory consequence of an adverse ruling can be treble damages against the landlord, be conservative in charging your tenant to restore your rental unit.

December 2017 Legal Tidbit

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Question: I want my tenant to move out. What are my choices?

Answer: If the tenant signed a lease which has not yet expired and they are living up to the obligations in the lease agreement, then they cannot be evicted. You can ask them to leave and can offer them compensation. If they agree, sign a termination agreement and do not pay them until they are completely out and have surrendered keys. You may elect not to renew the lease. Notify them in writing so that they have time to find a new place. If the lease has expired, the tenant may be evicted. If the tenant has violated the terms of the lease, serve a three day Demand. If the tenant is month-to-month you may terminate the tenancy by serving a Notice to Quit and evict if they fail to move out.

November Legal Tidbit

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Question: After I have served a Demand on my tenant for non-payment, what are my choices?

Answer: If the tenant pays the amount demanded (or the amount legally due) in full within the three days following the date on which the Demand was delivered, the landlord has no choice but to accept the payment and allow the tenant to stay. The landlord may refuse or reject a partial payment. If a partial payment is accepted, then a new demand for the balance still due should be served. Once the three days have passed, the landlord is not required by law to accept it and may instead require the tenant to vacate by
commencing an eviction lawsuit.