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August 2017 Legal Tidbit

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Question: When is the written accounting of the retention of the tenant’s security deposit due?

Answer: The Colorado security deposit law requires that the landlord’s written accounting explaining the use of the tenant’s security deposit be sent “within one month after the termination of a lease or surrender and acceptance of the premises, whichever occurs last… unless the lease agreement specifies a longer period of time, but not to exceed sixty days.” So, if a tenant signs a one year lease on March 1, 2017, ending February 28, 2018, but abandons the rental or is evicted on June 1, 2017, since the lease does not expire until the following February 28, the accounting is not due until a month (or up to sixty days) after February 28, 2018! However, don’t wait. If possible, send the accounting within several weeks of the date that you receive the rental premises back into your possession.

April's Legal Tidbit

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Can I charge late fees?

Answer: Yes, if it is in your signed lease agreement. However, per day late fees will not usually be enforced by the courts. A one-time late fee to compensate the landlord for the extra handling required when rent in not paid on time is fine. Per day late fees are viewed by the court as either a finance charge (which will exceed the maximum interest rate permitted by Colorado law on consumer obligations) or a penalty (which is never enforceable under a private contract).

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