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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.

February 2017 Legal Tidbit

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Question: When can I reject a resident’s rent payment?

Answer: If the lease has just expired, there has been no lease renewal, and the resident is to vacate, any acceptance of rent by the landlord for a period after the date of lease expiration will start a month-to-month tenancy. So, to avoid starting the month-to-month tenancy and preserve the landlord’s right to evict, that rent payment may be rejected. If the landlord has served a Demand for Compliance or Possession (3 Day Notice) due to non-payment, a partial payment within the three days may be rejected. Any payment made after the three day deadline has passed may also be rejected. Reject a payment by mailing a refund of the rejected payment amount with a written letter stating that the payment has been rejected and why within two business days of the date the payment was received. Keep copies of your letter stating that the payment has been rejected as well as the refund check.

November's Legal Tidbit

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Question: My tenant left before the lease expired. Do I have to re-rent the place to another tenant?

Answer: Yes. The law imposes a ‘duty to mitigate’ damages on anyone who has sustained a loss. The original tenant is liable to you for rent of the remainder of the lease term. However, you must take prompt and reasonable steps to find a replacement tenant. Any rent paid by the replacement tenant during the original lease term is a credit against the rent owed by the original tenant. Failure to try to re-rent the unit gives the original tenant a defense to your claim for rent which came due after he left.

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