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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.

September Legal Tidbit

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Question: What if my former tenant sends me a demand for his security deposit?

Answer: The demand may be the first step leading to being sued by the tenant for his security deposit. You have seven (7) days to refund the entire deposit to avoid litigation. Or, you may defend your retention of the deposit. You bear the burden to justify your retention of the deposit. Assemble your documentary evidence showing your compliance with your required accounting, the tenant’s balance due, and the damage beyond normal wear and tear and seek the advice of your lawyer.

July's Legal Tidbit

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Can I retain my tenants security deposit?

Answer: Yes, for money owed to you and for damage beyond normal wear and tear. However, Colorado’s security deposit statute is the only Colorado law that favors the tenant. It requires the landlord to bear the burden of proof to justify the withholding of any deposit. Any deposit withheld which the court thinks was wrongful entitles the tenant to be paid three times the wrongfully withheld amount and the landlord must also pay the tenant’s attorney’s fees. Be liberal about retaining deposit for unpaid monetary lease obligations (because these are easy to justify) and conservative about retaining deposit for repairs or cleaning. Timely send out your written security deposit accounting listing in detail items for which deposit was withheld.

Regarding properties in Jefferson County: the Jefferson County Court will set initial court dates in eviction cases only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings beginning in August.

We are happy to answer your questions; no charge! (303) 758-0500.

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Phone: (303) 758-0500 | Fax: (303) 969-0501

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