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FamilyAttorney
FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 686
Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 36 years
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If an apartment complex is renovating all units when they

Customer Question

If an apartment complex is renovating all units when they are vacated, can they withhold money from your security deposit for this they are already replacing: new paint (changed colors for new renovation), carpet cleaning fee (all carpet was removed and replaced with laminate), and stove drip pans (stove was replaced with a new stainless steel unit)?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 5 months ago.

Hello. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience. My practice is limited to family law and appeals, but I have many years’ experience with landlord-tenant issues, contract law, and other types of law. I also have written hundreds of legal articles. I look forward to helping you today.

Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an attorney on this site.

At the end of this discussion I'm going to ask you to please rate me as that's the only way I get credit for my time here today. Are you okay with rating me at the end of our discussion? Thanks!

Please also understand I am typing my answer to your question – usually a detailed answer – and I’ll be back to you asap.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 5 months ago.

In Colorado, a landlord must return the entire security deposit when the tenant vacates, which means he can't take out money for the usual wear and tear in a building, such as needing new paint, cleaning carpets and stove drip pans. The law is clear about this, and it states as follows:

No security deposit shall be retained to cover normal wear and tear. In the event that actual cause exists for retaining any portion of the security deposit, the landlord shall provide the tenant with a written statement listing the exact reasons for the retention of any portion of the security deposit.

He can withhold some of the security deposit only if you, the tenant, agreed to have him perform work at your expense. I'm sure that's not the case here.

In your state, if the landlord wrongfully withholds the security deposit for any reason, he can be liable as follows:

The willful and wrongful retention of a security deposit in violation of this section shall render a landlord liable for triple the amount of that portion of the security deposit wrongfully withheld from the tenant, together with reasonable attorney fees and court costs.

Your landlord is doing usual wear and tear repairs and updating. This is not allowed to come out of your security deposit. If he says it does, you may want to discuss this with a landlord-tenant attorney, but if you're still living there, and expect to be there awhile, you may just want a consult with a landlord-tenant attorney (ask for a free consultation) and then you can decide if you want to do anything. You can also write a letter to the landlord, if he's planning on taking money out, stating that this is not permissible under Colorado law, that he must return the deposit in full under (C.R.S. 38-12-103(1) otherwise he will be liable for triple damages under C.R.S. 38-12-103(2) and (3a), attorneys fees and court costs.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 5 months ago.

Does this answer your question? If you need more information, let me know as I’m happy to give it.

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Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 5 months ago.

I am logging off now but I'll be back later to check if you need more information. I'm happy to help. Thanks!

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 5 months ago.

Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you. Thanks!

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