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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I am moving out of a single family residence in which the owner/landlord

Resolved Question:

I am moving out of a single family residence in which the owner/landlord has been a complete nightmare/slumlord. He owes me my $2500 security deposit when I move out assuming things are in the condition I received the house in (which they are)...I keep asking him when we will meet so that he can do a final walkthrough and give me my deposit (although the law states he has 60 days to give it back). He states that he will not give it back until I show him receipts that I have shampooed the carpets and receipts that I have paid all of the utility bills (which is silly seeing that the bills are in my name not the name of the owner, so even if there was a balance, they wouldnt go after him)....nevertheless, these requirements of showing receipts were not in our lease....I feel he is playing games. Should I give these to him or not? If I do, I feel he may state that the price for the carpet shampoo wasnt sufficient, etc. and may use any little bit of anything to justify keeping my deposit....he's completely crazy and has made my life miserable this entire year....I dont want to play his games and am prepared to take him to small claims court, although I dont really want to....what should I do? Hold him to the lease....If I dont , he just keeps adding things that are beyond the scope of the lease.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 4 years ago.

Zachary D. Norris :


Zachary D. Norris :

I'd be happy to help you with your question.

Zachary D. Norris :

Are you there?

Zachary D. Norris :

I'm guessing you've stepped away. I'm going to answer your question in Q&A format. You will be able to ask follow up questions in this format. You will receive my response shortly.

Expert:  TexLaw replied 4 years ago.
If the tenant has fulfilled all the terms of the lease (including giving the landlord proper notice, if required), has paid the rent in full and on time, has left no financial obligation to the landlord, and has caused no damage beyond ordinary wear and tear, the tenant is entitled to a full return of the security deposit. The tenant should collect the security deposit in person or leave a forwarding address with the landlord so that the landlord can return the deposit.

That being said, this is the law the landlord is using as an excuse for requesting the receipts. I imagine the landlord did not keep the security deposit separate and thus is trying to raise the money. He will likely use any excuse possible to try to keep the money. You have noted that you think he is "crazy", so I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up in court. Since you are likely headed that way anyway, a tenant in your position should comply with the landlord's request and give him the receipts.

You should also carefully document the condition of the property by taking photographs of the property. I would expect the landlord to come up with bogus charges to make against your security deposit to reduce his liability on it. He has to follow the law explicitly, or you will get treble damages.

Colorado law requires that the landlord return the security deposit or send an itemized statement of the deductions and the balance of the deposit, if any, to the tenant within thirty days after termination of the tenancy. This time period may be extended up to sixty days if written in the lease. The landlord must either deliver or mail the full deposit or a statement of deductions and the balance of the deposit to the last known address of the tenant. If the landlord fails to provide a written statement of deductions and the balance of the deposit in full within the specified time period, the landlord forfeits his/her right to withhold any portion of the security deposit. However, the landlord retains the right to pursue damages by counter-claim against the tenant in a lawsuit for unpaid rent or for any of the charges he could have otherwise deducted from the damage deposit or any other financial obligation owed by the tenant. Treble damages may be ordered against the landlord in a lawsuit for a security deposit not returned within the required time period.

Please let me know if you need clarification.
Best Regards,
Zachary D. Norris
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