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Return of rental deposit
, My ex-landlord (property

Customer Question
Customer: Return of rental deposit...
Customer: Return of rental deposit
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: My ex-landlord (property management company) is trying to withhold part of my rental deposit for "re-arranging inventory to move in condition" and "move out general clean" (they claimed there was some crumbs in some drawers". The unit was cleaned prior to move out. Can they do this?
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question to Landlord-Tenant Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: OK. This is in Colorado.
JA: OK. Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 28 minutes by:
1/3/2016
Lawyer: RONB-ESQ, Attorney replied 1 year ago
RONB-ESQ
RONB-ESQ, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 357
Experience: Right of Way Manager at Access Midstream Partners, LP
Verified

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney. I welcome you to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only 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 expert on this site. The question and response may be viewed by other parties as noted in JA’s terms of service. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Also in the event you are new to JA, I only receive a portion of what you pay to JA when you provide positive feedback and click the submit button on the upper right corner of your page. If I have provided you a timely response and answered your question please give me the courtesy of a positive rating before you log off the site, as many people forget to log back in and leave feedback. There is no additional charge for continuing to reply after you have rated me and we can continue a back and forth discussion until the question you posed has been fully answered

You should see my answer in the same pane below this response as we continue. In the event you would prefer a phone call please let me know and I can arrange it. It tends to be easier for both parties if you just tell me you want a phone call and let me send you the request versus using JA’s automated “request a call” feature. If you see a pop up regarding a phone call please note that the website generated that offer. Before I send you any such request it will typically be based on you requesting it by typing the request on the screen and then I will send you a phone call offer (additional $52 typically). Do note that a phone call is not required and we can continue here just typing comments back and forth.

Do not be concerned with short delays in my response to you. When I am online I generally respond in a few minutes, unless I am on a call with another customer. When I am offline I generally respond in less than 24 hours. If I begin to answer your question late in the evening (after 9:00 PM CST) I will generally provide you a quick comment as to the fact that I am signing off for the night. I am generally online most days 1:00PM-10:00PM CST.

You should be able to view my answer just below this response as we continue….

Let me review a few things and I will be right back with you. I apologize in advance as I type slowly. Be back in 5-10

Couple quick questions: Did you do a move out inspection with the apartment management when you moved out? Do you have pictures and/or witnesses as to the condition of the apartment when you moved out? Did you provide a forwarding address and are these things that management sent to you after you moved out as an itemized statement as to what they were retaining and why?

Ron

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Move out inspection-No, they refused my request.
Pics-No
Forwarding address-Yes, I provided one.
Lawyer: RONB-ESQ, Attorney replied 1 year ago

To answer your question a landlord can retain all or a portion of a security deposit, but must within 30 days of move out (unless lease provides for 60 days) provide an itemized list of any amounts retained and at that time send the balance of the deposit all to the last known address of tenant or to the forwarding address supplied by tenant at move out. I asked the questions above just have a little background and better understand the situation. The landlord can't charge for normal wear and tear. The landlord can also not charge an unreasonable amount for the items he claims were wrong. In your case it sounds like a broad general term (not specific) where he says "rearranging inventory to move in condition" "move out general clean" may be a little more specific, but should go into more detail.

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Lawyer: RONB-ESQ, Attorney replied 1 year ago

How much was deposit and how much did they keep?

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Lawyer: RONB-ESQ, Attorney replied 1 year ago

Here is a copy of the relevant statute http://www.amstiesonline.com/files/Colorado_Statutes.pdf it provides that a tenant can sue for up to 3 times the original security deposit if the landlord willfully and wrongfully retains the security deposit. You can also recover attorney's fees and costs incurred (court cost). Before filing suit though you must provide notice to the landlord in writing that you plan to file suit for wrongful retention of the deposit and give him 7 days to return what they retained or the portion that was wrongfully retained. The statute goes on to say that if the deposit is retained after the 7 days then you have automatically proved it was willful. Depending on the amount they retained it would be prudent to contact a local attorney and talk about the issues. You can typically get a free 30 minute consultation with most for free (when you call one confirm this so you don't get surprised, but 90% will offer a free consultation). I recommend that you go to avvo.com and do the attorney search function and look for attorney under section landlord tenant in your general area.

I hope this answers your question. Thank you in advance for leaving me positive feedback at the top of your page and clicking on submit on far right. This is the only way I am compensated for the time I spend answering your question and note it does not cost you any extra it just indicates to the website to credit me my portion of what was already paid. Do note that after leaving positive feedback you are welcome to ask as many follow up questions related to your original question as needed for free.

Best regards,

Ron

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Lawyer: RONB-ESQ, Attorney replied 1 year ago

Hello again,

I wanted to check in with you and confirm that you did not have any further follow up questions for me from the answers I provided to you on the 2nd. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not received a rating. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can go directly to my page for future questions by going here: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-ron-b/?rpt=3800

Regards, Ron

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
I have read your responses and the relevant Colorado laws, but neither answers the questions I raised.
Lawyer: RONB-ESQ, Attorney replied 1 year ago

"My ex-landlord (property management company) is trying to withhold part of my rental deposit for "re-arranging inventory to move in condition" and "move out general clean" (they claimed there was some crumbs in some drawers". The unit was cleaned prior to move out. Can they do this?" This is what I believe to be your question. This is what I would deem an answer to that question

"To answer your question a landlord can retain all or a portion of a security deposit, but must within 30 days of move out (unless lease provides for 60 days) provide an itemized list of any amounts retained and at that time send the balance of the deposit all to the last known address of tenant or to the forwarding address supplied by tenant at move out."

What would you like me to clarify you asked if they can do this and I provided you the answer that in certain conditions they can do this, but your recourse is to sue them and you can seek up to 3 times the security deposit if they wrongfully retained your security deposit. I would be happy to answer a follow up question or clarify my answer, but I am uncertain what else I can tell you to answer the question you posted?

Regards,

Ron

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
in other words the landlord can create any sort of "charge" they want and deduct it from my security deposit as long as they list it?
Lawyer: RONB-ESQ, Attorney replied 1 year ago

They can create the charge and then your recourse if you believe it is wrong, unfounded, etc is to sue them in small claims court and seek to recover the wrongfully retained portion of your security deposit. I am not saying that it is right or proper for them to do this and that is why you have the recourse of filing suit and seeking to recover up to 3 times the amount they wrongfully withheld. The legislature decided that landlords should faces some stiff penalties when they wrongfully withhold the security deposit and that is why they allow recovery of up to 3 times the actual amount wrongfully withheld. If this was just a contract dispute you would only be able to recover the actual amount withheld. Here the legislature has provided an incentive to landlords to NOT wrongfully withhold deposits because they face a lawsuit wherein they may have to pay 3 times the amount they withheld.

Does this help answer your question and provide guidance or help you better understand your rights as a tenant? Please reply as needed until I fully answer your question. It is my goal to provide excellent service and to provide you an accurate answer to the question you posed. If you need further clarification or have a follow up question please reply here and ask me.

Ron

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Lawyer: RONB-ESQ, Attorney replied 1 year ago

I would note that I have done my best to provide you an accurate legal response to the question you posed along with the remedies under the law that allow you to recover. As such I would ask that you leave me positive feedback so I am compensated for the time I spent answering your question. It costs you nothing, but is important to me because without a rating I receive nothing and website retains it all.

In the event you plan to leave me negative feedback I would ask that first you reply here and let me know your concerns so I can fix it and/or if you prefer I can opt out of the question and it will go back to the attorneys at large for one of them to answer. If you would prefer that I opt out then please let me know and I can do that as well if you would like the opinion of another attorney.

Ron

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Lawyer: RONB-ESQ, Attorney replied 1 year ago

I hope I have answered your question and you are satisfied with the response. I thought I should let you know that unfortunately I will be out of town Tuesday-Thurday night and back online Friday at 1:00 PM CST.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
While you provided background information and relevant legal statutes, and a method of legal recourse, I have not seen any direct answer to the questions I raised.
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 1 year ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 119,473
Experience: Attorney with over 24 years experience.
Verified
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR, as your previous contributor left.
What is the specific questions you believe you did not get a direct answer to and I would be glad to assist in trying to do that for you?
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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 119,473
119,473 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Attorney with over 24 years experience.

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