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MDLawyer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 6135
Experience:  10 years in legal practice. Over 5 years in advising clients on landlord/tenant issues, including on a pro bono basis.
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Where would I find the laws regarding normal wear and tear

Customer Question

where would I find the laws regarding normal wear and tear in an apartment. what is a landlords responsibility vs a tenants responsibility
thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for using the Just Answer website. I look forward to working with you and assisting you. There are no statutes that define the phrase "normal wear and tear" since the definition is the normal dictionary definition. When there is a dispute, the court is who determines whether the wear and tear is normal based on the evidence. Depending on how far the litigation goes, previous cases will also be used as a basis upon which to decide.

Do you have a specific scenario that you are concerned about? If so, it would help to know what state you are looking at since every state has its own case law and statutes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we are in colorado .. my daughter lived in condo for 5 years .. landlord is asking us to pay for replacement of carpet and painting of the unit. she says there were too many holes from small nails from pictures hung and the removsal of curtain rodsshe is asking us to replace smoke alarms as wellwe also know there is a law here about being able to live in a healthy unit.. do you know that law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what state do you practice law in?
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

This site is for legal information only and so experts on this site cannot act as your attorney and so the state in which we are licensed does not make a difference .

Why is the landlord asking your daughter to replace the carpet? Are you also on the lease? Is the painting due to the holes? Were the curtain rods installed by your daughter? What is the issue with the smoke alarms?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i co signed the lease .. my daughter is dissabled.yes she says she has to re paint due to all the holes.\
yes curtain rods installed by us
smoke alarms stopped working
she says carpet needs to be replaces due to cat pee. apartment was cat free for the last three years.. carpets were cleaned regularly .. landlord was in apartment mutliple times and never complained about a cat smell .. including two weeks prior to our vacating premise.
she also charged a $40 per month cat fee even after we removed the cats. this adds up to $2400do you know where I can find the colorado statute for "warrant of habitability"?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

I am working on your answer.

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

With respect to carpeting, normal stains and marks from shoes and surface dirt are considered normal wear and tear all across the board. If there are pet stains or odors, that is something that a landlord would deduct from the security deposit. Excessive nail holes are considered beyond normal wear and tear and if repainting is needed, that can be deducted from the security deposit as well. Generally, whenever I myself have moved out of an apartment, I have made sure to close up all nail holes. Also, it is very important to do a walk through. If you and/or your daughter did a walk through and the smell was not mentioned, for example, then I would dispute the landlord's charging for it since the purpose of a walk through at move-out is so that there are no surprises.

With respect to the smoke alarms, if they don't work due to negligence on the part of your daughter, then the landlord can charge for that. If, however, they are not working simply because they are not working, then the landlord cannot charge your daughter for that.

The "warranty of habitability" has nothing to do with the security deposit. Rather, it is a guarantee in every lease that a residence is fit for people to live in. In Colorado, it is codified by statute. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-503(1). The statute cites several examples of what would make a residence uninhabitable, although the list is not exhaustive.

  • 1) Waterproofing and weather protection of the roof, exterior walls, windows, or doors;
  • 2) Plumbing and gas facilities;
  • 3) Running water and reasonable amounts of hot water;
  • 4) Functioning heat correctly installed and in good working order;
  • 5) Electrical lighting correctly installed and in good working order;
  • 6) Common areas that are reasonably clean;
  • 7) Extermination of rodents or vermin;
  • 8) Adequate garbage receptacles;
  • 9) Floors, stairways, and railings in good repair;
  • 10) Locks on exterior doors and locks or security devices on windows; and
  • 11) Compliance with building, housing, and health codes, which, if violated, would cause the home to be dangerous to the tenant

Also see Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-505.

Please let me know if this has answered your question. If it has, please be so kind as to leave a positive rating as that is the only way that we experts get credited for the time spent assisting you since we are not Just Answer employees. Thank you so much for allowing me to assist you and let me know if you have any additional questions or if any further clarification is needed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
how is the monthly cat fee applied?
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

I would need to know the language of the lease that discusses the cat fee in order to be able to answer that. The exact language, please.

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Were you able to find out the language of the clause?

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