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I am a landlord with two tenants on a one year lease that…

Second opinion] I am...

Second opinion] I am a landlord with two tenants on a one year lease that terminates July 28, 2018. One of the tenants moved out around March 1 and returned to his home state of Florida with no intent to return. When I confronted him back In October about the smell of pot inside the house, this tenant verbally admitted that he was smoking pot on the premises. Smoking anywhere on the property is lease prohibited. I chose to not begin eviction for the lease violation at that time.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Colorado.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not with authorities

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Answered in 2 hours by:
3/18/2018
Pheobe Clark
Pheobe Clark, lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 160
Experience: Attorney at Pheobe A Clark Attorney at Law
Verified
Hello. Sorry you have experienced this issue. Sounds like your tenant breached the lease agreement and you have the right to withhold the security deposit and sue for the balance of the lease term. You can only sue for the balance IF you don’t have a provision in the lease that allows for early termination. Then you can sue for the early lease termination fee and 30 day period of notice that you should have received. Is this what you needed guidance about? The wrongful breaking of lease?
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Added files of the lease for your review.
Issues as I see them:
If I decide to evict
1. How to prove marijuana violations. In October the now absent tenant (verbally admitted smoking indoors. Remaining tenant denies smoking but smell is strong two weeks after departure of admitted smoker. Only evidence is smell, no ashes visible. I may have A repairman meet me at the property to give an estimate and then ask him to sign an affidavit that says he also smells pot. Good idea?
2. Lease requires tenant pay all utilities as due. Sewer and water are 2-3 months behind. How long must I give tenant to cure this default?
3. Lease requires 60 day moveout notice. If one tenant leaves but the other stays, can I sue the one who left without notice?
4. I may want the remaining tenant gone, even if he comes up with the rent ( he’s only $50 bucks behind at this point due to help from his mom) and catches up utilities.
4. If i serve notices and begin eviction process, how do I serve a tenant who left the state and left no forwarding address? He’s responded to emails saying he’s working his butt off to pay rent, left rent $$ with the guy he skipped out on, blah, blah...
Do I have to hire an out of state server? I have the guy’s previous address and his dads address in Fl.
OK. Your default clause has a provision for abandonment. So if your tenant has abandoned the property you have the right to re-enter and take possession. Similarly if the remaining tenant has breached the agreement by failing to timely make payments of bills and by smoking as you observed it, then that person has breached the lease as well and You can send a letter following the time periods in your default clause, advising them that they breached the lease and it is therefore terminated under your default clause.
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You only have to evict for nonpayment of rent. And if the other tenant has caught up on rent, then send the letter terminating the lease for breaches under the default clause. So you don’t have to evict the tenant who abandoned the property according to your default clause. And you don’t have to evict the other guy either because your letter to the tenant lists a number of other breaches of the lease.
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you can take possession of property for abandonment, sue the tenant for breach of lease, and yes you would have to serve him out of state & could do this by sending a letter certified mail, return receipt. The return receipt will show he’s been served.
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I believe I have addressed all the questions? Did I miss anything?
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
The property has only been abandoned by one person on the lease. He is now residing out of state with no forwarding address. I cannot send certified mail to an non-existent address. Do I have to hire someone out-of-state to hunt down a person in order to prove to the courts I have attempted to serve him?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
It seems the burden of proving that I have attempted to serve proper notice is quite high in this situation.
Your answers Do not address the fact that I have one remaining tenant who is still in breach of the lease based on the non-smoking clause. Nor do you address how to prove in the eyes of the court that he is smoking on the property. I asked you that specifically.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Can a letter sent via email to the tenant who has abandoned show the court my attempts to serve him?
The burden to prove service is not high. You can send a letter through certified mail through your local post office for less than $10.
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If there is no possible way to get his out of state address, then you will have to hire a person to
Find him for service. Email will not typically suffice. Perhaps you could email him asking for his forwarding address for if you have to return his security deposit. (Lies are legal)
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With respect to the remaining tenant, if the remaining tenant has breached the agreement by failing to timely make payments of bills and by smoking as you observed it, then that person has breached the lease as well and You can send a letter to the remaining tenant following the time periods in your default clause, advising them that they breached the lease and it is therefore terminated under your default clause.
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If you wish to take The remaining tenant to court, you can prove smoking occurred by writing an affidavit that he admitted it to you. You can look
For evidence of smoking In the apartment such as any drug paraphernalia. You can also have carpet fibers tested for smoke. You can have a cleaning company come in and state they had to remove smoke from carpet or curtains.
Pheobe Clark
Pheobe Clark, lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 160
Experience: Attorney at Pheobe A Clark Attorney at Law
Verified
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Pheobe Clark
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Pheobe Clark, lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 160
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