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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38257
Experience:  17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I have just ended a lease and was charged alot for small

Customer Question

Hi, I have just ended a lease and was charged alot for small things, are tenants allowed to charge whatever they want or can I ask for invoices to review if the costs are reasonable? for instance, I was charged $170 for replacing a light switch and $250 for painting two cabinet doors (that will be thrown away because they are molding)
JA: You just pay a $5 deposit now and the rest only when you get a reply from the Real Estate Lawyer. All of this is 100% satisfaction guaranteed, so you can get a refund if you're not happy for any reason. Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: i am located in denver colorado
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: filed to a court, no. filed where else?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: i am concerned that my landlord makes up charges and false businesses
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses, but rest assured, I am working on your question. The website may offer a phone call option, but it is optional.

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A landlord can only charge a tenant for actual damages, cleaning, late fees and delinquent rent at the end of a tenancy. So if you feel that the landlord is overcharging you for things that were either not damages and were normal wear and tear, or overcharging you for things, then you can file suit against the landlord in small claims court under a breach of contract claim. This is one of those rare cases where the landlord actually has to prove that his deductions were valid and reasonable, even though he is normally the defendant.

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But something like a light switch sounds like normal wear and tear if it just quit working and they cost about $1.50 for the switch and take about 5 minutes to swap out..

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks barrister. In the past, I have asked for a receipt of service and when I tried to contact the company and search for it through Secretary of State database the company could not be found. Can I ask for receipts for each charge?Also, is painting included in normal wear and tear?
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

Very welcome...

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Can I ask for receipts for each charge?
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You can, but there is nothing under the security deposit law under CRS 38-12-103 that would require the landlord to provide it.

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Paint has a 5 year depreciable life so if the paint was older than that when you moved out, they can't charge you anything for it. But if you caused damages like holes or gouges that required repainting, they can charge you the depreciated cost of repainting. So if it had to be repainted and it was 4 years old, the landlord can only charge you 20% of the cost. And it is up to him to prove the age of the paint.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Can the landlord take CAM costs out of my deposit? I ask because it is an expense that I cannot expense because he just pulled it from my deposit $3000What about the fake company I mentioned earlier.
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

If you agreed in the lease to be liable for them and didn't pay them, then that would fall under the "fees" that the landlord can deduct from the deposit for.

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What about the fake company I mentioned earlier.

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If that happened in the past, then if it was under 1 year ago, you could sue him for fraud if he just made up a company to charge you for something that you weren't responsible for.