Can a deposit be automatically forfeited for a violation of a lease provision?
No. The Colorado Security Deposit Act C.R.S., 38-12-103 states that any lease provision that automatically results in the forfeiture of a resident’s deposit is void. This doesn’t mean that deposit money cannot be withheld for violations of lease provisions that result in monetary damage to the community or landlord. Rather, all money must be accounted for and the resident must receive proper notice stating the exact reasons (general classifications will not do) regarding the disposition of deposit money. If the charges against the deposit do not equal the total amount deposited, then the balance must be returned with the disposition report accounting for the deposit and explaining the exact reasons why any money was applied. Remember there is a 30 day requirement to account for and return the balance if any to the tenant unless the lease states otherwise, but not to exceed 60 days. For more information, see the firm’s Security Deposit Briefing Paper located in the resource center. The Briefing paper is available to firm clients only.
When can I take back possession of my property without the Sheriff?
Generally, when the resident turns in the keys and surrenders possession in writing there cannot be any dispute that the resident has surrendered possession. If one of these events occur, generally there is no need for the sheriff. If neither of these events occur, then you are forced to make a judgment call either based on the abandonment clause in your lease, the general law of abandonment, or both. An abandonment clause may give you specific rights in taking back your property without the need for the sheriff.
Abandonment clauses can vary significantly. A solid abandonment clause will spell out in detail what circumstances constitute abandonment. If you do not have this clause it is provided in the Documents section under Leases on this website. There may be other circumstances when you can take possession without the sheriff because the resident has abandoned. Because the abandonment law depends on the facts and circumstances of each case, the abandonment law is discussed in greater detail in the firm’s Briefing Paper on Abandonment located in the resource center. Briefing papers are only available to firm clients.
How many copies of the notice do I make?
Always keep the original (original signature to go with the unlawful detainer and one copy to post or give personally to each tenant. NOTE: DO NOT USE COLORED PAPER (i.e. RED).
Can I still use the ten-day notice to pay rent or quit if I have an oral agreement?
Yes, the notice is prepared the same.
When do I serve the notice?
If the rent is due on the first of the month, a notice should be served on the second. If your agreement with the tenant has a grace period, you must honor that period.
Do I place all of the occupants on the notice?
Yes, all tenants named on the rental agreement and persons over the age of eighteen, listed or not.
Do I have to accept the amount of rent due if offered within ten days?
You must, only if the total amount is tendered. The landlord can dictate the terms and conditions of payment.
Can I accept a partial payment of the total that the tenant owes on the notice?
YES! Now, make another ten-day notice to pay or quit for the outstanding balance. Careful to still show an accurate total.
Could refusal to rent available units qualify as discrimination?
Perhaps. Discriminating against a potential tenant who is a member of a protected class, including: Race, Color, Religion, Gender, National Origin, Familial Status or Mental or Physical Handicap is prohibited by the Federal Fair Housing Act. In general a landlord must have a good and legal reason for refusing to rent a vacancy to an otherwise qualified tenant applicant. For example, a landlord could reject a tenant who has bad credit, inadequate income or because they wanted to share a two-bedroom apartment with five other people, two large dogs and another pet in a property which does not allow for other than guide dogs. Of course, there are some exceptions to the Fair Housing Law. If you have a question to clarify your specific situation please call the Firm.
When does the notice time expire?
The day after service is the first day of the ten-day notice. If the notice is served on Monday, the notice expires at midnight on the Thursday of the next week and the tenant is in default on Friday of that next week and the notice can be filed at that time.
Why do I post a tenant with a notice?
The very foundation of the first building block of the eviction process and the legal path to regaining your property back is the notice. A ten-day notice is primarily, but not always, used for breaches in the covenant of the rental agreement that are curable. The thirty-day notice is generally used for termination of possession.