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Read --> American Landlord Law: Everything U Need to Know... about Landlord-Tenant Laws

Read --> American Tenant: Everything U Need to Know... about Your Rights as a Renter

tenant destroyed property
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leopald
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Joined: Tue Nov 28th, 2006
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 Posted: Sat Feb 3rd, 2007 07:39 pm
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SKG,

Its a little late for this advice, and I'm sure you already realize, but this is why you don't mix business and family.  No friends either...

I am sure you won't make this mistake again...

LandlordLaura
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Joined: Mon Aug 21st, 2006
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 Posted: Sat Feb 3rd, 2007 01:17 am
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One additional important note is, as I wrote earlier, that you will have to be able to prove the condiiton that the rental unit was in at the time the Tenants moved in.  I hope you have photos and/or video taped evidence to use in Court.  If you don't have any proof, the Court could just dismiss your case...

Do you have some documented evidence or, possibly, a witness?

LandlordLaura
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 Posted: Sat Feb 3rd, 2007 01:09 am
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I do not own property in Colorado, so I am definately no expert.  You are right.  It IS hard to find Landlord Tenant Laws for Colorado online.  I did find the following website, which may be of help to you:  http://www.dola.state.co.us/cdh/researchers/documents/Advances/tenant-l.htm, which includes the following information:  

Security Deposit - A security deposit, (a.k.a. damage deposit or cleaning deposit) is a payment of money by a tenant to a landlord to cover damage or cleaning of a rental unit. A landlord cannot keep the security deposit to cover normal wear and tear. A landlord can keep all or part of the security deposit to cover damage caused by the tenant's negligence, intentional abuse or cleaning beyond normal wear and tear. A landlord can keep all or part of the security deposit to cover damage caused by the tenant's negligence, intentional abuse or cleaning beyond normal wear and tear.  A landlord can utilize small claims court to collect money owed for damages that exceed the security deposit collected.

Return of the Deposit - When a tenant leaves a rental unit, the landlord has 30 days (unless stipulated differently in the lease) to return the security deposit or send a written list of damages and the amount of money owed for repairs to the tenant. The above must be sent to the tenant's last known address. If a security deposit is wrongly withheld, the tenant could receive a judgement of three times of the amount wrongfully withheld, and court costs and attorney's fees. A tenant may utilize small claims court for this purpose.

I am not an Attorney, however, since you collected zero Security Deposit, it may be best for you to write the required letter, showing zero paid as a Security Deposit, and then detail in full the costs of repair necessary to bring the property back to the condition it was in when you rented it out to the Tenants.  Be sure you have receipts and/or estimates for the repairs that you can provide to the Court.  One concern, however, is what is the limit for Small Claims Court in Colorado?  Small Claims Courts often have a limit to the amount of damages you may request.  You could call a Court in the area where your rental property is located and find this out.

I hope that a Colorado Landlord is available to answer your question more distinctly.  You might wish to contact the Colorado Housing Authority for some help and/or discussion about this specific situation.  If they cannot help you, maybe they could refer you to a proper contact.

You made a mistake in not collecting a Security Deposit BEFORE renting your Condo out.  Mistakes are often good lessons, though.  I'm sure that you won't do that again... 

Let us know what you find out...

skg1963
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Joined: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007
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 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 09:42 pm
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They did pay rent, but we did not have a lease or sercurity deposit.  I can take pictures and get estimates from people on what the cost to fix the damages would be.  I tried to find landlord/tenant laws for Colorado but could not find anything.  They have already refused to pay the damages or HOA fines.

LandlordLaura
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 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 09:30 pm
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Please clarify if they are actually rent-paying Tenants OR is it just a family "situation" that went "wrong"?

Go online and pull up the Landlord Tenant Laws for the State/County/City were the rental property is located.  Read them thoroughly.  State laws vary, but, most State Landlord Tenant Laws will tell you what your legal situation is when you do not have a signed Lease Agreement.  From what I've read, a Tenancy with no Lease Agreement is usually considered a month-to-month Tenancy.

Did you get a Security Deposit from the Tenants when they moved in to the property?  Did you take video tape or photo evidence of the condiiton of the property when they moved in?  You will have to prove your damages in Court if you decide to file a case against them for damages.  Unless they are willing to pay for the damages (because you are a valued family member...), you will probably have to file a case against them to sue for damage reimbursement.

Let us know...

skg1963
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Joined: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007
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 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 07:58 pm
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I had a tenant that has completely destroyed my condo.  Holes in doors, my cabinets are broken, the carpet is trashed and stains can't be removed, cat urine all over and underneath tile...I could go on and on about the damages.  The only problem is that the tenants did not sign a lease because they were my sisters in-laws.  Do I have any legal recourse against them for damages to my property?    


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