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Colorado Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Can you live/camp in the backyard of an unfinished home if you are not the owner?

A home on our street was torn down and a new home was started but only got as far as framing the house, then the progress stopped 2 years ago. The owner lives in Florida (this home is in Colorado) and the owner's son is homeless and has schizophrenia camps in the backyard. Other homeless... Read more »

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Oct 3, 2022

In short, it would be difficult to force the sale since you do not have an ownership interest.

Could there be other legal remedies? Potentially. You should call an attorney to check.

If the occupants are there without the landowner’s permission, it could be trespass. Again, it...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Can a landlord charge you for additional services that are more than your security deposit?

They put SOD in the back yard and charged us for that which is fine but when we moved in there was not grass in the back yard there were patches of weeds and grass. They charged us to throw trash that was removed from there and charged us for a dish removal and that was there when we moved in.

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Oct 3, 2022

This is an oddly phrased question.

The security deposit and the amount that a landlord can charge you for damages that you caused to the lease are typically not related. The security damage acts as an advance that can be used to help cover those damages if needed. It is typically, not a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Maintenance team accidentally let my dog out of my unit and he ran away.

I was notified of the maintenance (there’s never been any issues) I received a call that my dog had “gotten out” and they were attempting to retrieve him. Then I got a call a bit later stating they had “lost sight of him”. I left work after the first call to go get my dog myself but they... Read more »

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Oct 3, 2022

The dog is back safe and sound. That is the important thing. If the dog got out during a scheduling maintenance event, then it may be no more than mere negligence. It sounds like the landlord tried to do the right thing by looking for the dog and paying for all the associated costs.

You...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: I want out of my lease since I cannot coexist with my roommate. If I get evicted how will that affect me?

My roommate is unemployed so between her and I only I can afford the apartment on my own. It's a joint lease. If I leave my landlord will sublease the whole apartment. If she leaves our credit is fine but she refuses to sublease her room. I'm paying the bills and my only way out is if I... Read more »

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Oct 3, 2022

You may wish to talk to the landlord about the situation. Often times they can help you come to a solution.

Getting evicted should be avoided if possible. If the eviction is entered by a court, it becomes public record. That can make it difficult down the road to obtain another apartment....
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Can we request a credit on rent due to uninhabitable noise issues on an AC unit?

An AC unit outside of my apartment building has had an increasingly loud and high-pitched screeching coming from it. I've submitted a maintenance request and the team has basically come out to notate information about the unit and that's it. The issue began a couple of weeks ago,... Read more »

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Oct 3, 2022

Well, it is possible that an A/C unit may fall under the warranty of habitability, you may be better off checking your contract for clauses regarding the landlord’s duty to maintain the property.

I feel it is important to caution tenants against withholding rent for warranty of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Is it legal for a landlord to reply to a bad review from a tenant online by listing out all of the months of rent that

the tenant owes? “We have been trying to collect from Sierra since May due to her paying late on her rent. She has been accruing late fees and has been posted several times. We sent emails concerning past due account: 4/16, 5/5, 5/13, 5/17, 5/19, 5/21, 6/3, 7/8, 7/12, 7/21, 7/28. We have posted... Read more »

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Sep 22, 2022

You need to check with an attorney.

In short, anytime you post any type of factual comment you need to be aware that you could be subject to a defamation suit.

In addition, you need to walk through the late fee issue. During COVID a few significant bills passed regarding late fees...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Civil Litigation for Colorado on
Q: Can a landlord sue you based on estimates without an explanation of what was repaired?

Landlord withheld my entire security deposit of $1750 and charged $2065 on top of that for “estimated” repairs. They will not provide receipts, I have requested them several times. They took me to court because I did not pay until I received receipts. Now I will be responsible for interest and... Read more »

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Sep 19, 2022

You need to talk to an attorney. The landlord as Plaintiff, just like in most civil cases, has the burden of proof which includes proving their damages. Damages do not need to be exact, but they cannot be guesses either.

Depending on where you are in the process, you may even wish to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: I have an apartment lease which stipulates certain breads of dogs considered dangerous and not allowed.

There are many dogs on that list now living in my complex. The office says the owners of those dog’s presented documents claiming the dogs are “emotional support “ animals and they are required to accept them. How is this not a breech of my lease which prohibits such dogs? Thank you

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Sep 16, 2022

In many circumstances federal and state law trumps contract law. Contract law must live in the legal framework setup by both the state and federal governments. A personal contract typically cannot supersede a state or federal law unless the law allows itself to be superseded.

If a contract...
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1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Can a landlord evict me if I am a victim of domestic violence and have notify them of it? I

They are evicting me because my lease was expired but I have been paying rent on a month to month basis since march

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Sep 16, 2022

Sorry to say but more information would be needed. If your lease truly did expire you may have a month to month tenancy that can be terminated with the proper notice.

In terms of domestic violence, Colorado does have a couple of statutes that address this point. From what I recall, the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Can a landlord withhold a portion of the security deposit for “lost rents” and is so what is the time frame?

We moved out 12 days ago. Our old landlord put the house on the market 7 days ago. They had one person look at the property and mention pet urine smells in one of the bedrooms as their reason for not renting. Now they are trying to withhold $1,000 for “lost rents.”

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Sep 14, 2022

I would reach out to an attorney.

From a general standpoint, most leases permit a landlord to withhold a portion of the security deposit to cover damages to the leased premises exceeding normal wear and tear. This could include the cleanup of pet urine.

Landlords needs to be...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: If my apartment give me a notice telling me I have to be out in 60 days can they still give a vacate in ten days notice

So my apartment put a notice on my door telling me I have to leave in 60 days because they want to removal. Can they also 10 day vacate the permits notice after that??

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Sep 8, 2022

It depends. I often see both notices to quit along with notices for substantial compliance sent out at the same time.

If the tenant complies with the substantial compliance notice, then the notice to quit kicks in.

If the tenant fails to comply with the substantial compliance...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Landlord has yet to remove wasp nest from inside apartment after nearly 2 weeks

The wasps were nested in the bedroom ceiling and broke thru a week after living there. They have now infested the whole apartment. Landlord was contacted August 1st but only makes promises of sending pest control over and never fulfills. They now won't even answer calls or emails.

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Aug 26, 2022

I would call an attorney

In Colorado, we have a warranty of habitability statute. If a situation materially interferes with the tenant's health and safety then it could run afoul of the code. You need to ensure you provide proper notice and ensure you qualify. If you do both, the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Can I get out of my lease early if my landlord has large trash that hasn't been picked up in over a month?

Someone dumped a hot tub at the dumpster of my complex. It's been there for over a month. Now there are couches and people are starting to throw trash in the hot tub. It stinks, it's an eyesore and isn't safe or sanitary. I asked my landlord almost a week ago to remove the trash.... Read more »

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Aug 26, 2022

If the trash is creating a health and safety problem then it may raise a warranty of habitability issue.

In short, if the condition creates a material threat to the tenant's health and safety there are certain situations where the tenant can demand the issue be repaired and if not...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: My rent payment portal removed fee-less bank account payment options. The charges for credit/debit are not in lease.

After renewing our lease, our management company removed the option to pay with a bank account leaving only the options to pay with credit or debit, and incurres huge fees to do so. The current lease states all rent and fees agreed to in the lease shall be paid through the mandatory portal, but the... Read more »

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Aug 26, 2022

This is a grey area. If the contract does not specify that you need to pay any credit card fees you may be able to argue that they cannot charge them. I would think this is especially true since they do not provide you with any payment options where you would not need to incur these fees. But it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: How do I get ex to leave the place i rent, i gave him 30 days, thats come and gone, asked several times, he refuses

He is staying in his truck and in a shed that is out back in driveway and small yard, but still does not work or contribute at all, and I need to move on with my life, what do I do to get him to leave, I am a single mom and cannot afford to hire attorney for this

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Aug 26, 2022

It depends on if he is on the lease or was a tenant.

Unfortunately, you need to talk to an attorney.

You may need to file FED (eviction) proceedings to get him removed from the property. In the alternative, if he is not a tenant and does not have a right to be on the property then...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Received a notice to vacate in 21 days, I have worked were I live for 5 years and not paid. Is this legal

I worked for owner and lived at motel he owns for five years we were to re t rooms, and keep property cleaned and mowed. He did not pay us and now wants to terminate our employment. He has not paid sales tax last document says 2013, he has repeatedly had power shut off closed accounts we used for... Read more »

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Aug 26, 2022

It may be illegal. I would recommend you contact an attorney.

In Colorado, we have the unlawful eviction statute. In certain cases, if the landlord is intentionally shutting off the power to the residence it may constitute an unlawful eviction. This is a very fact-intensive analysis. The...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: 60 day notice issues

1) If I gave my apartment manager written 60-day notice and they discarded/lost it, can I still be punished as though I didn't give it at all?

2) Does it even matter if my apartment on my lease is a different apartment than the one I'm being charged for?

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Aug 26, 2022

I am speaking solely in the context of events occurring in Colorado.

1) If you gave your apartment manager proper notice under the lease, it should not matter if they lost it or are unable to find it. I would hope you kept proper documentation. If so, the best course of action may be just...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Business Law and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Can a commercial landlord forcibly remove tenant's contents without the eviction process - even if it's in the lease?

Upon coming to that conclusion, he mentioned a "mean way" and a "nice way" to handle this. As an art gallery, we need to be careful how we move everything, so we need some time. He said the "mean way" would be their having "repossession trucks" come in with a... Read more »

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Aug 23, 2022

Afternoon,

If you have a landlord threatening to remove items from a commercial space, you need to obtain an attorney right away.

In Colorado, we have the unlawful eviction statue otherwise known as C.R.S. 38-12-510. The statute prevents landlord from evicting tenants without...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: Hello, Is this a breach of Colorado's Warranty of Habitability law?

I have expressed concern about the lighting in my house to my landlord a few times dating back to 8/15/22. I have sent out one text message, a call and an official request to be it done through her website. She has been completely unresponsive. The lights have been flickering constantly and dimming... Read more »

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga
answered on Aug 22, 2022

Afternoon,

Colorado’s warranty of habitability statutes can be found at C.R.S. 38-12-501 TO 38-12-511.

In short, Colorado’s warranty of habitability statutes requires landlords to address conditions that materially interferes with the tenant’s life, health, or safety. What...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: I was illegally kicked out of my apartment and would like to sue for being made homeless. What kind of attorney do I nee

I was initially evicted, but worked with another lawyer to get the eviction removed. I still had to leave my apartment with only a days notice and have since been homeless. I would like to sue them, but I am having difficulty finding what type of lawyer I need to find to help me.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on May 19, 2022

A Colorado attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. I'm sorry this happened to you. You ask what type of lawyer you need. Out of the categories you chose, landlord-tenant is probably the best place to start. Personal injury attorneys aren't likely to have... Read more »

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