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What Should I Do If My Colorado Landlord Withholds My Security Deposit

Renting a home or apartment in Denver, Boulder Springs, or any of the other beautiful communities in Colorado can be a wonderful experience, but when it comes time to move out, the return of your security deposit can in some cases become a point of contention. If your landlord withholds part or all of your security deposit, it can put extra pressure on you. It's often a substantial amount of money.

At Flaxman Law Group, we work with tenants in Denver, Colorado Springs, and other communities across Colorado. Our goal is to use our decades of combined experience to work to recover the money your landlord should have returned. If you are having a disagreement with your landlord and are worried about losing money or being evicted, contact Flaxman Law Group at 970-999-0530 for a consultation with a Colorado landlord-tenant dispute attorney.

In the meantime, we've put together this guide to help you understand what you can do if you're having trouble recovering your security deposit.

Understand Your Rights

The first step is to look over your lease agreement, including any information related to the security deposit. Understanding why your landlord might be withholding your security deposit can help you consider what remedies you might have.

You should also know that landlords in Colorado can only withhold the security deposit for specific reasons, such as unpaid rent, damages (that aren't part of normal wear and tear), or excess cleaning expenses beyond what might be typical. If your landlord doesn't return your security deposit or withholds part of it, as for a a detailed explanation for withholding your deposit, including an itemized list of deductions. This will help you understand whether a landlord is within his or her rights. It can also give you a sense of what options you might have to get your security deposit.

Keep Documentation

When security deposits lead to a landlord-tenant dispute in Denver, Colorado Springs, or any community in Colorado, the claim will often rest on evidence. For example, it's common for the landlord to withhold part of the security deposit by alleging damages to the property while a renter claims damage was normal wear and tear or even occurred before their tenancy.

In these situations, having photos or videos showing damage before you moved on or showing you left the rental in great shape can help you get your security deposit back. For this reason, we at Flaxman Law Group suggest you document everything. Here's how:

  • Ask for a move-in and move-out inspection with a landlord or property manager to review the condition of the property and to get any issues or damages in writing.
  • Take photos and videos of every room and every part of your rental, before you move in and after you move out.
  • Keep copies of any communication with your landlord, including any letters or emails.
  • Make sure you have proof of payment of rent—your bank may have a digital record of this.
Communicate with Your Landlord

Write to your landlord in writing to express your concerns regarding the withheld deposit. Using neutral and polite language, request the return of your deposit and explain why you should receive it back in full.

If this doesn't work, you can also send a formal demand letter, outlining why you should receive your security deposit back, per the lease agreement and Colorado law. Include evidence you have to support your claim. Give the landlord a deadline for the return of your deposit.

Get Legal Help

If your landlord still refuses to return your security deposit, contact a landlord-tenant dispute lawyer in your Colorado community. It's possible that your landlord may have tried to withhold other tenant security deposits and a local attorney may be familiar with similar cases.

A Colorado landlord-dispute attorney can help you seek mediation or arbitration, which attempts to resolve the problem without going to court. An attorney can also prepare you for court if that's the best way to resolve the problem. A lawyer may be able to help you prepare your case and evidence, so you have the best chance possible for a positive resolution.

What Should I Do If My Colorado Landlord Withholds My Security Deposit?

Dealing with a withheld security deposit can be stressful, but in Denver, Colorado Springs, and other communities, you have rights as a tenant under Colorado law. Take proactive steps to protect your rights and if you need an experienced Colorado landlord-tenant dispute lawyer, contact Flaxman Law Group at 970-999-0530 for a consultation.

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