Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Colorado

do i need to refund a deposit?

i rented my house in evergreen, colorado to a couple. i stated at the time of the first showing that i would require first month, last month, plus a deposit. the advertisement i placed in the newspaper also stated this. later i faxed a lease that my husband and i signed to the prospective tenants. it did not mention the last month's rent. the tenants changed the lease from 1 year to six months, and scratched out an exclusion (namely the guest house), signed the lease and faxed it back. two days before we were to move the tenants called to say that they were prorating the rent since they would not move in until the 15th (the lease was to commence on the first of december), and that since the lease did not mention the last month's rent they would not pay it. i informed them that was unacceptable, and as they did not fulfill my lease requirements they did not move in. now, they want their deposit money back, and have threatened my realtor with a lien against my house. am i legally obligated to return their deposit?

Asked on 12/21/01, 9:11 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Louise Aron Attorney at Law

Refundability of deposit

Louise Aron

Attorney at Law

Lakewood Office:

1536 South Ingalls

Lakewood, Colorado 80232 USA

(303) 922 7687

fax (303) 922-1370

Cherry Creek Office:

300 South Jackson #100

Denver, Colorado 80209 USA

(303) 780-7339

Satellite offices:

Boulder - 4450 Arapahoe Avenue, #100

DTC - 4610 South Ulster, #150

A TOLL FREE NUMBER is available to clients outside the Denver metro area.

My email: [email protected]

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LawGuru User

Dear LawGuru User:

I would need to have more information to determine the answer to your question.

What documentation was given to the renter at the time the deposit was accepted? If there was nothing in writing given to the renter indicating that the deposit was not refundable should a lease not be signed, the deposit most likely should be returned to the renter.

A lease is a contract. It sounds to me like there was never a meeting of the minds (a contract) regarding this rental. The error in the paperwork allowed the renter to conclude that the last month's rent was no longer required.

Thank you for using LawGuru.


Louise Aron

Attorney at Law

My web site

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Answered on 12/26/01, 12:10 pm

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