Landlord/tenant issues can be complex and frustrating to students. While most Larimer County landlords provide affordable housing and good living conditions, there are times when students run into problems with their living arrangements and need expert help to understand their rights under both the Colorado Statutes and their lease contracts.
Below are the most frequent reasons that students visit our office for legal advice.
Leases- LEASE TIPS
A lease is a legally binding contract that both obligates and protects the tenants that sign. It is important to read and understand every word of your lease before you sign and Student Legal Services offers lease review appointments to insure that you protect your self and your money as an informed consumer.
Landlords are obligated to refund security deposits or provide an accounting within 30-60 days from the time a tenant vacates the property. Landlords may not deduct from the security deposit for normal wear and tear.
Always read the move-out instructions before leaving the rented premises, and take pictures of the empty premises in case of a dispute over charges.
Frequent repair requests to a property manager may not bring results quickly enough. If your problem does not get the immediate attention you believe it should, read your lease to find out what the landlord requires. If you need help with this, please see one of the lawyers here at SLS. Make sure your requests are in writing and you keep copies.
Always call the landlord/property manager if you have a serious situation with flooding, fire, or other disasters that compromise your personal safety and/or the safety of the property. Follow up in writing after the emergency.
There is a process a landlord must follow under Colorado law in order to successfully evict a tenant. The formal term for an eviction is “forcible entry and detainer,” or FED. Any student who receives a Notice to Vacate should call our office and bring the notice with the lease agreement to the SLS office as instructed.
Students often share apartment units with their friends or acquaintances. It’s a good opportunity for social interaction and for many, it’s a financial necessity. The best roommate is a person you know and trust. You may want to sign a short lease at first to see how things work out. Most leases call for “joint and several responsibility” for the rent. In other words, the landlord doesn’t care who pays what, just that 100% of the rent is paid and paid on time. If your roommate leaves in the middle of the lease term, you’ll still have to pay the full amount of monthly rent.
This is a small sample of the types of Landlord-Tenant cases SLS helps students with. If you, as a CSU student, are in need of legal information or assistance, please call or office at (970) 491-1482 or bring your student ID to Room 284 of the Lory Student Center to make an appointment.