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Old 11-30-2011, 08:55 PM
1 posts, read 1,772 times
Reputation: 10


I had two tenants leave my property today and dropped off the keys toady (Nov 30th 2011). They made no effort in cleaning the place, there is cat hair, litter and food all over the floors, there is a large stain on the carpet, shredded toilet paper or paper towel in the bathroom, the toilet is gross, the sink is as well, and they left the fridge uncleaned and with food in it. I do not have pictures of the area prior to them moving in, but it was cleaned very thoroughly before they moved in. In the lease it does state that the property needs to be left in as good as condition as when they moved in, less wear and tear. I did buy a news paper and took photos and video of the area today and am going to call a cleaning company to give me an estimate as to how much it would be to clean the area. As a landlord am I allowed to take that cleaning out of the deposit? and if it goes beyond the amount of the deposit, does the rest come out of my pocket? Links would be very helpful pertaining to any of the responses given.

Many thanks.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:03 PM
Status: "October is the eighth month" (set 22 days ago)
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,679 posts, read 28,504,890 times
Reputation: 6842
Hopefully the cleaning will be less than the security deposit. Don't forget to get a receipt and send the former tenants a copy along with a check for the balance.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:18 PM
Location: Colorado
1,706 posts, read 2,924,111 times
Reputation: 1741
Did you offer to do a walk-through with the tenants? That way they could know that they have to clean before it is taken out of the security deposit?
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:32 PM
Location: Colorado Springs
4,331 posts, read 4,359,501 times
Reputation: 15291
You sound like a new landlord. The lease should make those responsibilities and penalties very clear.

Personally, I could not stomach being a landlord. I've heard way too many stories...
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:18 PM
Location: Colorado
18,718 posts, read 4,707,856 times
Reputation: 5328
I am a landlord. Unfortunately finding your place in that condition is not uncommon.
Some feel that they will not get their deposit back anyway so they leave a mess.
Hopefully the deposit will cover the cleaning and there won't be a lot of damage.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:48 PM
Location: Back in COLORADO!!!
840 posts, read 2,034,543 times
Reputation: 1377
Oh, the stories I could tell......

Yes, you can deduct the charges incurred for cleaning from their security deposit. Anything above that will have to come out of your pocket. You could choose to pursue the matter in small claims court, but, meh....

Good luck!
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:44 PM
Location: Wyoming
9,170 posts, read 16,529,270 times
Reputation: 13369
You certainly can sue for the balance if their cleaning deposit is not enough to cover the cleaning cost. You'll have to have their new address or a place of business so they can be served a court order to appear, you'll have to win the suit, and then collect the judgment. If one or both are employed, the payment can be taken from the wages of one of them. The judge will handle this. You don't even need an attorney if you sue in small claims court. I urge you to go after them. So many tenants leave places absolute pig sties because they figure all you'll do is keep their deposit, which isn't enough to bother with the cleaning.

The biggest problem you'll have is proving that the rental was in good and clean condition when they moved in, since you didn't have pictures. If you had it cleaned before your nightmare tenants moved in, the cleaning (person or company agent) might be able to testify for you in court. Good luck, and be sure to get good pictures of the place after it's cleaned this time.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:05 PM
Location: SE Florida
1,194 posts, read 3,597,932 times
Reputation: 753
YOu should expect some damage but never excessive amounts. Paint smears dirty floors are OK but filthy toilets or torn carpet is never acceptable. Get to know your rights as a landlord and what you can do if damage is present. Do a walk through when they leave.

As a former landlord I encounter damage in the home I rented to 2 girls. I got a cedit check etc from the realtor and it looked OK. The realtor said it wood be a good risk to rent.
After 4 months they left without notice and I had damaged of $15k, sued them and their dad who co-signed and I won...
I did expect a few things that were damaged but my tenants removed the door off a bedroom closet and floated it in our pool. We rent it furnished and they glued a cheap floor tile on all the kitchen counter surfaces, tried to glue the same to the floor and left the sticky glue...We also had a cleaning service try to clean the home twice. It is a very nice home 2bdroom 2bath, 1 car garage home in Ft Lauderdale so it is worth a good bit of money. The girls also let glue dry on the new carpet and dining room table.... The local guys began informing the girls where they legally stood so I phoned them telling them to stop it or I could sue them for not having a license to pactice law.

I sold it after repairing it to our delight and will not own another rental in Florida where we live. I still own 4 rentals in DC and they bring in some good rents and tennants.

Good luck

Last edited by Synergy1; 12-01-2011 at 11:18 PM..
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:51 PM
25,836 posts, read 49,741,556 times
Reputation: 19297
The reality of the situation is they left not owing rent and you are holding a Security Deposit.

I don't know Colorado Statutes regarding Deposits.

In general, a Deposit is used to repair damage and for cleaning... as you stated above and beyond normal wear and tear.

I always document condition and expenses and forward a final statement to the last known address of your former tenant.

Winning the court case is often easy... collecting not so much to impossible...

Sounds like they were poor housekeepers... no intentional damage or neighborhood nuisance complaints and they left current on the rent...

Many owners would count their blessings... just saying...
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