What is our recourse if my property manager told me 2 months ago that our tenants were going to renew for 12 months but then the day before their lease ended we found out that was a lie?

My husband and I rent out a condo. We had tenants whose lease expired 2/28. Our PM told us via email so in writing, on 1/20/17, that they were going to renew for 12 months starting 3/1. I repeatedly asked the PM to send me the signed renewal and she kept putting me off with excuses, but did assure me that they were renewing. The PM turned over her portfolio in mid-February to another company. At that point I started asking both the old PM PM 1 and new PM PM 2 for the renewal lease. I got nothing. Finally, on 2/27/17, the day before the lease expiration, the new PM told me that she talked to the tenants and they never said they were going to renew and in fact were moving out. I immediately got a new PM company PM 3 to take over. I asked PM 2 to give me the key to the condo and she said she never got it from PM 1 then PM 1 said she didn’t have it either. PM 3 did an inspection of the unit this week and told me there was evidence of a dog living there not allowed per the lease without written permission, which we never gave. PM 3 said the tenant states they paid a $300 deposit to PM 1. I asked PM 1 about this, PM 1 said tenants paid a $300 non-refundable fee. I asked, well, where is it? and she said it was ‘in the mail’ to me. The tenants have given official notice to move out 4/15. Do we have any legal recourse against PM 1 and/or PM 2 for leading us to believe we had 12 more months of rent coming?

Asked on March 19, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You only have recourse if you can show that their misrepresentation (lie) actually caused you to lose rent--for example, if you can show that you had an interested renter whom you turned down because you thought the place was already rented. In that case, you can potentially collect compensation, since the misrepresentation provably caused you a loss. But unless you can prove that you gave up or lost something, you can't get compensation, since the legal system only compensates you for actual losses.

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