Can we keepa security deposit if tenants decide not take occupancy the night before they were supposed to move-in?

UPDATED: Mar 1, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can we keepa security deposit if tenants decide not take occupancy the night before they were supposed to move-in?

We had a tenant sign a lease and pay the security deposit. During the walk-through they said they no longer wanted to live in the home due to dirty light fixtures and dusty window. The house was professionally cleaned, as well as carpets. The house is in great condition. Are they still responsible for the following months rent since they signed the lease and we are out this month’s rent? 

Asked on March 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You cannot keep the tenant's security deposit for damamges of the unit that he or she was to be moving into. The security deposit is for damages. However, you can keep the rental money that was placed for the tenant's occupancy of the unit that is not going to happen.

In the interim, I suggest that you try and start posting an ad to lease out the unit since this tenant that you are writing about has broken the agreement to move it. You have an obligation to mitgate your damages.

I suggest that you consult further with a landlord tenant attorney about your situation. If the lease was a month to month lease, then your damages would only be for a 30 day period.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption