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We rented rooms in a home and signed a 6 month lease with the option to go month to month after that. We had 2 rooms, and a bathroom. The owner did not do a move-in inspection with us. During our stay, we asked if it would be OK to hang pictures. The home owner said yes and that he was fine with that. We told him we would patch any nail holes from hanging the pictures and would touch up the paint when we left.
Our permanent place was ready for us to move into so we gave proper notice at the end of our lease. The owner stated he had decided to sell the property and the for sale sign went up before we vacated the property. We asked for the owner to do a move out inspection when we vacated. The owner stated that he would be out of town on the requested day and said he could do it with us the middle of the month when he returned. He asked that we clean, and leave the keys in the mail slot when we left. When we left I notified him via text that we were moved and asked that he be in touch when he returned to walk through, and discuss deposit refund. We did not receive any reply. More than a month passed, and we had not received our deposit, or an accounting of any monies withheld. Colorado statute requires one or the other within a month of move out. Our attorney sent a 7 day demand letter since he had missed the deadline. He contacted us the day he received the letter and claimed extensive damage and wanted us to settle for a lesser amount. Even before getting our response, he delivered a check for the whole amount to the attorney's office. He claimed that the walls were riddled with patches and the walls were touched up with the wrong colors. We touched up with his own paint that he said was for the rooms. However, there was one color in which he said the paint froze and was thrown away. We asked for the color brand and name, he didn't have it. We color matched that room the best we could. He's upset and claiming he had to repaint all the rooms. Keep in mind, his house was already up for sale. and was listed a week after he returned to town. We're thinking the original paint on the walls may have faded so when we did the touch up, it was visible. However, it looked fine to us and you can't see any difference in the photos we have when we moved out. He's claiming extensive damage to the floors and front porch deck from a hand truck. By his own admission in a text message, both the floors and the deck were not perfect when we moved in. We used moving pads to protect the floors when we moved out and have pictures of that. The deck is the front porch and is used by anyone who comes to the property. It also needed to be shoveled when it snowed. He often dragged his bike in and out and had visitors with luggage cross the deck. Any of these could have scratched the deck and floors. He's saying he spend considerable money redoing the paint, floors and deck. It seems to me that you'd probably do this anyway before selling your home. We did not do a move-in inspection, and he didn't make himself available for a move- out inspection. He can't prove what was there prior to us moving in and new damage. If there was damage, you would think he would have wanted to address that before his house was listed for sale a week later. We have photos of the walls, and the pictures clearly show the floors were not finished or perfect when we left. Does this sound like frivolous damage claims to you? We're afraid he may try and sue, which we will dispute.