I am the Landlord. Mr. X signed a lease. Mr. X's girlfriend moved in with him. She is not on the lease. Mr. X got thrown in jail and has not occupied the property for several months. The girlfriend still occupied the property. I asked the girlfriend to sign a lease and pay to retain the property. She refused. I issued a "notice to quit" by XX date. She vacated the property by XX date willingly without incident. She wanted a refund if HIS rent (he had pre-paid through May). I told her no. Now she want me to give her money to "help her out". She is threatening legal action if I refuse citing that I "threw her out on the street" Have I done Anything wrong? Do I have to pay her?
Yes, definitely. She is basically an illegal tenant. Some might even refer to her as a squatter. If you look at the definitions contained in the unlawful detainer statute, she definitely falls within one of the classes of defendants that can be evicted. You should do a notice to quit. It only has to be a 3-day notice, regardless of the terms of the lease, because she is not on the lease. If she is not party to the lease, you can not give the girlfriend back the money. If they break up after he gets out of the slammer and he finds out that you paid over money to her that he "might" be entitled to, he could sue you. I would tell her to go ahead and try to sue. She has no "standing" to sue because she was never a legitimate tenant. No attorney will take her case and the judge will not find that you did anything wrong.
Unless the lease limits the ability of Mr. X to have people stay in the apartment, it's not clear that you had the authority to require the girlfriend to vacate. Further, if you have taken possession of the property, you may not have the right to retain the rest of Mr. X's May rent payment. However, this is an issue to be addressed - if at all - between you and Mr. X. The girlfriend has no right to Mr. X's rent or deposit and has no rights in the property. She would not appear to be owed anything.
If you have taken possesion of the property, you need to ensure that you return Mr. X's deposit (if any) promptly as there are strict rules about return of security deposits. Again, this would be X's deposit - not his girlfriend's.
You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or [email protected] Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.
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