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No copies of original lease given to me or my roommate, is it valid? Security deposit to be kept? What rights have I as tenant?

Denver, CO |

My roommate and I signed a 12 month lease for our apartment we are currently living in and never received a copy. This is my first experience of having my name be on a lease, so I was not aware of what is considered normal Landlord - Tenant procedure regarding a lease signing, so I did not think there was an issue. I've not paid rent for this month as I plan on moving out on account of my roommate who has not had a job for 3 months and allows her friends to stay and live in the apartment for indefinite amounts of time. Is this lease even valid? Can I legally move out whenever I want without fear of legal action or consequence? What can the landlord do since I've not paid for this month and I don't plan to? And for the record, I do not wish to validate the original lease. I want to move!

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Attorney answers 3


If you signed the lease then it is valid. If you ask for a copy of the lease I suspect that your landlord will happily provide it to you.
You are obligated under the terms of the lease and if you refuse to pay the rent then your landlord can evict you.
You have an obligation to your landlord the issue between you and your roommate is not his concern and does not weaken his right to collect rent under the terms of the lease.

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If the landlord has a copy of the lease with your signature on it then it is valid against you. What the landlord can do is to sue you for payment of rent from the beginning of this month until either the property is rerented or the 12 month period ends. You cannot simply walk away from a lease in the middle without the landlord's agreement and without consequence.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or 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.


A lease is a binding contract. Whether or not you have a copy does not invalidate it.