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Colorado Returning Security Deposit for Gas Hazard

The Colorado Revised Statutes Title 38, Article 12, Section 104 requires a landlord to take the following action when a hazardous condition arises with the gas utility service in a rental property:

Written Notification of the Hazard

Anytime service personnel from any organization providing gas service to a residential building become aware of any hazardous condition of a gas appliance, piping, or other gas equipment, such personnel shall inform the customer of record at the affected address in writing of the hazardous condition and take any further action provided for by the policies of such personnel’s employer. Such written notification shall state the potential nature of the hazard as a fire hazard or a hazard to life, health, property, or public welfare and shall explain the possible cause of the hazard.

Tenant Must Notify Landlord

If the resident of the residential building is a tenant, such tenant shall immediately inform the landlord of the property or the landlord’s agent in writing of the existence of the hazard.

Hazard Must be Fixed in 72 Hours

The landlord shall then have seventy-two hours excluding a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday after the actual receipt of the written notice of the hazardous condition to have the hazardous condition repaired by a professional.  Proof of such repairs shall be forwarded to the landlord or the landlord’s agent. Such proof may also be used as an affirmative defense in any action to recover the security deposit, as provided for in this section.

Note: “Professional” for the purposes of this section means a person authorized by the state of Colorado or by a county or municipal government through license or certificate where such government authorization is required. Where no person with such government authorization is available, and where there are no local requirements for government authorization, a person who is otherwise qualified and who possesses insurance with a minimum of one hundred thousand dollars public liability and property damage coverage shall be deemed a professional for purposes of this section.

Tenant May Terminate Lease if Hazard Remains

If the landlord does not have the repairs made within seventy-two hours excluding a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, and the condition of the building remains hazardous, the tenant may opt to vacate the premises. After the tenant vacates the premises, the lease or other rental agreement between the landlord and tenant becomes null and void, all rights and future obligations between the landlord and tenant pursuant to the lease or other rental agreement terminate, and the tenant may demand the immediate return of all or any portion of the security deposit held by the landlord to which the tenant is entitled.

72 Hours to Return Security Deposit

The landlord shall have seventy-two hours following the tenant’s vacation of the premises to deliver to the tenant all of, or the appropriate portion of, the security deposit plus any rent rebate owed to the tenant for rent paid by the tenant for the period of time after the tenant has vacated. If the seventy-second hour falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the security deposit must be delivered by noon on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

Note: The tenant shall provide the landlord with a correct forwarding address.

Penalty for Failing to Return Security Deposit

If the tenant does not receive the entire security deposit or a portion of the security deposit together with a written statement listing the exact reasons for the retention of any portion of the security deposit within the time period provided for in this section, the retention of the security deposit shall be deemed willful and wrongful and shall entitle the tenant to twice the amount of the security deposit and to reasonable attorney fees.

C.R.S. 38-12-104

Return to Colorado Landlord-Tenant Laws.