DENVER (KDVR) — Roger Deal stood outside of his hotel, reassuring his 4-year-old daughter that they will one day have a permanent place to call home.

“It’s hard, she’s supposed to start school this year,” he said.

Deal is waiting for a refund of nearly $3,000 in rent and a security deposit he paid for a new apartment. He was let out of his lease agreement last week after arriving to find terrible conditions inside the unit.

“I don’t have any more money for a hotel room. Hotels are expensive and as her father, I owe it to her to put a roof over her head, and I’m going to somehow or another, but it’s hard,” Deal said.

Deal told the Problem Solvers that on move-in day, he discovered the apartment was not ready for a new tenant.

“Underneath the vent, there were mouse droppings, but the thing that was really overwhelming was the cat urine,” he said.

Deal became concerned for his and his daughter’s well-being after making another discovery.

“The front glass had been broken out and there was a man asleep on the floor,” he said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Deal and his daughter’s expenses.

When are landlords supposed to return a deposit?

The Problem Solvers asked renters’ rights attorney Kit Davlin, of Robinson and Henry, P.C., about how long landlords can take to return a deposit.

He explained that the law gives them 30 days, but added, “The rest of the rent is covered under contract law, and they should return it immediately.”

Davlin said that when it comes to a refund of paid rent, every landlord is held accountable by the habitability law that guarantees renters a safe, clean place to live.

“There’s no cause for them to keep [the rent], and there’s no right for them to keep it,” Davlin said. “If they can’t fulfill their side of the contract, i.e. an apartment to you that is ready to rent, then they’ve breached the contract and you should get your money back.”

Deal said the on-site management at Forest Cove has tried to work with him to get the rent returned as soon as possible and added that they are not responsible for the delay, instead that it was the company’s policies to blame.

Additionally, the Problem Solvers reached out to the property.

Deal said he received a call Tuesday night indicating a check would be expedited, but he will run out of money for a hotel within hours.