Colorado Landlord-Tenant Laws

Written by on December 19, 2012

Flag of ColoradoThis article summarizes some key Colorado Landlord-Tenant laws applicable to residential rental units.

We’ve used the Official State Statutes and other online sources cited below to research this information and it should be a good starting point in learning about the law.

With that said, our summary is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice. Laws and statutes are always subject to change, and may even vary from county to county or city to city.

You are responsible for performing your own research and complying with all laws applicable to your unique situation.

If you have legal questions or concerns, we recommend consulting with the appropriate government agencies and/or a qualified lawyer in your area. Your local or state bar association may have a referral service that can help you find a lawyer with experience in landlord-tenant law.

Official Rules and Regulations

Details

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No Statute
  • Security Deposit Interest: No Statute
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No Statute
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No Statute
  • Non-Refundable Security Deposit Allowed: No, landlord must return the “full” deposit (C.R.S. 38-12-103(1))
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: One Month, unless previously agreed to other deadline but never more than 60 days. (C.R.S. 38-12-103) If hazardous conditions force tenant to vacate, Landlord must return the deposit within 72 hours (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays) (C.R.S. 38-12-104).
  • Require Written Description / Itemized List of Damages and Charges: No Statute
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No Statute

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • Rent Increase Notice: No Statute
  • Late Fees: No Statute
  • Prepaid Rent: No Statute
  • Returned Check Fees: No Statute
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): No
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Inhabitability: Yes, with restrictions (C.R.S. 38-12-507)
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No Statute
  • Landlord Allow to Recover Court and Attorney’s Fees: Yes, if the lease allows it. (C.R.S. 38-12-507-2)
  • Restrictions on Handling Abandoned Property: Yes (C.R.S. 38-20-116)

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate a Lease with a Fixed End Date: No notice is needed as the lease simply expires. (C.R.S. 13-40-107-4)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Yearly Lease: 91 days (C.R.S. 13-40-107-1a)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – 6 Months or Longer, but Less than 1 Year: 28 days (C.R.S. 13-40-107-1b)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – 1 Month or Longer, but Less than 6 Months: 7 days (C.R.S. 13-40-107-1c)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – 1 Week or Longer, but Less than 1 Month: 3 days (C.R.S. 13-40-107-1d)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Less than 1 Week: 1 day: (C.R.S. 13-40-107-1e)
  • Notice of date/time of Move-Out Inspection: No Statute
  • Eviction Notice for Nonpayment after Notice of Nonpayment is Served: 3 days (C.R.S. 13-40-104-1d)
  • Eviction Notice for Lease Violation: 3 days to remedy or quit (C.R.S. 13-40-104). Repeat violations are grounds for immediate lease termination. (C.R.S. 13-40-104-e.5)
  • Required Notice before Entry: No Statute
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): No Statute
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No Statute, but reasonable entry during an emergency is always allowed.
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No Statute
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No, and tenant can sue for damages (C.R.S. 38-12-510)
  • Self-Help Evictions Allowed: No, unless promulgated by the state board of health for the cleanup of an illegal drug laboratory or is with the mutual consent of Landlord and Tenant. (C.R.S. 38-12-510)
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No, and tenant can sue for damages (C.R.S. 38-12-510)

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA): No
  • Landlord is not required to look for or rent to a new tenant while previous tenant still has an active lease.
  • Tenant may terminate a lease early in special circumstances involving sexual assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence but Tenant may be responsible for 1 extra month’s rent. (C.R.S. 38-12-402-2)
  • Landlord cannot terminate the lease of a victim of domestic violence. (C.R.S. 13-40-107.5-c)
  • Landlord may require proof of domestic violence status. (C.R.S. 38-12-402-2)
  • A landlord shall not include in a residential rental agreement or lease agreement for housing a provision authorizing the landlord to terminate the agreement or to impose a penalty on a residential tenant for calls made by the residential tenant for peace officer assistance or other emergency assistance in response to a domestic violence or domestic abuse situation. (C.R.S. 38-12-402-1)
  • Landlord must not terminate or refuse to renew a lease to a tenant who has filed an official complaint to a Government Authority. (C.R.S. 38-12-509)

Court Related:

Business Licenses:

  • Business License required: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
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371 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Jayne Sanders

    Hi Lucas,
    I signed a 6-month lease at a complex in Lakewood CO. Of course did not hear about or see the 6-day notice requirement in the lease, grrrr. 60 days is a third of my lease! I figured, as the law states, that no notice is required when there is a hard date on the lease expiration. I moved here from IL and that was the case. When the lease is up, it’s up, unless I wanted to extend it. I gave almost 4 weeks notice but the management is holding me to the full 60 days, so basically I’m losing $1000 over this because I will be paying double rent (moving into a house). I am so shocked by this! I thought they would be happy to have the notice I gave.

    Do I have any recourse at all? They told me if I vacated and didn’t pay it would immediately go to collections. Is there anything I can do? Thank you for your help.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Jayne,

      I’m not a lawyer, but 60 days notice is common among leases. The state statutes are there to provide a minimum notice period to protect both parties. In Colorado, statute C.R.S. 13-40-107-4 does clearly state that no notice is needed. So, perhaps you do have a strong argument or case. However, I don’t believe that statute would prevent you from signing an agreement at your own free will, that requires more notice.

      It might be worth it to you to talk to a LOCALLY LICENSED lawyer. For $50, you might be able to get their legal opinion and decide if small claims is right for you. I’m not a lawyer, and this shouldn’t be considered legal advice.

      Best of luck Jayne.

  • Barb Forrest

    I need to issue this warning here.

    I am a landlord and I have been to court twice with tenants. The Statutes quoted, i.e. 13-40-107-4 under Forcible entry and Detainer, are applicable ONLY when a Written Demand is made.

    In my case, I retook possession of a unit after the tenant was substantially moved out of the unit, had not paid rent but had taken no action to clean it . She still had 10 days under her 30-day notice. I thought the statute was clear that under that specific condition I could retake possession of my unit. However, the Judge did not consider any of these statutes in my case and stated it was because a written demand was never made – she had already moved. Therefore, I do not believe you can depend on these “notice” dates unless you have had a 3-day eviction notice posted on your door. Just an FYI. I’m not a lawyer but I am an experienced Landlord.

    My lease automatically goes to a month to month lease when a tenant holds over. I have no problem with this because the provisions of the Lease remain in effect. My Lease does not require notice when the Lease is ending. My Lease does require a 30-day notice after going month-to-month. Such notice must be prior to the first day of the next term – the term being One month from the 1st to the last day of that month. (meaning – you can’t give me notice on the 15th and move on the 15th of the next month but you could give me notice on the 15th to move in 45 days or give me notice on the 31st and move in 30 days). I usually just ask them if they are planning to move.

  • Robert

    Hello…so my girlfriend and I signed a lease that started June 1, 2014. We agreed upon $1800 per month with a one time $250 pet deposit, an $1800 security deposit and last months rent. Pretty steep in my opinion but it is, what it is. Anyway, we are splitting last months rent over the first 3 months and paying her $2400 for these first 3 months. On June 8th (or right around that time) my girlfriend was showering and the shower door came off the tracks and shattered…leaving her cut on both her hands and feet on the right side. While stitches were not required, we cleaned out the glass and bandaged her up. This has left permanent scars not to mention. After reviewing the accident we resolved that one of the wheels that sits in the shower track had been removed. Now I know this is a random thing to check but should this be something considered when a landlord does a walk through? Also, she still has not fixed the shower after over 7 weeks and constant excuses. We do have another full bathroom and half bath in the kitchen but feel like we are getting screwed here. When we asked for a break on the rent at $400 ($200 for each month) she refused. I live in Colorado and cant seem to get any answers regarding what we’re entitled to here.

    Thanks a million!
    Robert
    Denver, CO

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Robert,

      In my opinion, you’re entitled to a replacement shower door. Without that door, the shower is not usable. Unfortunately, Colorado doesn’t have a “repair and deduct” statute – which means that though you are not prohibited from fixing it and taking the money out of the rent. If you did, the landlord would probably claim you failed to pay the full rent, and then terminate your lease – which is bad for you.

      Unfortunately, this type of repair doesn’t make your home inhabitable, so you can’t terminate the lease based on that. I suggest that you continue to pay the full rent amount as scheduled in your lease. Failing to do so will only hurt you more.

      Because you can prove that the door broke under normal wear and tear, and that was defective in other ways too, I suggest just replacing it yourself, and then forcing her to pay for it. Keep in mind, I’m not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. It’s simply what I would do in your situation:

      1. I’d tell the landlord (in a letter or an email) that I’m tired of not being able to use the shower, and the she has 7 days to fix it, or I’m replacing it myself, and taking her to small claims to get reimbursement.
      2. If she fails to respond or do anything, I would get it fixed after 7 days.
      3. I’d contact a lawyer and pay them $50 to write a demand letter, demanding reimbursement + legal fees.
      4. If still no response, I’d file a case in small claims and drag her to court. Small claims is inexpensive and easy to get through.

      I hope that helps. Good luck Robert.

  • Robbie

    My fiance rented an apartment in Aurora, Co. The 6 month lease is due to expire. My fiance went in to the office to give his 30 day notice, and then he was told it wasm60 days. i have looked at the statutes and my understanding is that 30 days are required. Can a landlord change the rules of a law?

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