Colorado Landlord-Tenant Laws


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


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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  1. Hi there,

    I am in an odd situation with an apartment complex that I recently moved into on the 101th of January. First when signing the lease I was told that one parking pass per adult will be given to the tenant listed on the lease and that after 8 pm no one can park on the property without a pass. Well when I moved in I was given a temporary one day parking pass. But no official parking pass. I also did not get a copy of the lease that I signed, just the apartment check list for damages and such. A couple of weeks ago I parked my work van and it was towed over night. I contacted the leasing office and they told me that they would not reimburse me for the money spent to get the car out, even though they never gave me a parking pass. They showed me where I signed the lease to the terms of the parking agreement. But I told them that I agreed to the terms, yet it states that each tenant will get a parking pass. I told the leasing agent that I signed agreeing because I understood. But I’m still not fully aware of all the terms because I don’t have a copy never gotten a copy at all. I asked that the money spent getting the car out of the impound be taken off the rent or reimbursed and they refused to do that. I have been in the office 6 times in a matter of a week and a half still no copy of the lease nor reimbursement of funds and absolutely no parking pass which I have been denied each time I have been in the office to rectify the situation. I was denied the copy of the lease and parking pass initially weeks before the van was towed but because I didn’t have a copy of my id at the time, however there is a copy in my file. Now I just purchased a car 2 days ago which I have a temporary tag, and my car was just towed because there is no parking permit. I was told no one car park after 9pm but the towing company stated that it’s after 8pm and my car was towed at 8:30. So at this point I have been looking for laws in regards to first not getting a copy of the lease because I’m not aware of any terms in it. Is there a law that states a time limit that a copy of the lease must be provided because its null and void or being denied a copy? Is there something that can be done for the reimbursement of the towing fees? I ended up being short on my rent because I was garnished for the towing fees. Which they refuse to work out too. I don’t know what to do or where to find information on this.

    • Hi April,
      You’ve got a lot going on in this story. I should first say, I’m not a lawyer, but rather an experienced landlord. If you want to take legal action, you should talk to a lawyer in Colorado. I’ll try to break down my thoughts here:

      1. If the towing company is a 3rd party company hired by the management company, then I think there should be signed posted in the parking lot (with the rules listed). Regardless of what you were told verbally, or what’s in your lease, you need to follow the rules on the signs. If the sign says “permit parking only starts at 9pm” and they towed you at 8:30, then that is considered an illegal tow, and the tow truck company should not get paid (or maybe even sued). You’d only be able to get reimbursed if the tow was illegal. No one forced you to park your car there without a permit. (just my 2 cents)

      2. Most leases say that any money you give, first goes to pay fees, then any remaining money goes to paying for rent. By not immediately paying your towing fees, you failed to pay your rent in full and will have suggest late fees.

      3. I couldn’t find anything in CO laws that say the leasing company has to give you a copy of the lease – but this is just common sense. At the very least, you should be able to go to the office and see it. It sounds to me that they aren’t intentionally hurting you, but rather, they are just incompetent.

      My suggestion to you: Grab a valid ID, pack a lunch, and go plant yourself in their office until you have parking pass and a copy of the lease. Make an appointment with the manager if necessary, but make sure they understand that you’re not going anywhere until they give you the attention you deserve. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

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