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


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.
Your Rental

356 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Cole


    I was curious and I can’t seem to find any info on this, my landlord is forcing me to a different apartment or complex sure to them renovating, with that being said and them renovating how will my security deposit be handled as they will be removing all of the carpet and pretty much anything else in the apartment including large sections of dry wall to do this renovation, will I be entitled to my entire deposit or just my portion that was put down as a refundable piece?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Cole,

      That’s a great question. Obviously, I don’t know all the details to your situation, but if you were my tenant, I would expect you upkeep the new carpet, drywall, etc, in the same way that you upkept the old things.

      So, if new carpet is getting put in, I would expect you to maintain that carpet from the time that you move back into the place until the time you move out. You better not have huge coffee stains on it! :)

      Assuming that you are temporarily being moved out, only to move back in after renovations are completed, the landlord will probably just hold onto your deposit until the end of your lease. If he’s terminating your lease for the renovations (assuming he’s legally allowed to), then he should give you the deposit back minus damages (other than things he is replacing).

      Just an FYI, there is a statute that seems to prohibit non-refundable deposits on CO. Read through C.R.S. 38-12-103(1). It seems to mention the tenant is entitled to the “full” deposit minus damages.

      With that said, I’m not a lawyer, and you would need an attorney’s help to apply the law/statute to your specific situation.

  • Caley


    I was hoping you can help answer my question or direct me accordingly…

    I put a deposit on a apartment in a limited income complex that is in the process of being constructed. While awaiting approval ( I had a felony when I was a teenager ) my income changed dramatically and I cannot afford to move. However they are trying to keep my deposit. They said they “held” the apartment for me, even if I try to accept it based on my income at this point I won’t qualify for there terms and conditions. What can I do to get my deposit back?

    Thank you for any advice!


    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Caley,

      Generally speaking, the purpose of an earnest money deposit is to reserve (or hold) the unit for the tenant. If the tenant backs out (for any reason), the landlord has to try to find another tenant, except that he/she has already lost a lot of valuable time. In most cases, the deposit can be kept by the landlord to compensate him/her for the lost time.

      However, I see your point. Does it still count if the unit has not been built yet? I’m not really sure. Did you sign a contract with them, and if so, what does it say about this type of situation?

      If the contract states that you will lose your deposit, then I think your only option is to talk to a lawyer to see if he/she can find a loophole to help you.

  • Greg Brott

    I am in desperate need of some help. I am a full time college student living on loans, grants, and scholarships while getting my electrical engineering degree. I am also a “tenant/landlord” of a home that rents out each bedroom as its own lease. I have been managing this property for the owner for a year, while living here as well. During this time I have been handling rent collection, placing ads for new renters, selecting the new renters, doing everything for the owner. Basically all the owner has had to do for the past year is watch his bank account grow. We made an agreement about six months ago that when the current lease was up he would lease me the whole house for 1500 a month and I would then rent out the rooms for 500 a month, thus making my rent free, in order to compensate me for my work, for the year I have been here, and for the year that the new lease would cover. Now that the lease is up he has backed out of that deal. In affect not paying me for work done for him.

    The second issue is that the owner has required that all of the utilities be in my name. The problem with that is half of the renters that have left haven’t paid their last month or two months of utilities. A few months ago in order to fix that problem I have begun to require a $200.00 utility deposit. The owner of the property has now stated that I can’t require that deposit, and refuses to let me shut off the utilities to the renter that currently refuses to pay utilities. This in effect limits the owner’s losses, exposes me to excessive losses, with no way to guard against this issue.

    The third issue is that we currently have a roommate that has stolen from four of the roommates in this house, two current roommates and two past roommates. She is refusing to leave and the owner is not trying to evict her, she is also refusing to pay utilities, she has also violated several other house rules several times. According to the lease and the house rules she should have to leave. But the owner doesn’t seem to care what happens to the other renters in the home.
    I don’t have the money to hire a lawyer to help me with this, what can I do?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Greg,

      You’re in a tricky situation. Because you are not the owner, you have no rights to evict someone. Further, no one (not even the landlord) is allowed to shut off essential utilities to a tenant. However, keep in mind, “Cable and Internet” are not essential utilities.

      If the utilities are in your name, the landlord really has nothing to do with the situation, and it’s between you and the other tenants to get it figured out. However, often times water/sewer/trash are also in the owners name, as required by most cities, therefore he could be held responsible.

      If you are allowed to manage the house, collecting a utility deposit sounds okay to me, as long as it’s fully refundable. Keep in mind, I’m NOT a lawyer. I’m just an experienced landlord.

      If you feel that your landlord is breaking the business agreement that you made with him, you should count up your losses and take him to small claims court. Formal mediation might be an option too. However, I’m not sure if small claims is the best place for this type of case. You’d have to talk to a lawyer to figure that out.

      There are a couple of “free legal aid” services that I link to in the “Helpful Links” section above.

      Give that a try.

  • Roxanne

    Hello. Can anyone tell me where to verify that my landlord is licensed? Colorado Springs CO. Thanks..

  • Madhusudan Raol


    I am in a tricky situation. I signed my original lease for 6 months with a clause that if I need to break the lease in between, I should pay the rent until they find new tenant.

    After 6 months, when I renewed the lease for another 6 months, they had the same clause. But when I went to terminate my lease with 2.5 months remaining, they are saying that, I have to pay one months rent ($1100) as lease termination on top of the rent, until they find the new tenant.

    They showed that they added this clause recently, which I doubt was there when I signed the 2nd lease. They showed that I signed but I think they filled the blank space after I signed it.

    Anyways, can they charge me both ways? What should I Do?

    Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.


    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Raol,

      Early termination fees are common, and they do allow a tenant to get out of the remaining bit of a lease. However, they are usually in place of paying rent. Meaning, if you pay an early termination fee, it releases you from your responsibility to pay rent. What’s the point of the early termination if you have to pay all the rent anyway?

      With that said, if you seriously think that they added that clause after you signed it, then big-time illegal and you should talk to a lawyer right away. Hopefully you have a copy of the lease that you signed so you can compare versions.

      However, if it was in the version that you signed, then I think you would be stuck paying it unless you can negotiate your way out of it.

  • Julie

    I switched banks and my rent check bounced. I immediately notified my landlord and now he wants me to pay 10% late charge as well as the bounce check fee. Is this right?
    Can he evict me for not paying the late fee, even though I gave him a money order for the full amount of rent?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Julie,

      It doesn’t really matter why your rent was late, if it was late, you can incur a late fee, and a bounced check fee if it applies.

      To be honest, *I don’t think* (not a lawyer) a landlord can evict you because of unpaid late fees. *I think* eviction only applies to unpaid rent or lease violations. With that said, most landlords count any payments towards fees first, then rent second. So if your rent is $1000, and you owed $1100 ($1000 in rent and $100 in a 10% fee), then your payment of $1000 would pay off the late fee first, then any remaining balance goes toward rent. In this scenario, it’s possible that you still owe $100 in rent. If that’s true, then eviction might be possible. Make sense?

      Even if your landlord isn’t smart enough to allocate payments this way, I think you are still responsible for the fee and bounced check. If you refuse to pay the fees, your landlord will likely just take it out of your deposit, and if he’s daring enough, might file an eviction case (even if he may not win).

      Keep in mind, I’m not a lawyer. I’m just an experienced landlord. My non-legal advice to you is to apologize profusely, and send him a check for late fee and bounced check, and tell him “it will never happen again”. It just seems like you could save yourself a lot of trouble by paying the fees now.

  • Michelle Toste

    Thank you for your informative site!
    Just a quick question. Our landlord has said that upon moving out, he will have the carpets professionally cleaned (we have been at residence almost 5 years, carpet was in poor shape when we moved in), and take that out of our deposit. Can we choose the company? It probably doesn’t matter, but we haven’t had a lease here in over 2 years. Thank you for your help, and time!

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Michelle,

      There’s really no statute that addresses this situation, so it really comes down to whatever you and the landlord agree too.

      As a landlord myself, I wouldn’t care who the carpet cleaning company is, as long as they did a great job.

      So, feel free to ask your landlord if you can pick the company and schedule the cleaning, but keep in mind, if you pick the cheapest company, and they do an inadequate job, the landlord may have to hire another company to do it correctly at your expense.

  • nicole

    I have lived in my townhome for 7 years and today the land lord came over and said that the rent will be increased by $300.00 effective immidetatly, can he do that?? ive been on the internet and they say he can only increase it 10% at a time . please help

    • Lucas Hall

      HI Nicole,

      To the best of my research, Colorado doesn’t have statutes that regulate the amount of increase or the amount of notice a landlord can give. I wish Colorado was more strict – just to prevent situations like this.

      Once thing to ask yourself… what type of lease do you have?

      If it’s a fixed-term lease, the landlord can’t raise the rent until it’s up for renewal.

      If it’s a month-to-month, or weekly rental, the landlord can’t raise the rent until the next period (the next time your rent is due.

      If you think that your landlord might be breaking some other rules or your agreement, you should consider talking to a lawyer. Good luck.

  • Beth

    I am 4 months into a year long lease. I have just found out that the Property Management company I signed with in April at some point sold their business to another Management Company. I was never notified and have been trying for these past 2 months to have some issues resolved with the previous Management company with no resolve. I now understand why. Things around the house that I have requested to be addressed have not and I am now being told that as they were not put in writing I am at fault. Upon signing the lease I was told that I should call them with any concerns as they would be addressed faster. I finally resorted to a Certified Letter this past month. This is when I was told they no longer managed the property. All this aside, due to financial issues with my husbands job we can no longer afford the rent. I have found several people that would like to apply to assume my lease. I will be taking this information to the new Property Managers.
    Am I going about this correctly?
    Thank You

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Beth,

      I’m not a lawyer, so take this with a grain of salt. A an experienced landlord, everything you’ve done sounds okay to me. Personally, I would love it if my tenant brought me other applicants. However, I have no idea what the new property manager is going to say.

      Good luck!

  • Aaron

    I have one of the craziest landlords ever. He turned his basement into a rent-able unit which he has no building permit and is illegal in the type of zoning he lives in. He is using extortion to get more money out of me along with keeping my deposit. Has entered my unit unannounced many times in which he has ripped blinds down. Told me during my exit walk through that I will be getting most of my deposit back, but then keeps sending me harassment texts and emails demanding more money from me without sending me an itemized list of charges. Followed me to my new place to see where I moved. Threatening to turn my license plate numbers in which I’m not really sure what he can do with that. He takes many pills and is on “Disability” insurance which I think he’s screwing the government. I was paying rent to his brother and not him for some reason. Anything I can do to get my security deposit and put him where he needs to be?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Aaron,

      Yes, if you think that he is wrongfully withholding your deposit, then you’ll need to try and convince him to give it back. If he refuses, your best option is to file a small claims court case, and explain the situation to a judge. If you win, you’ll receive a judgement, and hopefully the landlord will write you a check.

      There may be other options, but I’m not a lawyer – who is a better person for you to talk to. I can’t give legal advice. I’m just an experienced landlord.

  • Laurie

    Can a landlord who states that pets are ok refuse to lease to someone because of the breed of the dog? We have a pitbull and their are no ordinances against them in the county or municipality in which we reside.

  • Betty Tagge

    What are the responsibilities of the owner of rental property, when the owner terminates the lease early to accommodate the razing of the building?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Betty,

      To be honest, I’m not sure. The lease is tied to the building/unit. If the building/unit ceases to exist or is not habitable, the landlord may have to provide you another place to live for the term of your lease. Read your lease carefully to see if it addresses this situation. Then, I suggest talking to a licensed attorney in your area to see what the local laws are and to learn about your legal rights.

      Let me know how it goes. Good luck!

  • Crystal

    We are going on our 6th year at the same rental property. I heard that the landlord is obligated to now replace carpeting and repaint the walls??? Is this correct?? Please advise. Thank you.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Crystal,

      I haven’t heard anything like that, nor could I ever imagine that a local county would create a law like that. But I suppose it’s possible. You should call your local (county or city) housing office and inquire there.

      If you find anything, let me know.

  • Krystal

    Hi, I am looking for some advice or help. I have just signed a new lease at a house I am renting. My landlord is harassing me. She calls multiple times a day and drives by the property at least once a day. My utilities are paid to the company, not her. She called today (07/17/14) demanding I pay my utilities immediately. They are not considered late until the 27th. Which I feel I shouldn’t have to pay until then. If you have any advice, I would be greatly appreciative. Thank you!

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Krystal,

      If you feel that your landlord is harassing you, you could document each instance with the police and eventually file a restraining order. However, that’s pretty extreme.

      Basically, you have the right to “quiet enjoyment”, so feel free to let her know that you will get legal help if she continues to deny you that right.

      As for the utilities, she is nervous because if you don’t pay them, the water and sewer companies can put a lien on the property. She has a legitimate reason to be concerned, especially if the tenant is waiting until the last minute to pay the bills. So, though they are not “late” until the 27th, you could save both her and you a lot of unnecessary drama by paying the bills immediately, even though they offer you a grace period. If you just tell her “sure thing, I’ll pay all the bills as soon as I receive them” (and then follow through), then maybe she’ll back down and start to trust you more.

      Keep in mind, I’m not a lawyer, so please don’t take this as legal advice. I’m just an experienced landlord, and I suggest talking to a lawyer before taking any serious action.

  • Stephan

    So I signed a month-to-month rental agreement in May and there is no information on whether I can have a pet or not. I am dog sitting for a friend and my landlord sends me a text saying that in order to have a dog I must pay a $700 deposit and he states that $400 is non-refundable. He also states that if the dog is not gone in 4 days then I have violated my rental agreement and it is notice that my last day of occupancy is in 10 days.

    Since there was not a pet rule on the rental agreement in the first place can he do this with out 30 days notice? And also is he allowed to ask for a non refundable deposit?

  • Tree

    My landlord tells me that prior to me moving in she had my carpets professionally cleaned. I am doubting that because all I smell is urine. I have lived there for 4 months now. I have a totally house trained small dog. The smell is coming from under my sofa where it has been placed since the day I moved in. It is low to the ground and my dog can’t fit under there. I have asked my landlord to provide proof that she had this place cleaned. My neighbor has told me that NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN there to professionally clean anything since the last two tenants who had multiple pets. Can I make her show me proof that it was done?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Tree,

      First and foremost, you have to follow your lease. If your lease says that you have to clean the carpets, then you have to do it regardless of whether you have pets, or if the landlord had them cleaned prior to your arrival.

      If your lease is mute on the matter, then you have no obligation to get the carpets cleaned unless a cleaning is required to return the carpets to the original condition that they were in at move-in.

      Since you two of you are arguing over whether or not the urine smell is caused by your dog, then *I think* (NOT a lawyer), that you are still innocent until proven guilty. I believe the landlord would have the burden to prove that you caused the smell. However, that won’t stop her from unnecessarily taking you to court. Though you have the testimony of your neighbors, they can’t be 100% sure because they can’t possibly watch the house 100% of the time.

      Keep in mind, I’m not a lawyer, so please don’t take this as legal advice. I’m just an experienced landlord, and I suggest talking to a lawyer before taking any serious action.

  • Jodii

    Hi Lucas,

    I am a tenant. The owners are selling their property and we do have in our lease that we are required to allow them to show the house. My boyfriend and I don’t dispute this issue; however we do have two problems in which are have voiced our concerns to the owners multiple times. The first problem is the timing of these showings. My boyfriend works nights (he’s a paramedic) and has to sleep from 6am to around 1pm, especially on days where he has to go to work again. Our owners have continuously attempted to schedule showings during hours where he has to sleep to before going to work. We’ve asked them not to do this and given them alternative times for showings and yet they are still not following our requests. Do we have any relief options with this? The second problem is they are telling us we have to leave the house when people come to see the home. They schedule some showings during times that my boyfriend has to be home to be getting ready for work and again, they are telling us that we can’ be there at all…that “it’s customary for no one to be home.” It’s my understanding by CRS 38-12-510 they are not permitted to remove or exclude us from the home, unless there is mutual consent and at this point there isn’t. We don’t feel it’s necessary to vacate the home and our lease does not stipulate that the tenants are required to leave when the house is being shown. Do we have any relief options with this? My final question is are there any rules/regulations of how late showings can be made? I know there aren’t any statutes in regards to this matter. Thanks for all your time!

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Jodii

      I can give you my opinion, but keep in mind, I’m not a lawyer. I’m just an experienced landlord.

      Unfortunately, I don’t believe you have much say in this.

      1. As long as it’s reasonable times (usually between 9am-9pm), a landlord can show the property. Showing the property follows the standard rules of entry. Though there are not statutes in CO that regulate the amount of notice needed to enter the property, it’s customary to give some notice, usually 24 hours. In my opinion, as long as they are wanting to show the unit during reasonable times, you can’t do anything to stop them – even if your boyfriend works nights.

      2. They can’t force you to leave during a showing. Yes, it would be better for them, but they can’t make you leave. You pay rent, and therefore you have a right to be there (unless your lease says that you have to leave – which it doesn’t). They can just suck it up.

      If you want real ammo in this matter, I suggest talking to a lawyer to get help drafting a strong letter.

      • Barb Forrest

        Hi, It seems to me you have a little bit of leverage here since you need for the showings to be after 1 pm, and they prefer that you not be at home during the showings. If I were the landlord or real estate agent, I would want your cooperation! It certainly won’t sell if your husband is home in bed. The potential buyers will not feel comfortable viewing the bedroom, and it would really be effective if they walked in while he was in the shower! I’m a landlord, and I believe in allowing for the peaceful enjoyment of the property.

  • William


    So my girlfriend and I just broke up and shes saying she won’t move out. There is no formal lease it was just said that she would pay for groceries. She’s been in the house a year and I own it. Do I still have to go through the eviction process to get her out or is she considered a house guest?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi William

      To be on the safe side, I would go through the eviction process if I were in your shoes. Self-help evictions (where you change the locks) can get a landlord into SERIOUS trouble. In my non-legal opinion, your girlfriend was never just a guest.

      Up until this point, she has been a tenant and roommate… right? You never really considered her a guest. Situations like this area handled on a case-by-case basis by the courts, simply because there are so many factors.

      Many of the factors that a judge considers are:
      1. length of stay;
      2. existence of a lease or other “special contract for the room;”
      3. receipt of mail;
      4. access to cooking facilities;
      5. degree of control over the space (such as whether the person has his or her own key);
      6. whether the person has another residence; and
      7. the extent to which the person has made the dwelling his or her home for the time being

      Consider these, and then ask yourself if an outsider would consider her a tenant or just a guest.

      Keep in mind, I’m not a lawyer but rather just an experienced landlord. To get legal advice, you should talk to an attorney.

      • Barb Forrest

        I hope you read the news about the nanny that wouldn’t leave the home after losing the job. She had to be evicted.

        My first move would to be to give her the required notice to move effective on ____ date based on the required number of days notice as based on the length of her stay or rental period. You might be able to make the case that her rent was weekly if she did the shopping weekly. Once that “notice” period ends, you should start the eviction process immediately with the required notice posted on the door. In Colorado it is a 3-day notice to cure, and then you can proceed with the eviction and have the sheriff involved if necessary. (I would base her rent on the average cost of the groceries purchased on your behalf.) Self help forms in colorado are available through the court’s website as well as all the instructions you need. Colorado statutes are also available on line and pretty easy to understand.

        • Lucas Hall

          Also, some states have different rules when the tenancy is based solely on parallel employment in the house – such as a nanny. However, I don’t know if CO has different rules about employment tenancies.

  • Jessica

    Hi, I have lived in my second floor condo for about a month and a half. I have two small children. My downstairs neighbor has filed two very mean noise complaints against us with the HOA. My propery manager stood up for me the first time but this time he filed paperwork against me saying he had to protect the my homeowner. We are not a loud family and I have worked hard to get my kids to understand that they need to be quiet. Do I have any rights here? I really am a respectful neighbor and I can’t afford to lose this place. Thanks.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Jessica,

      Your neighbor sounds like a real stand up guy! Has he ever confronted you personally? Some people would rather file paperwork than try to deal with it respectfully. My suggestion is try have a peaceful face to face discussion with him. Try to explain your situation and then ask him what would make him happy. He does have a right to quiet enjoyment, but he also lives in close proximity with neighbors and some noise is expected. If he wants complete silence, he should move to a 10 acre farm. As long as the noise isn’t happening late at night per early in the morning, then I don’t really know how he can justify his claim.

      If you are asked to vacate by the owner, you should immediately talk to a lawyer or free legal aid counsel. I think your neighbor is being cranky and ridiculous.

  • Sheryl

    My daughter signed a lease to rent through the end of the year. Since then the homeowner acquired a property manager. The property manager is requiring a new lease be signed with quite a few additional stipulations not originally required by the owner. Is the original lease still binding or does she have to sign a new lease beacause there is a property manager involved?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Sheryl

      The PM probably wants her to sign a lease because it’s more convenient for them, not your daughter.

      I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t believe your daughter has any obligation to sign the new lease. Further, the lease she currently has is still valid, regardless of what the new PM says. Her lease would even stay in place even if the owner sold the property. There’s nothing the PM can do to make her sign a new lease if she doesn’t want too. But keep in mind, right or wrong, if she irritates the owner of PM, she might not get an offer to renew next year.

  • Carly

    I’m hoping you can help us with a question. My family entered into a lease agreement with a third party property management company. We signed a 1 year lease. 6 months into the lease, the owners notified us they were terminating their contract with the property management company and were going to manage themselves. Because we had nowhere to go and no notice of such, we signed an agreement stating the contract shall remain in full force. Our lease ends 7/31/14. Prior to terminating the property management company, we had some issues with water leaking and drywall damage, which was no fault of ours. It was actually found that the toilet was never properly secured when the home was turned over to us- work done by the Owners. They have mentioned a few times hinting this was going to be blamed on us. For that reason, we asked them to keep our deposit (1 months rent) as our last month’s rent (july) and that we will not be paying July’s rent and we would be vacating the property July1st so they can have early possession as well. Now we are being told we owe the last month’s rent plus another $1,000 for late fees and if we do not pay we will be turned over to collections and the credit bureau. Can they do this? What rights do we have as Tenants? We are no longer protected, neither is our security deposit without a third party property management company. Please help!!

    Thank you for your advice and input.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Carly,

      Thanks for your comment. I’ll try to clarify things for you, and provide my non-legal opinion. Keep in mind, I’m not a lawyer but rather just an experienced landlord.

      1. Technically, a tenant is not allowed to mandate that the deposit it used for last months rent. Per the lease, it is supposed to be use to compensate the landlord for physical or monetary damages.

      2. By refusing to pay last month’s rent, you technically defaulted on the lease – because you failed to live up to your promise to pay rent for the entire term of the lease.

      3. It doesn’t really matter when you move-out, you’re still responsible for the rent during the whole lease – up until July 31.

      4. $1000 in late fees seems like too much for only being late on July’s rent. Were you late other months, and have those fees accumulated? If you were only late in July, by not paying it altogether, I think you could probably fight that late fee in court and get it reduced. Generally speaking, late fees should be “reasonable”, which is anywhere from 5%-20% of the amount.

      5. A landlord can’t actually report your debt to the credit bureaus. He has to go get a judgement first, which means he has to take you to small claims court, and win. He also *should* have to win a judgement to hire a collections agency, however there are enough slim-ball dirty collections companies out there, that they will try to collect it anyway without a judgement.

      6. My suggestion is to try and backpedal. If I were you, I would have a conversation with the landlord, and tell him that I was wrong for not paying July’s rent. Further, I shouldn’t have mandated the deposit be used for rent. I would try to negotiate the removal of the late fees, if I pay July’s rent in full. Then ask that he handle the security deposit with integrity – which means to only deduct anything that was above normal wear and tear, and caused by the tenant. If he wrongfully withholds the money, I would be able to take him to court over that, but at least he wouldn’t have a reason to hire a dirty collections company that could potentially ruin my credit and make my life miserable.

      Keep in mind, I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. You should talk a lawyer if you want legal advice.

      • Carly

        That’s great advice, thank you.
        No, we have never been late on any payment for the past 11 months including utilities. This amount of late fees would be 98% of our monthly rent, essentially doubling it which I can not wrap around my brain.

        Again, I appreciate your assistance and advice.

        • Lucas Hall

          Hi Carly,

          Also, any late fee structure should be documented in the lease, otherwise it’s not really fair. I suggest going back to your lease agreement and seeing what it says about late fees.

  • April W.

    Hello Lucas. I’m a landlord and would like to add “legal verbiage” to a rental lease that allows for rent increases should our tenant want to renew the lease. Can you help?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi April,

      You’d have to talk to a lawyer to get a “legal verbiage”, which I am not. However, feel free to write it yourself. Just use common language.

      Keep in mind, if you are dealing with fixed-term leases, there is no assumption of renewal, therefore everything can change with the lease expires.

      In my lease, I say something like “Each lease renewal is an opportunity for the landlord to modify the rent or any fees. 30 days notice of any rent or fee structure modifications, from the end of the lease, will be provided to the tenant”

      Here’s another helpful site

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