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
  • Failure to Comply:
    • If the landlord fails to provide the tenant written notice of withholdings and other required information within the time limit, the landlord forfeits of all his/her rights to withhold any portion of the security deposit. (C.R.S. 38-12-103(2))
    • The willful and wrongful retention of a security deposit in violation of this section shall render a landlord liable for triple the amount of that portion of the security deposit wrongfully withheld from the tenant, together with reasonable attorney fees and court costs. (C.R.S. 38-12-103(2) and (3a))

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 Issues of Habitability: 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)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: No, Under the “benefit of the bargain” rule, an innocent landlord is entitled to recover only the amount of damages required to place it in the same position it would have occupied had the tenant performed according to the terms of the lease. Schneiker v. Gordon, 732 P.2d 603 (Colo. 1987).

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.
  • Domestic Violence:
    • 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)
  • Retaliation:  A landlord shall not discriminatorily increase rent or decrease services or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession in response to the tenant having made a good faith complaint to the landlord or to a governmental agency alleging a breach of the warranty of habitability. (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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625 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • jessica

    Is my landlord responsible to fix my windows? There are about 15 windows and when it’s cold you can feel the cold air come through and all windows have a sheet of ice on the inside of the windows including windows next to showers. I have to put my heat sometimes up to 80 just to be 65 on my upper floor and basement is still freezing. I talked to my landlord and he said they are fine, was rude and refused to talk further about the issue. I have lived here for 2 1/2 years and expecting a baby soon so I am really worried. I have brought up this issue at least ten times.

  • Jennifer

    I am renting an apartment and the heater isn’t working and i have notified the leasing office it has been 2 days now and the heater still isn’t fixed, and the temperature has been below freezing for the last 2 days, how long do they have to fix the heater

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Jennifer,

      In cold weather, that’s typically the type of issue that needs to get fixed within 24 hours if not ASAP.

      If they refuse to respond, you should notify your local housing authority or code enforcement office.

      • Stacy

        Hi. I’m a landlord here in Colorado. When you reported the heat is not working, did they respond? Has anyone come by to check the problem? Is this an older apartment is it on a boiler unit? Usually, they have 24hrs to respond. Sometimes it’s impossible to fix in that time frame. You could ask for space heaters. Make sure you have notified in writing with dates and times.
        Hope this helps, we have space heaters for our tenants just incase.
        Please know I’m not an attorney and this is not any type of legal advice.

  • ian

    please advise!!!

    I am dealing with an odd situation.
    I am trying to get my security deposit back from my old landlord who is now 4 months past the allotted 60 day return of my security deposit (as stated in lease). after 3 months of simply asking for the status of it i finally sent my in 7 day letter with intent to take legal action. The next day got a response with a summary of damages and a total of my deposit they want to withhold. many of these damages fall under the category of normal wear and tear, and some are simply damages that existed when i moved in, and some are due to the fact the property manager was using a “friend” to do repairs to the unit, they were not done properly and have since then fallen apart. There was never a Move In or Move Out Inspection Checklist completed and the property manager at the time was UNLICENSED and simply acting as a property manager on behalf of the owners ( soliciting negotiation of lease terms; the acceptance, management of rent and disbursement of rental income funds…) on top of all this i was harassed for many months by the owners of the unit saying i had not paid for 3 months rent which had gotten lost in the acting “property managers” personal account that he had been using to keep our rent deposits in rather than a separate trust/escrow account.
    what i am really trying to figure out is how strong of a case i have against them and if legal action is the right course for me.

    your advise would be greatly appreciated.
    thanks!

    -Ian F.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Ian,

      I would be frustrated too! I think you should read C.R.S. 38-12-103
      http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/colorado/?app=00075&view=full&interface=1&docinfo=off&searchtype=get&search=C.R.S.+38-12-103

      What is basically says is:

      If the landlord fails to provide the tenant written notice of withholdings and other required information within the time limit, the landlord forfeits of all his/her rights to withhold any portion of the security deposit. (C.R.S. 38-12-103(2)). The willful and wrongful retention of a security deposit in violation of this section shall render a landlord liable for triple the amount of that portion of the security deposit wrongfully withheld from the tenant, together with reasonable attorney fees and court costs. (C.R.S. 38-12-103(2) and (3a))

      So, because the landlord waited so long, he/she can’t withhold anything, and if you pursue the landlord in court, you could hold them to TRIPLE the damages plus legal fees.

      Though the statute is fairly clear, please keep in mind, I’m not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. If you decide to pursue legal action (which I would if I were in your shoes), you should definitely talk to a lawyer first.

  • Megan

    Hi,

    I rent a place with a roommate in Denver and that lease is up at the end of March. I may be purchasing a place of my own and want to find someone to take over the lease in a month or two. I don’t think I’ll have a problem getting someone to sublet for the rest of my part of the lease, as it’s in a nice neighborhood. I asked the property manager if I have to pay a fine to get out of my part of the lease early, but he hasn’t responded. If I can find someone to take over my part of the lease, is he allowed to deny that and make he stay to pay my part? In other words, am I legally allowed to find someone to sublet or am I forced to stay until the end of the lease? Does it make a difference when I am on the lease with a roommate? Thanks!

    Megan

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Megan,

      Thanks for your question.

      At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter where you lay your head. The only thing that matters is are you responsible for the rent in the lease. Whenever a tenant wants to move out early, there are always a few options:

      1. Let the tenant terminate the lease early, in which the tenant is no longer responsible for any more rent after a certain date. To do this, the tenant usually has to pay an early termination fee of 1-2 months worth of rent, and give 30-60 days notice.

      2. The tenant is allowed to sublet the room. The tenant becomes a pseudo-landlord, and collects rent from the subletter, but is still responsible for making the normal rent payments. The tenant is still responsible for any damage caused by the subletter. If done correctly, the tenant can charge whatever he/she wants to, and might even be able to make a profit. Sometimes there is a one-time or monthly subletting fee to do this.

      3. The landlord denies both options and the tenant must still continue to pay rent and is not allowed to sublet. The tenant doesn’t have to live there, but must still fulfill the contract to pay rent.

      Early termination fees and subletting rights are usually spelled out in the lease, so make sure you read yours line by line. Subletting might already be prohibited in the lease. If the lease is mute on the matter, that doesn’t mean you are automatically allowed to find a subletter. If you allow anyone else to live there who is not on the lease, the landlord could potentially terminate the lease and hold you responsible for rent.

      If you have roommate that is on the lease with you, all parties would have to agree to and sign an addendum that adds the subletter, or terminates the lease.

      I hope that helps. Please keep in mind, this is generally how it works in the leasing world. There are always exceptions, and this is not legal advice. I’m not a lawyer either.

      Good luck!

  • james

    I am a landlord who had the mother of my property evicted, however the daughter and friend still live there ( on lease). They are refusing to pay rent stating that the utilities were to high., because there was a pluming problem with. A toilet constantly running. I tried to fix the problem but only to have the police called on me to be arrested. Now this happened while the mother was still on the property. Now the couple are trying to sue me in civil. Court. Due I. have any legal grounds for not going back to fix the shower?

    • Stacy

      Hi James,
      As a fellow landlord, I would definitely consult with an attorney. You have tried to fix the issues and it sounds as if they are not complying. No matter what they still have the obligation to pay the rent. Have you hung a 3 day notice? If so I would start the eviction. I am guessing you have a clause in the lease to enter and fix items, if so they are not in compliance. As you know it is hard to evict for non compliance. Seeing your attorney would be best in this situation.
      Good Luck

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi James,

      I agree with Stacy. Get them to leave (voluntarily or by force through legal eviction), based on non-payment.

      What kind of tenants ask you to fix something, and then call the police when you make an attempt to fix it? I’m assuming by the fact that you got arrested, that you didn’t give proper notice.

      Just to be on the safe side, I suggest giving them proper notice and getting the shower/toilet fixed anyway. However, once they are late on rent, you can give notice of eviction for non-payment and the refuse to accept any rent after that notice period is up.

      Anyway, it would be wise to talk with an attorney.

  • K. Diaz

    Our office building recently went under new management. Our lease states they do not provide services on the weekends, which was not a problem until this year when they turned off the heat. Is there anything we can legally do to get out of the lease based on this? We always figured services meant cleaning, garbage, things of that sort and since it was heated in the past, we never thought of it any other way

    thanks

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi K.

      The manager is responsible for ensuring that each unit can reach adequate temperatures. Sure, things will break, and need to be repaired – which takes some time. But generally speaking, there needs to be a manager on call 24/7 for apartment buildings in cases of emergency, such as “no heat”.

      I wouldn’t classify heat as a service, but rather part of the implied warranty of habitability. Without habitability, a tenant could terminate a lease, but only if the problem is not remedied by the manager. If a landlord/manager refuses to fix major issues, then you might have a case.

      However, before you start a fight with the manage, I highly suggest talking to an attorney. Habitability laws are different in each county and I’d hate for you to anger your landlord for no reason. Please know that I’m not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. I’m just an experienced landlord, trying to help.

  • Geena

    I am in Pueblo, CO. When I signed my 6 month lease in late July 2014 I was told the boilers in my building were shot and would be replaced before cold weather.

    As of Oct 7th, 2014 I had not heard anything as to the status of the repairs so I emailed the manager who told me the heat “should be” on by the end of October. I tried the heat several times after Oct 31, and it did not work. On the morning of Nov 6th, 2014 I sent an email to the manager and her boss insisting the heat be repaired. I received a call from the boss about an hour later. She was rude (initially trying to blame me that the boilers weren’t working) but had the maintenance supervisor in my apartment later that morning. He tried to bleed the coils in the two heaters in my unit but they were far too clogged. He brought 2 small space heaters that are not designed to heat a 600sf unit. He lamented they would have to turn the system to the whole building off to pull the coils to repair or replace them because each unit does not have it’s own shut off. He said he would return Friday, Nov 7th at 1pm.

    By 4:40pm on Friday, Nov 7th, he had not arrived so I sent a text to the manager who texted back he would be there within the hour. He arrived at 5:30p and left at 6p. He said the contractor who is replacing the boilers was just finishing up with another building and that he would “try” to get one of them to my apartment to fix the heaters on Monday, Nov 10th, and if he can’t do that he would bring a bigger space heater.

    On Monday, Nov 10th a man from the contractor hired to replace the boilers came. He tried to repair my heaters but could not. He said they would have to shut down the entire building to pull the coils in each of the affected apartments to repair or replace them. The current owners bought this property Feb 2014 and knew of these issues many months before finally hiring a contractor just a few weeks ago.

    In early October I called Pueblo legal aid and other government offices & agencies who are advertised to deal with landlord-tenant issues. At that time I only wanted to know how cold it had to get before my landlord was in violation. I got the phone number runaround, no replies to voicemails or emails, and no answer to my question (I have a list of the phone numbers). So much for trying to be proactive. Monday, Nov 10th I finally found the correct office to file a complaint (code compliance). They inspected my apartment the next day and came to the conclusion my heat was not working. He said he would send a notice to the owners and after 20 days, if they have not complied the City would have to take them to court to condemn my apartment and possibly the entire building. I am supposed to get a copy of the notice. I have not so far. Believe me when I say I did not want to resort to this type of action but felt forced to due to the owners negligence in the very serious matter if providing heat as stated in the lease. I’ve never had to do anything like this before. It’s sad and scary.

    In the meantime I am heating my apartment on space heaters that are already showing signs of wear (fan rattling and very hot plug – fire risk? – not to mention flipping breakers) and no doubt increasing my electric bill as space heaters are not cheap to run. I am paying for a one bedroom apartment but have had to move my bed into the living room and close off the bedroom so the space heaters have a chance to keep the place above 68 degrees.

    I want to know if they have a responsibility to pay the increase in my electric bill and/or reduce my rent since I am now essentially living in a studio. What other legal remedies do I have and what type of communications and time frame do I have to initiate them. It is my understanding I may have the right to withhold rent until the repairs are made or they perhaps move me to a functioning apartment.

    I am disabled with a therapy animal. I live in a garden level apartment (1/2 below grade) and as you know cold air sinks. It gets cold. I have been trying to read all the legalese about what remedies I have. It’s very hard to find answers to my questions.

    • Barb Forrest

      Hi, I’m a landlord, and I don’t blame you at all.

      I would calculate what my electric was back in February when you moved in since those would be the coldest days of your residency, find out if the rate is the same, and figure out exactly what this is costing you. Your utility company can give you all this info over the phone. Also consider reading your meter yourself today just to get an idea of the daily rate? Take a picture.

      Other than that, I think you will have to live with the situation for the next 20 days. Sorry about all this because it will not help your relationship with your landlord but it’s a serious issue, and there could be a fire hazard. I hope you have a smoke detector. I would read the warnings on the space heaters or search for them online to be sure you’re compliant with the proper use. They should provide a unit big enough for safe use. Take more pictures.

      You should be compensated for your out-of-pocket costs. You might have to go to small claims court to collect but a well-written letter stating the facts and the law might get their attention and compensation. Wait until you have a total cost calculated. It seems like you have kept great records, and they will hold up in small claims court. The burden of proof is low there.

      It’s a tough situation when the boiler goes down. I manage a 12-plex with a boiler for hot water heat. Fortunately I don’t have to drain the boiler to do repairs, just shut off valves before and after the needed repair to isolate the unit. When one register doesn’t work and I need to replace a valve, it always snowballs and others quit working. I hope your landlords aren’t in over their heads with their new property.

      Best of luck,
      Barb

      • Geena

        Thank you Barb. It’s nice to be validated, and the suggestions about taking photos and reading the meter myself are excellent.

        I moved in in July. That’s when I was told the boiler was shot and would be replaced before winter. The new owners of the property bought it in February. They had to have known there was a serious heat issue in this building at that time. As you said, that is a cold month.

        I will look for my meter.

  • Christin

    I was renting a room out in my the home I’m renting. The other night my roommate came home drunk. He woke me up and began to call me names and hit my bedroom door, scaring my dog and myself after I told him to keep it down. I have this recorded. He also said he was leaving and I told him to move out to. He told me was planing to the next day. He moved out and now he wants rent money for the rest of the month. He payed for the month but did not give me the security deposit that was agreed upon. He was in my home less then 30 days. Am I liable for giving him the rest of the months rent back?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Christin,

      Absolutely not. You don’t have to give him the money back. Even if you had a month-to-month agreement with him, either party would have to give at least 7 days notice from the end of the month. Since you’re more than 7 days from the end of the month, his month-to-month lease would technically end on Nov 30. However, I have no idea if you actually had a month-to-month lease.

      If you had a fixed-term lease, then you could hold him responsible for the rent until you find another tenant to replace him. However, “holding him responsible” and “getting him to pay” are two different things. Since he didn’t pay his deposit, you likely won’t see a dime out of him in the future.

      If I were in your shoes, I would keep his rent for November, and change the locks now that he has voluntarily moved-out.

      Keep in mind, I’m assuming you are subletting these rooms with your landlord’s permission. If you’re not, please stop. You’re risking your own tenancy.

      Further, I’m not a lawyer, so please don’t take this as legal advice. Good luck to you. I hope that’s the last you see of him!

  • Michelle

    I just moved into a duplex in Sept and here’s what I have had to deal with with my landlord (a RE agent that flips houses)….

    I have a walk list the landlord “bugged” me about doing and the list contains many items that we had previously discussed and he said he’d be fixing, or “he’ll work with me on fixing these items”
    1. was the water “running” in the upstairs tub and he went on to explain it’s been doing it for awhile.
    -So an 82 yr old “handy man” came out to look at it… unfortunately made the leaky faucet much worse and now was “running HOT water” coming from faucet.
    Tried to instruct me to turn on, then off, then on and off again to stop it from running. With no prevail it did not work.
    So I was persistent with the landlord to fix it as I was now paying for natural gas and electricity that the HOT water was using constantly running.
    After being told i was being pushy, a 2nd “handy man” came out, got the “running” water reduced to a “trickle” and said “the wall under the window is sinking to be careful leaning up on it as I may fall through it.”
    So a month goes by, no news or updates from the landlord on fixing this. I email him again inquiring about it.
    Finally on 11-7-14 its scheduled to have the existing tile removed & be re-tiled, the shower handle valve replaced (a friend who’s a construction company owner made this conclusion).
    Upon the tile being removed, they found the wall sinking due to wood rotted to the exterior wall siding.
    I smelled mold but was told it was simply “dry rot”.
    Landlord told me it would extend the construction another day— meanwhile i would not be able to bath or shower for a total of 5 days. When i shared my discontent over the not showering i was “i have tried to make this work for you and for the both of us and don’t feel you’ve done the same” “stop pushing”… (keep in mind this is now 2 months after I moved in on 9-6-14)
    I now have a wall completely exposed to the outside and weather was changing to below freezing temps the weekend he scheduled all this to be done.
    No construction was done Friday after wall torn out and cleaned up….inquiring with the landlord by text i was told “if you don’t like it, then move. i am doing my best. someone will be out tomorrow to rebuild the wall”.
    So here came Saturday morning.. i left for an appointment and returned by 830am and low and behold not a single soul there to work on the bathroom.
    I again inquired as to an expected time frame, got no answer from landlord.
    now time is rolling around to 130pm….landlord ignoring my texts, calls….so i call the local police.
    officer states its civil and cant do anything until he sees for himself the destroyed bathroom and the outside exposure and calls landlord stating it’s uninhabitable and must be remedied or i can break my lease.
    next came a NASTY voice-mail from landlord lecturing me” you harassing, pushy, he doesn’t need this and has been generous working with your problems”
    MY PROBLEMS??? GENEROUS?? REALLY??
    The bath gets finished, construction guy makes it so i could shower Saturday night, and finally on Tuesday. Meanwhile, below freezing temps for a week & half.
    Now seems a hot water pipe on heater frozen and now leaking….
    I need to find out who i can call. i have text messages, emails & voice-mails in regards to my landlord not willing to take care of issues in the habitability of his duplex.
    the neighbors next door (two girls)were told specifically that he was not fixing anything to fix it themselves.

    What is a tenant to do in a matter such as this that i have described in a condensed version???

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Michelle,

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’m glad the shower got fixed, albeit, I’m surprised the police officer didn’t give you a citation for inappropriate use of emergency services.

      It sounds like you have decision to make. Do you, or do you not want to stay there?

      If you want to break the lease, then next time there is an issue affecting habitability, you can give your landlord a “3 Day notice to remedy or quit” (C.R.S. 13-40-104). If it doesn’t get fixed, then you can terminate the lease for the violation.

      However, you need to be more flexible with smaller issues that don’t affect habitability or violate the lease. The landlord should be responsible for fixing broken or leaky pipes, but sometimes you have to grant him/her some leniency (as long as it’s being worked on). There’s really no excuse for not answering the phone or returning calls.

      If you and your landlord continue to have issues, you can always notify your local housing association or code enforcement office, and file a complaint. Other than that, if you want to leave, perhaps your landlord would allow you to break the lease, just so you can both can go your separate ways.

      Hang in there, and if things get worse, you can also take this to small claims court to cover your damages. I hope that helps. Please know that I’m not a lawyer, so please talk to an attorney if you are looking for legal advice.

  • Mel

    A quick background: we recently rented (11/1) an apartment through a property manager who was transferring the services to a new manager. Upon renting the unit we were never made aware of some extremely prominent issues which were attached to the unit.

    The main concern is our hot water. We’ve been in the unit for 21 days now and have not been able to shower due to no hot water in the shower. A plumber came to replace the boiler and now we have no hot water at all for the past 4 days. No water comes out of the faucets at all when we turn the hot all the way up. We have been in contact with the new property manager and continue to get the run around.

    In addition we also have 5 cracked windows which someone came to measure a week and a half ago and have yet to fix, and the heating vents in both the bathroom and bedroom are blocked because neither produce heat and on cold nights, we can see our breath in the bedroom (clearly we do not sleep in there).

    I would be incredibly thankful for any advice you may have regarding this situation.

    Thank you!

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Mel,

      Not having heat in all the sleeping areas, and no hot water clearly violates the implied warranty of habitability.

      By not providing a habitable unit, the landlord is not providing the basic of tenant’s rights. With the help of licensed legal counsel, you should be able break the lease if that’s what you want to do.

      It would probably be done through a “3 days notice to remedy or quit” for the violations. (C.R.S. 13-40-104) http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/colorado/?app=00075&view=full&interface=1&docinfo=off&searchtype=get&search=C.R.S.+13-40-104

      If you want to stay in the unit, but force your landlord to fix it, you should talk to your local county housing authority or code enforcement office. They might come out, inspect your unit, and then potentially fine the landlord until the fixes are made.

      Good luck. Please know that I’m not a lawyer but rather just an experienced landlord. This is just my opinion, but not legal advice.

  • Tambra

    Hello,

    My lease is over on 11/30/14. I was looking for a place and unable to find one that I could afford so I did not put in my 30 day notice. I found a place that is not willing to wait until 1/1/14 for the unit to be occupied. In this situation what can happen if I just move out with out giving any notice? or giving 7 days of a notice?

    • Barb Forrest

      Does you Lease end on 11/30/14 or does it convert to month-to-month? Read it. Seems to me you might not have to give notice.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Tambra

      Fixed-term leases don’t typically require any notice because they just naturally expire… UNLESS, your lease requires to to give notice, or if it automatically goes month-to-month.

      Like Barb, I suggest reading your lease carefully, and being honest with your landlord about the situation. If he/she finds out that you’re not moving out, you might get into some serious legal trouble that will affect your ability to rent another place in the future.

  • anthony pacheco

    My friend needs some help. He renewed an apartment for a 2nd year on 11/30/14 and signed a new 1-year lease. His landlord has now demanded from him (today) that he have a co-signer guarantee the lease since his income is less than $35K/yr otherwise he will be evicted 12/1. Landlord wants him to sign a new lease with a co-signer. There’s no late payment issue or anything. This is like seller’s remorse…it seems the lanlord just probably did some due diligence (maybe checked his credit report) and wants to cover himself. I told my friend the landlord can’t do this in Denver, CO after a lease is signed and told him not to do it. He’s in college and his parents don’t want to get involved. Is there any statue I can hive my friend to provide the landlord to support my argument? I’d hate to see him have to go through this when he shouldn’t.

    • anthony pacheco

      actually it was 10/30/14…not 11/30/14. Sorry about that!

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Anthony,

      If your friend already has a ratified contract (meaning both parties have signed and dated it) then neither party can terminate the agreement without there being some sort of violation.

      The fact that your friend has a strong payment history with his existing salary helps him in this situation.

      I’m not a lawyer but if I were in your friends situation, I would stand up to the landlord. Your friend just has to decide if he’s willing to stand his ground, which might involve getting legal help from a legal aid service or lawyer.

      The bottom line is that the landlord didn’t do his due diligence and is nervous, but he can’t change the document now that it’s already signed.

      Again, I’m not a lawyer so please don’t take this as legal advice, it’s just how contracts work.

      • anthony pacheco

        I agree – the landlord didn’t do due diligence until later. Last question about this: I reviewed an electronic copy of his lease to confirm the exact dates this all happened…the actual dates are as follows: renewal lease signed 10/5/2014 with lease term starting 11/18/2014. The last paragraph in the lease has this language:
        “this agreement shall not be considered to be in full force and effect until signed by Owner. Owner may, without liability, refuse to enter into this agreement and may refuse to allow Residents to occupy the leased premises at any time prior to signing this Agreement…”.

        The lease copy my friend has is an electronic copy he received from the leasing office after they accepted it 10/5/14 with the following shown in all the signature places: ‘Signed by [his name shown]‘, date [as 10/5/14], Key #, IP address . The lanlord’s signature is blank and doesn’t have the same info listed. If the landlord points to the paragraph above to say the lease hasn’t been signed yet by him and therefore isn’t in effect yet, is it legally safe to point out that a reasonable person would assume the lease is active as of 11/18/14 (otherwise he would have received some communication to vacate)? This HASN’T HAPPENED but I just want him to be prepared if the landlord does try to say something like this. If this is the case, then he doesn’t need to jump through hoops to find a guarantor as his original lease remains in force and he can reject this ‘new lease’.

        Thanks guys for the help here! This is a great website with lots of great links and I’m glad I stumbled onto it!

  • Taylor Balzano

    Hello!

    I was living in an apartment complex in Aurora, I signed a year lease, and had to break my lease in September (I had been there from Jan.-the end of Sept). I had to break the lease because I had experienced some frightening things. The situation that made me draw the line was when I had to call the cops because of the drug addicts that lived in that area. I was terrified to even walk to my car and I told the leasing office manager that. She didn’t seem to care at all and just told me that we had security. I broke my lease anyway, the stress that the area brought was too much for me to handle for the rest of the year. I tried looking into the state laws for instances where I wouldn’t have to pay the lease termination fee, and it looks like I’d actually have to become a victim of domestic violence in order to not pay that 1 months rent (lease breaking fee). I’m working a lot and have s ton of bills that I have to pay and I don’t want this to ruin my credit. The leasing office is not good about getting back to me when I call and I’m trying to find a way to either not pay that fee (because I honestly feel that had I stayed in that complex, something wouldve happened to me), or at lease dispute it and put it on hold.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Taylor,

      I’m unaware of any other loophole that would allow you to forego paying the early termination fee.
      Typically victims of DV and renters protected under the SCRA (http://www.landlordology.com/renters-rights-scra-lease-termination/) are the only exceptions.

      If you don’t want a judgement against your of a debt on your credit, you should probably pay the fee. Alternatively, you could hire a lawyer to help you fight it, and the leasing office might drop the case if you do. However, I’m not sure what route would be cheaper.

      Please know that I’m not a lawyer, so just because I’m unaware of any loophole doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

  • Lynda V.

    My landlord has posted a lease addendum and is asking me to sign it. Am I required, by Colorado law, to sign this addendum? If I do not sign it can the landlord do anything (legally) to enforce the addendum?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Lynda,

      The landlord can’t force you to sign anything you don’t want to. However, if the addendum is a renewal or extension on your lease, and you don’t sign it, then your lease will expire and you won’t be allowed to live there.

      If the addendum is not in your favor, then ask him/her to sweeten the deal. If there is no harm in signing it, then save your battles for another day.

      • Lynda V.

        Thank you for the reply.

        My lease doesn’t expire for several months. My issue with it is it changes the original lease I signed and I don’t care for the new terms. Most of it I don’t care about but there is one provision I do not like and it gives them power I do not like. Basically it allows them to fine me twice then evict me if I don’t do what they say. The same phrase is in the lease but it is a one time fee (basically most of my deposit) when I leave.

        • Lucas Hall

          Hi Lynda,

          Like I said, they can’t force you sign something that you don’t want to sign. Your existing lease should remain intact even if you don’t sign the addendum.

          Please know that I’m not a lawyer, so please don’t consider this legal advice.

  • Elena

    We had our final walk through on our rental and surrendered all keys on September 19, 2014, during which our landlord stated it was one of the cleanest houses she has seen. Our lease stated that we would receive our deposit and/or an itemized statement of deductions within 60 days and we provided the property manager with our forwarding address. After the 60 days passed we emailed our property manager to inquire on the status of the refund or statement. After a few days and a few phone calls to their office, the property manager replied “Sorry, it was sent. Let me know if you don’t see it.” That was two business days ago and nothing has been received. Can the landlord simply say it was lost in the mail and still send a check with deductions, or do they at this point have to pay the entire security deposit amount?

    I am wondering if they are allowed to just say it was sent on this date and must have gotten lost in the mail, and then simply send another check less than the full deposit amount. We are going to send a 7 day demand letter if payment is not received by Friday, November 28, but want to get a sense of what is technically “allowed” on the landlord’s end. We are tired of getting the run around and just want to move on. We are located in Colorado Springs, CO.

    Thank you!

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Elena

      Check out the last bullet in the 1st section on Deposits in the article above. Saying it got lost in the mail is never a good excuse unless the landlord has a receipt from the post office as evidence.

  • melissa

    We had to terminate our lease early due to the health of my boyfriend’s parents. We gave 60-day notice. The landlord listed the property for rent for 5 days, then decided the owner wants to “sell” the property. It was way overpriced and didn’t sell in the normal timeframe for our area. We complied, showed the house, kept it clean, etc. We found renters on our own. The owner considered it, then denied the term of 1 year, as he listed it originally, and told them he would only do 6 months. The new tenants couldn’t only do 6 months with school-aged children. So we left the house, it was not re-rented as it was off the market as such. We asked for a walk-through, never got one. Finally the house sold 38 days after we moved out. He is trying to collect the rent for the month it wasn’t occupied, plus 12 days in the month of November, even though it sold November 7th. He made a list of “damages” that was there before we moved in. Cracked stove, buckled wood floor, etc. Damages come to $5,600 including “rent” for when we weren’t there, even though it clearly could have been occupied with no lapse in tenants if he didn’t “sell.” My question is what is he actually entitled to. He can’t “find” our move in check list that we created outselves because the landlord never gave us one. We unfortunately don’t have a copy. Also, we have a video when we moved out showing carpets cleaned, clean house, ready to rent. Yet, he’s charging us again for carpet cleaning, cleaning lady, etc. My opinion he is getting everything he thinks he could if we didn’t fight it. I’m not going to lay down and take it. I’ve been a landlord before and he is very crooked. What do we do?

  • Emma

    Hi Lucas,

    I am curious about my lease. I signed it with my partner a year ago, it was for 15 months. We signed it separately due to our schedules, however, neither of us received a copy. When we signed, we were told we needed to provide 30 days notice and one months rent in order to break our lease. When we went to review the lease ourselves we realized neither of us had it. When I researched further, I learned that the leasing company at our complex never provides copies to those leasing. I am fairly certain this would be a major violation, though I cannot find any legal information that states a lessee is required to receive a copy of their lease upon signing. We have no idea how they may have amended the lease once they have had it.

    Our major concern is that when we went to break our lease as we purchased for our growing family, we were provided a new requirement. We now have told we need to provide two months notice and a month’s rent to break our lease….which for us, would total three months rent total. We are now feeling completely frustrated and annoyed. Additionally, we have learned from other tenants that this common practice at this complex.

    In addition to the constant issues we have with the complex this is icing on top of the cake.

    Do you have any advice? And do we have any legal standing at all?

    Thank you, in advance, for your time!

  • Josue

    Hello,

    I am in a little bit of a weird situation. So I’ve been leaving at duplex for a year my lease expired last month. the landlord said he would renew the lease when he collected the rent this month. Turns out the Landlord sold the property without any notice at all. The new landlord came by asking us to sign a two month lease saying that we must leave by February. I’m not sure how this plays out. Do I have any rights at this point? Where is my deposit? What can I do?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Josue,

      If you are not currently in a fixed-term lease, then either owner can treat it like a month-to-month. You have all the rights of a month-to-month tenant, so if you want more than 7 days notice to terminate, then you should sign a longer lease now. However, the landlord is under no obligation to give you a year-long lease. A landlord is free to offer whatever term lease he/she wants.

      However, even though ownership changes, it doesn’t mean you lose any paid rent or the deposit. Typically, the deposit is transferred to the new owner, or given back to the tenant when the house sells. The previous owner is not allowed to keep the deposit because that money is technically the tenants.

      I hope that helps. Please know that I’m not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. I’m just an experienced landlord who is trying to help :)

  • John

    I have been living in a house for two years and originally signed a one-year lease for each of the years and have enjoyed the place. The landlord is very nice and has always been easy to work with. During the time that the landlord sent the lease agreement for the third year it was sent late and by the time I received it it was already five or six weeks after the due date. However in verbally talking with him we agreed upon the new rent increase and I have been paying it to him each month even without a signed agreement. I recently gave him notice to move out and in fact gave him 53 days notice.

    My question is, is that enough time for a what I assume is a month-to-month contract but I could be wrong on that (month-to-month).

    My other concern is he has asked me to pay the entire rent amount for the month of December however I am moving out well before the end of December. So am I required to pay the entire month or am I only required to pay the prorated amount for the days that I’ll be living here?

    He told me to pay the full amount and if he finds someone to rent the place for the rest of the month that he would credit back the money that I paid for that month (Dec). I’m not sure how that would be my problem though as he is the landlord and my view is that it’s his job to find someone else once I have given him notice. What if he doesn’t find someone until March or April do I still have to stay here and pay the rent each month even though I have already given him notice?

    Thank you for your help

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