Colorado Rental Laws

Written on December 19, 2012 by , updated on November 12, 2017

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
  • 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
  • Application Fees: No Statute. Use Cozy to avoid charging application fees because the tenant pays for the credit report directly.
  • Prepaid Rent: No Statute
  • Returned Check Fees: No Statute. I recommend using Cozy to collect rent online to nearly eradicate late payments.
  • 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.
  • Landlord’s Duty to Provide a Habitable Premise (C.R.S. 38-12-505):
    • Waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls maintained in good working order, including unbroken windows and doors;
    • Plumbing or gas facilities that conformed to applicable law in effect at the time of installation and that are maintained in good working order;
    • Running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times furnished to appropriate fixtures and connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law;
    • Functioning heating facilities that conformed to applicable law at the time of installation and that are maintained in good working order;
    • Electrical lighting, with wiring and electrical equipment that conformed to applicable law at the time of installation, maintained in good working order;
    • Common areas and areas under the control of the landlord that are kept reasonably clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, and garbage and that have appropriate extermination in response to the infestation of rodents or vermin;
    • Appropriate extermination in response to the infestation of rodents or vermin throughout a residential premises;
    • An adequate number of appropriate exterior receptacles for garbage and rubbish, in good repair;
    • Floors, stairways, and railings maintained in good repair;
    • Locks on all exterior doors and locks or security devices on windows designed to be opened that are maintained in good working order; or
    • Compliance with all applicable building, housing, and health codes, which, if violated, would constitute a condition that is dangerous or hazardous to a tenant’s life, health, or safety.
    • No deficiency in the common area shall render a residential premises uninhabitable as set forth in this section, unless it materially and substantially limits the tenant’s use of his or her dwelling unit.
  • 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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1,280 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Krissy Webb

    My mom and step dad have been living on my step aunts property for 10 years now with no rental agreement in place. She let them live 2 years after they both found out they were sick with HIV. My step dad just passed away July 16 2017 of liver cancer. Now my step aunt is evicting my mom not even two weeks after his passing because her brother is no longer alive living there. Is this legal?

  • jim

    I am a landlord, and my question is that my tenant’s are basically a month to month without a signed lease. They will not take care of the property so I decided to raise the rent beginning the first of the month which I sent them a letter stating that and also said a year lease would be made stating that any damage they cause would have to be fixed or I would take care of it and bill them for the repairs. they were supposed to look over the new lease when they paid rent but said they didn’t have time, also told me that they never received a letter about the rent increase . I accept payment and told them to come by tomorrow to sign new lease. never showed up and will not return phone calls. what are my options?

  • margarita

    i have a tenant that is month to month told her about almost to month the condo go for sale and to and has been sold and move out date is aug 21st she was in agreement now she talking about she needs wiggle room and to tell the new owners that she needs to 25th when she gets her check so she can make arrangements to move meaning she needs more time everything was done per email now she wont answer emails, texts, and or phone calls what can i do now i am in denver co

  • Cheung


    Can corporates of apartments request to pay property tax ?



  • Laura Smith

    Does a landlord in Colorado require a business license? Is it within my legal rights to get a copy of this? Also, how does the Colorado system view landlords requiring cash for rent? Thank you.

  • Cynthia Gambrell

    Hello I hope that you are still responding to comments. I live in a four plex and the landlord refuses to make repairs because whatever or whenever I mention there is a problem he just says there isn’t with very nasty replies. I have been here for a year and there has been water leaking from the washer connection since I moved in the connection has a hose that can’t be removed, the leak is so bad now that I can hear the dripping while in my living room. I can only believe that it is causing or already created black mold, there is also black mold in the bathroom sink and shower tiles. I have a medical condition environmental asthma that he is aware of. I keep getting sick and unfortunately I can’t afford to move right now. What can I do?

  • Andrea

    Hi, my sister is renting a townhome in Aurora CO. The lease ends 10-31-17. Tenant answers txt and phone calls when she wants she has not paid this months rent and has not moved out of townhome. Since she has not answered calls my sister tried to go in the townhome but couldn’t because tenant changed the key locks without notifying my sister or giving a copy of keys. Can my sister change the locks since tenant does not want to give a copy of keys?3 day notice has been posted. What are her options?

  • Chuck Wright

    What a deal? Rental vacation property owners like cancelations. In my opinion.
    Usually , these type of rentals are setup far ahead of time. These rentals are expensive and are charged the full amount of the rental when the reservation is made. Cancellations are common. We are human. Things happen.
    This is not a good practice. Property owners are businesses using this practice to make extra cash and to off-set slow periods. They are justifying this practice because the notification was posted on the site. Does that make it legal?
    FYI: If a reservation is made and you need to cancel the reservation, you will be charged for half of the total rental. Even twenty days ahead of the rental date. I was told I was getting a full

  • Ann Margaret Kitley

    My tenants are not letting me into the home to have the furnace repaired. There is no heat and I am worried about frozen water pipes and flooding. Can they deny me entry for essential repairs to my home? Will the be responsible for any damage due to their denial of entry if pipes freeze and bust?

  • Adam

    My Landlord served me a 45 day notice to vacate due to selling of the home. This is stipulated in our lease. My question is whether I have to pay rent next month or if I can leave this current month and be done with the lease? Here is the wording from the lease:
    3. The Landlord is a required to provide 45 days notice to the Tenants if the property will be sold. At that time, the tenants have 45 days to vacate the property and will not be held to pay out the leasehold.

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