Colorado Rental Laws

Last updated on September 29, 2016 by

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
  • 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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1,230 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • MA

    I am a landlord of a residential property in Aurora. I am moving out of state and wish to sell my property. I notified my tenant 2 weeks ago that I’ll be selling the property and offered her the first right of refusal, asking for an answer in a week. She’s dragging her feet, but has said that while she won’t buy it, her kids might. She’s been on a month to month lease since 5/31/13. The last lease she signed was a 12 mo. lease with a clause saying that even if the lease is month-to-month, the tenant is required to give 30-days written notice. It does not specify the number of days that the lessor must give in this case. Can I still give her 7-days notice? And how long do I need to allow her to make up her mind about buying the property? Thx

    • Dave Umphress

      Bring someone like me in there to give you a full property valuation. This will bring knowledge and understanding to the tenant and help them see what a good deal they’re getting. I sell homes for 2.9% more than other agents in town, so knowing what the best marketing plan in town can get is significantly more valuable than knowing what someone average can get you. Let me know if I can help!

  • Genevieve Gross

    My mom had to fly to California to get treatement and I have to babysit the 2 dogs for a week. Doing the right thing, I emailed my landlord to inform her I have 2 dogs for the week and that they will be going to work with me during the day. She said I broke the pet policy and is wanting me to pay the whole pet deposit.

    Are there any laws that address visiting pets in rentals?

    She is also demanding a walkthrough once the dogs leave.

  • Jessica

    The home I am renting has an addition that was built onto it. That area of the home was inspected by a vendor our rental company sent out. The vendor stated the addition in the home was not built correctly, has no insulation, gaps in foundation and the room has dropped you can see sunlight outside through the cracks plus this is causing a rodent issues since this area is not sealed. The vendor also said the room can fall at any time not to use the space. My rental company denied the vendors quote and refuses to fix the home or pay for an exterminator. The rental company sent in another vendor to only do cosmetic touchups. Can I terminate my lease, hold the rent and demand my deposit? We have been dealing with this for 3 years now.

  • michael tsybulnik

    for how long I can rent a residential a town house ????

  • Rachel

    We rent a duplex and split the water bill. On our side there are 2 adults and 1 child and there are 2 adults on the other side, so we are charged for 3 people and they are charged for 2. Our lease states that we are not allowed company to stay over and if anyone stays longer than a week then the tenants get charged $150 each person and is evicted. Our neighbors had another couple stay with them for almost 3 weeks and when I told the landlord and asked her to consider (the water bill split) that they have had 2 extra people on their side said that we are allowed company for up to 2 weeks and that our neighbors were moving out anyway and she said that their company would not effect the water bill split. I really don’t feel that this is right.

  • Felicia Rodriguez Romero

    I have been living in my apartment for 5 years. It’s a studio that has a half partitioned wall seperating the bedroom from the living room. There is only 1 window total. When I moved in the previous management had a rule that the wood above the air conditioner had to be painted the same color of the exterior building- they charged me $40 to set it up and paint it. 5 yes later we have new management that says we can no longer have window air conditioner units and gave us until October 24th (yesterday) to remove them. No one in my building removed their air conditioner’s so today they put papers on the doors saying if not removed by tomorrow we will be fined. Is that legal? To require us to remove them?

  • Travis

    I moved into a house owned by a private individual. In the middle of my lease he turned it over to a property management company. I am half way through my lease and the property management wants to come into the house a renovate a area of the house. There are no health issues associated with the reason of them renovating. They are doing it for purely asstetics. I have young kids and it’s a inconvience to my family. I also don’t want people in and out of my house when I’m not there. They are demanding to be in the house. Isn’t there any colorado laws against this? Privacy laws?

  • Doreen

    Help we moved from out of state & the landlord as it turns out is the worst! It’s a small town & everyone has told us how she’s done this for years , every code violation you can imagine is wrong including septic and electric problems with little to no heat, hot water etc. She was so excited about us moving to because we were able to help with the repairs Never happened! The electricity started shorting out the first week & nothing has ever been fixed we’re not allowed to because she has people to do it, then she hired a property manager & still nothing! Now after several months of back &forth I sent demand to repair within 10 days or pay us back reduced rent so we can move nothing after 30days county doesn’t deal with this it’s state?

  • Deanna

    Can I hold all of a security deposit if my tenant brought in a dog and the lease said no pets? He had options to pay more rent or move, he moved. Can I keep all of the deposit for breach of contract?
    thanks,
    Deanna

  • Theresa Ford

    My Apartment Community was just sold taken over by a new management company. We were told that upon lease renewal, we will be charged monthly for a trash valet service – and have not provided an opt-out option.
    I have a trash receptacle very close to me and would rather take the trash out myself (and avoid the additional monthly charge for a service that I don’t use).
    Is this legal? Do I have any recourse?

  • Dennis

    I rented an apartment attached to an outbuilding three weeks ago. I did not receive a copy of the lease until I presented at the premises with a truck load of furniture. Although I signed the lease, (I had nowhere else to go), it appears to include a few clauses that are illegal with respect to Colorado landlord/tenant law. For instance, it allows the landlord to evict the tenant in 24 hours if he so desires, even without cause. It also allows for inspection of the premises without notice and at any time, even without a perceived emergency.

    The question is; Can a signed rental agreement trump state law if the agreement contains illegal clauses?
    Also, do illegal clauses render the entirety of the agreement null and void?

    Thanks!

    • mpaul

      Dennis, a signed rental agreement does NOT trump state law. The clause regarding the landlord can evict the tenant in 24 hours is illegal and makes THAT part of the lease null and void. 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)

  • Brandy Schwarz

    Three names on a lease. Do I need to provide any advanced notice to remove my name from the lease?

  • Maria Viguerias

    I just moved in 3 weeks ago and landlord went into my rental property without notice or emergency. Also, stated that I need to keep countertops and carpet cleaned up, I had a coffee cup on my counter and my daughter’s homework on the floor??? Please help, I feel like my privacy is not at ease with this.

  • Mayra Arce

    I gave my previous landlord more than a thirty day notice to vacate also on the letter I stated that I would like to do a walk through of the property. I vacated already and he did his own walk through, so I emailed him about doing a walk through. Am I not allowed to one?

  • Paul

    I was a guest at a friend’s house for work purposes only. I have my own rental located 2 hours from work so to save gas my friend allowed me to stay a few hours during the day letting me nap on the couch before work at 6 pm that same night I have never been given a key to enter the premises. I have never received mail to my friends address. My wife and child stay at our rental 2 hours away until I can save enough to move us. One week I will be there during the day only for 2 days and the next week for 3. The landlady has never expressed concern until now after she was informed of me being a guest and now wants back rental for every month even if I visited for just a day There is no guest clause in the agreement, can she legally charge this?

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