Colorado Landlord-Tenant Law
Everyone wants to live in Colorado – this is evident in the increasing population and steady employment growth. It’s not a surprise people are flocking to the Centennial State as it is sunny 300 days out of the year, has beautiful mountains perfect for hiking or skiing, world-renowned breweries, and a great culture. The average number of days on the rental market is 12, while the increase in home values is high at 7-10%. For our recommendations on exactly where to invest in this state, take a look at our Colorado rental investment report. Keep reading for more information on Colorado landlord-tenant law.
Laws that impact the rental market, landlords, and tenants are constantly being decided in states. Make sure you know what’s on your ballot – find Colorado voting information here.
Colorado Renters' Rights and Landlord Responsibilities
- Return security deposit within 60 days
- Give 10 days notice to raise the rent for month-to-month
- Tenants are allowed to withhold rent if the landlord fails to fix something
- Tenants can sue up to $7,500 for the return of security deposits
When it comes to Colorado rental laws, there are a few specifics landlords need to know:
- Security Deposits – Landlords must return the security deposit within 60 days maximum, depending on the lease terms. It’s important to remember there is no state limit on how much landlords can charge for a security deposit, but local governments might have caps in place.
- Rent Raises – Landlords must give at least ten days notice in month-to-month leases with proper written notice to the tenants. There are no rent controls in Colorado, so Landlords are allowed to raise the rent.
- Rent Withholding – Tenants may withhold rent if landlords fail to fix necessary appliances, such as the fridge or water heater, which would breach the warranty of habitability. Tenants must give landlords a written notice of ten days of their intent to withhold rent.
- Small Claims Lawsuits – Tenants can sue landlords to return security deposits up to $7,500. Landlords need to remember the Colorado deadline is one month for the return of the tenant’s deposit unless the lease specifies something different (it cannot be more than 60 days).
Colorado Rental Laws and Tenant Responsibilities
- Tenants must pay rent within three days after receiving notice
- Landlords can issue an unconditional quit notice
- Tenants must claim any abandoned property within 30 days
- You cannot discriminate and refuse to rent to victims of domestic violence
- Evictions – If a tenant has failed to pay rent or has otherwise violated the lease, the landlord must give the tenant a ten-day notice. Tenants must pay rent within three days after receiving notice, or landlords may terminate the lease and begin filing for eviction.
- Unconditional Quit – Tenants must abide by all terms of the lease, or landlords may issue an unconditional quit notice to move out immediately, which means the landlord doesn’t have to allow the tenant to fix the violation. If tenants don’t move out after three days, then landlords can file an eviction lawsuit.
- Abandoned Property – Tenants must claim any abandoned property within 30 days of the last contact, or landlords may dispose of the property as they see fit. Landlords are also legally able to sell a tenant’s abandoned property to cover what the tenant might owe them as well.
- Property Maintenance – Tenants must keep the property clean and undamaged and immediately alert the landlord to any serious maintenance issues. If landlords don’t take care of important repairs – tenants have the right to withhold rent.
- Special Protections – It’s illegal to discriminate against someone and not rent to them if they are victims of domestic violence. Make sure you notify law enforcement of potentially dangerous tenants or situations.
Colorado Landlord-Tenant Law FAQ
Below are answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to landlord-tenant laws in Colorado:
Can You Withhold Rent in Colorado?
Yes, tenants can withhold rent in Colorado if the landlord has failed to fix something vital such as a water heater. Tenants have to give written notice to their landlords ten-days in advance with their intent to hold rent.
How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Colorado?
Generally, it will take about 25 days. Please visit the state’s website to get full details for specific scenarios.
Is Colorado a Landlord-Friendly State?
Colorado is generally a landlord-friendly state where landlords can charge rental application fees and collect security deposits. Make sure to always check local area laws along with state laws to ensure you’re fully educated.
What is the Eviction Process in Colorado?
When there is a lease violation, such as failure to pay rent, landlords must give the tenant a ten-day notice. Tenants have the option to pay rent within three days, or the landlord will file for eviction. Here is a full guide on how to evict a tenant, but make sure to check our resources below for Colorado-specific laws.
How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give a Tenant to Move Out in Colorado?
A landlord needs to give a written notice to the tenant to move-out allowing 21 days for the tenant to vacate – specifying the exact date on when the tenancy will end.
Due Diligence and Landlord-Tenant Laws in Colorado
TurboTenant has utilized many municipal sources along with official state statutes in order to compile this information to the best of our ability. However, local laws are always in flux and landlords and tenants alike should be sure to do their due diligence and consult legal help when it’s needed. We hope the following list can serve as a valuable resource and allow you to succeed as a landlord or tenant in Colorado. Be sure to take proper precautions when it comes to finding the top candidates for your unit by utilizing our online rental application and tenant screening services.
Disclaimer: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state, and federal laws and consult legal counsel should questions arise.
General Colorado Landlord-Tenant Law Resources
- Colorado State Security Deposit Law
- Security Deposit Video Presentation (13 min) Presented by Colorado Legal Services
- Colorado Renters Guide
Colorado Fair Housing Resources
- Colorado Dept of Local Affairs Fair Housing
- Colorado Dept of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) Civil Rights Division
- HUD in Colorado
- Tenant Rights, Laws, and Protections: Colorado
Other Colorado State Resources
Federal Fair Housing Resources
- Federal Fair Housing Act
- United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Wikipedia)
City-Specific Housing Resources
- Landlord / Tenant Resources – University of Denver
- Fair Housing – City and County of Denver
- Denver Metro Association of REALTORS®
- Landlord/Tenant Handbook – City of Fort Collins
- Fair Housing – City of Fort Collins
- Fort Collins Board of REALTORS®
- Fair Housing – City of Westminster
- Rental Property Maintenance Inspection Program – City of Westminster
- Denver Metro Association of REALTORS®
- Landlord/Tenant Handbook – City of Boulder
- Rental Housing Licensing– City of Boulder
- Security Deposits – City of Boulder
- Boulder Area REALTOR® Association
- Off-Campus Life Handbook – University of Northern Colorado
- The Lease – City of Greeley
- Greeley Area REALTOR® Association
Colorado Landlord-Tenant Law
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