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Renters Rights in Colorado: Everything You Need to Know as a Tenant

Are you a tenant living in Colorado state who’s going through the trials and tribulations of the tenant-landlord law? You’re in the right place!

Here you can find answers to the most common questions any renter might have — from rental application to rental payments and tips on how to terminate your rental agreement the right way.

Or, you can jump straight to the section that interests you the most by using our table of contents.

Rental Application

Application fee: not indicated
Application fee refund: non-refundable 
Rental agreement required: oral or written

The application process in Colorado landlord-tenant law is similar to those in the other states — your landlord might run a background check, criminal check, or take a look at your credit history. If your application is denied, the landlord has to send you a written notice which contains the reason for their decision. Also, your application fee can be used only to run the screening and check.

Like in many other states in the US, your agreement is considered valid by law, no matter if you concluded it solely orally with your landlord or have everything in writing. However, you should be aware that in the case of oral rental agreements, the lease is automatically considered to be a month-to-month one.

But, regardless of the type of the lease (term or month-to-month), you should try your best to avoid oral rental agreements. A written lease will make it easier for both you and your landlord to make sure you’re on the same page and settle any questions you might have. If you extend your lease to the next period or change something in your agreement, make certain to receive a revised version from the landlord or property manager!

Security Deposit

Pet deposit maximum: not indicated
Security deposit maximum: not indicated
Security deposit interest: no
Return deposit deadline: one month; cannot exceed 60 days
List of charges with the basis for the claim: required
Legal reasons to keep security deposit: to cover unpaid rent and damage beyond normal wear and tear 

The maximum security deposit amount is not indicated by law; however, the landlords typically require the amount that equals one month’s rent. If you will live at your new place with a pet, your landlord has a right to ask for an extra deposit as well as an additional fee or monthly pet rent. 

In comparison to tenants in some other states, Colorado renters are not as lucky when it comes to receiving the interest from their security deposits. Simply speaking, there are no laws or regulations concerning how and where the landlord should store the deposit during the renter’s tenancy. Also, there are no specific rules concerning the security deposit interest. 

If your landlord believes they have a right to withhold the security deposit or some part of it, they should present to you in writing an itemized statement of deductions. Otherwise, they have to return the deposit within one month or within the timeframe stated in the rental agreement (which cannot exceed 60 days).

colorado renters rights

Security and Comfort

Smoke alarms: required
Carbon monoxide detectors: required if the building contains fuel-burning appliances or an attached garage
Rekey requirements: not indicated

Colorado tenant-landlord laws are not much different from those in the other states in regard to smoke alarms and CO detectors. Smoke alarms are required in every bedroom or near every sleeping area, and on each floor of the building. You can expect to have carbon monoxide detectors as a must only if you use fuel appliances, heaters, or fireplaces; also, CO detectors are required by the renters’ law in Colorado if you live in a place with a garage attached to a building.

Rental Payments

Maximum rent: not indicated
Rent increase: might happen every time the lease is up for renewal
Right to withhold rent for failure to provide essential services (such as water, heat, etc.): allowed
Late payment limit: up to 4 days

The tenant has a right to withhold the rent if they believe their rental is inhabitable or in a state, which endangers their health or life. Be aware that you must inform your landlord about all the necessary repairs that have to be made in a timely manner. Additionally, you are not allowed to stop paying rent unless you informed the landlord by a letter, gave them enough time to fix the problem, and gave notice in no less than ten days but not more than thirty days that your rental is uninhibited and the landlord failed to resolve the issue within five days from receiving your letter.

You might want to use this option as a last resort since it is better to consult with a lawyer before taking this sort of action.

Lease Terminations

Notice to terminate lease: 10 days before the end of the rental month for month-to-month agreements, 30 days before the end of the lease for the definite term lease (unless the rental agreement states otherwise)
Eviction notice for not paying rent: 72 hours
Eviction notice for lease violation: 72 hours

One of your most important obligations as a renter is to pay your rent on time. Landlord-tenant law in Colorado does not have a grace period and does not indicate if the landlord can impose fees for receiving payments late. Even though it is not legal for a landlord to evict their tenant without a court order, they can send a letter demanding to vacate the property anytime after the renter didn’t pay rent. That would give you 72 hours to move out if you failed to pay rent on time or violated your lease in any other way.

Hopefully, you’ll never encounter this situation! Instead, let’s take a look at lease terminations and notice periods for various types of lease agreements. In case you have a definite term lease and want to move out at the end of this period, it’s better to check your rental agreement one more time — there should be provided some info about when you should give the notice to the landlord. Usually, it is 30 days before the end of the lease. Otherwise, such notice is not required. The same goes for a month-to-month lease — if not specified otherwise, you can inform your landlord 10 days before the end of the rental month.

Disclaimer: Although we have relied on Official State Statutes and other credible sources to find and analyze information for this post, you’re advised to use it as a starting point only and do not consider this article a substitute for legal advice. Some situations are unique, and it is always better to consult with a qualified lawyer or appropriate government agencies.

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