Tenants and landlords in Colorado have responsibilities and rights they have to follow in order to maintain a great leasing relationship. Landlords have to offer a habitable property that follows both local and state laws. The landlord tenant Colorado laws vary depending on the location. Hence, every landlord needs to seek legal advice before drafting a rental agreement document.
At Steadily, we are conversant with the Colorado landlord Tenant laws. So, to help you out, we have put together all the important information you need to know to ensure you understand your responsibilities and roles according to the landlord-tenant laws in Colorado.
Summary on Deposit, Rental Agreement, Rent Control
Rent deposit refers to the deposit money a tenant pays before moving in to help secure the performance of a residential rental agreement.
A rental agreement, also known as a lease agreement, refers to a formal contract a landlord drafts for leasing their residential or commercial property in Colorado State. The document indicates the rights and responsibilities of all the groups involved.
According to the Colorado landlord-tenant law, tenants planning to rent properties for 12 months or longer will need a rental agreement. However, landlords draft rental agreements regardless of the term duration to offer legal protection.
The lease agreement includes the following:
- Contact information of the two parties (tenant and landlord)
- Description and address of the rental property
- Duration of lease
- Total rent amount and due date
- Responsibilities of landlord and tenant
- Miscellaneous clauses (smoking laws, pet laws, etc.)
Rent control refers to a policy regulating the amount landlords can increase residential properties' rent and putting restrictions on evictions in place. Currently, there are no rent control regulations in Colorado. The state also prohibits counties and cities from implementing any kind of rent control. Landlords are at liberty to increase rent by any margin as long as the rates are reasonable enough to prevent tenants in Colorado from moving out.
Since there is no rent control in Colorado, here are some important things you need to know when it comes to rent increases.
When should you Increase rent?
You can increase the rent amount at any time, unless you are doing it for discriminatory or retaliatory purposes.
- You cannot increase the rent price when the lease term is already on
- By how much can you increase Rent in Colorado?
- When there is no state limit to rent, landlords can charge any amount they wish. However, they have to send a written notice to their Colorado tenant before they can increase the rent.
In What Cases Can't the Landlord Increase Rent?
There are scenarios the landlord cannot use to raise the rent. They cannot make an increase based on retaliatory or discriminatory measures.
According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, landlords cannot discriminate against a tenant based on the following:
- Family Status
When should a landlord issue a notice before increasing rent?
There is no specific law that states a notice period for a lease. However, it is advisable that landlords issue a reasonable notice period before they increase rent. In situations where there is no written lease, landlords should offer their tenants at least a 60 days period.
Security Deposit Laws
Although there is no legal requirement, Colorado landlords collect a security deposit in case of any damages exceeding normal wear and tear. The security deposit is always equal to one month's rent.
The landlord will refund the security deposit within 30 or 60 days after the tenant terminates the lease. The landlord can withhold part of the security deposit to cover damages exceeding normal wear and tear.
Related Reading: How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent?
Rental Agreement Laws
There are different types of rental agreements under the landlord-tenant Colorado law.
The three most common rental agreement laws include the following:
Rent Control Law
Colorado does not have any rent control regulations. It means a landlord is at liberty to increase the rent price to what pleases them without any issues. The landlords are also not required to issue notices to the tenants concerning rent increases.
Late Fee Law
The landlord-tenant Colorado law does not have any limitations for late fees. Landlords are at liberty to charge late fees as an incentive for tenants in Colorado to pay rent. They have the freedom to choose any value they prefer. However, the late fee value can be reasonable under that particular content.
Grace Period Law
There are landlords who can specify a grace period for unpaid rent in Colorado. However, it is not a legal requirement, and it is up to the landlord to make a decision on whether to include the clause in the rental agreement or not.
Notices, Entry, and Evictions
Landlords should carefully follow the Colorado laws on eviction. Courts can easily dismiss an eviction suit and order the landlord to restart the eviction process. Here are some important things landlords and tenants need to know.
There are two types of notices: a notice for termination with cause and a notice for termination without cause.
Notice for termination with cause
A landlord must have a legal reason before they can evict a tenant before the expiration of the rental term. It does not matter if it is a periodic rental agreement or a fixed-term lease; the landlord can terminate the tenancy for cause if:
- The tenant breaks the rental agreement
- The tenant fails to pay the rent
- The tenant commits a serious offense
Notice for Termination without Cause
When the landlord does not have a legal reason to evict a tenant, the options available depend on the tenancy type.
Right to Entry
There is no law in Colorado concerning landlords' rights to enter their property. It means the landlord can enter their rental without giving any notice. However, tenants and landlords should come to an agreement on notification clauses and privacy issues to avoid future misunderstandings.
The Eviction Lawsuit
After the expiration of the moving-out notice has elapsed, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit. After the court has heard the case and made a decision on the matter, the landlord has to serve notice of the lawsuit on the tenant. However, the Colorado courts can issue a writ of restitution within 48 hours after making the judgment. The landlord will take the writ of restitution to a police officer, and the sheriff will help remove the tenant. Colorado law only allows a law enforcement officer to carry out the eviction process.
Related Reading: Rent Control - Definition & How It Works
Summary of Duties & Rights
As a Colorado landlord, you will have the following rights in regard to the landlord-tenant laws.
- Screen all the rental applicants. However, the procedure should be devoid of any discrimination form.
- Enter the rental property to inspect the unit or show applicants, lenders, or buyers.
- Terminate the lease agreement in case of violation. Some of the common violations are excessive property damage and non-payment of rent.
- Require the tenant to pay the security deposit before moving in.
- Requiring the tenant to sign a rental agreement before moving in
- Charge anything you want in regard to the rent amount. However, you need to be realistic with the set amount.
Colorado landlords have responsibilities to their tenants.
The landlords are responsible for the following:
- Following a proper eviction procedure when a tenant violates the lease agreement
- Abide by all the rental agreement terms
- Respect tenants privacy
- Ensure property repairs are made in time after the tenants notify them.
- Ensure there are peace and a good living environment making the property habitable
- Refunding the tenant's security deposit when they move out.
According to state law, landlords in Colorado need to disclose the following information to tenants.
Landlords Contact information
Rental agreements should have the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. Tenants should be notified whenever the person's identity changes.
Under state law, Colorado landlords must disclose specific information to tenants.
History of Bed Bug
Upon request, the landlords have to disclose if the unit has had bed bugs in the last eight months. They must indicate the last date the property was inspected for bed bugs.
Fee Expenses for Rental Application
Landlords collecting rental application fees have to disclose how they will use it and how they arrived at the figure.
Rental Application Denial Reason
When a landlord denies a tenant's rental application, they ought to send a written notice listing the denial reasons.
Colorado is very flexible when it comes to landlord-tenant laws. Landlords do have a wider set of options for their lease documents. However, they need to be realistic with their requirements and ensure tenants comply with them. Always seek legal advice if you are in doubt about any section of the Colorado landlord-tenant laws. Ensure you always check all current and updated landlord-tenant laws.
If you would like assistance, contact the professionals at Steadily today. We are a professional property management firm in Colorado. We help you handle the day to day challenges you can experience as a landlord.