Last Updated on October 29, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Colorado law (Colorado Statutes Title 38 Article 12) gives landlords certain responsibilities after a lease is established. Under the state law, a lease between a landlord and tenant can be established in either of three ways.
It can be established through written text, verbally, or if the landlord accepts a payment as rent.
As a landlord, it goes without saying that understanding your legal responsibilities is key to running a successful rental business.
The following are all the responsibilities landlords have under Colorado law.
Colorado Landlord Responsibilities | Everything to Know
#1. You must rent out a habitable rental property.
In Colorado, landlords have a responsibility to provide their renters with a property that meets the basic health and safety requirements. Among other things, it must have hot water, heating, adequate trash receptacles, and working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (The following are examples of uninhabitable living conditions).
You must also respond to serious issues within 24-96 hours.
If you don’t, your tenant may be able to exercise certain legal options. Including, breaking the lease early without penalty, and filing a lawsuit against you in court.
#2: Follow the proper eviction process.
Among the things landlords cannot do in Colorado is engaging in illegal eviction methods. For instance, it’d be illegal for you to remove the tenant’s belongings from the unit, lock the tenant out, or shut down their utilities.
You must also not engage in an eviction process grounded on retaliatory- or discriminatory reasons.
To evict a tenant successfully, you must have a just cause and follow the process judiciously. For example, to evict a tenant with no lease, this is the step-by-step process you must follow.
#3: Abide by the Colorado security deposit rules.
There are certain rules that you must abide by when charging tenants a security deposit in Colorado. For instance, you must return a tenant’s security deposit within one month, unless the lease specifies a longer period, which can be up to 60 days.
For a full rundown of all the rules you must follow, here is a guide to get you started.
#4: Serve the tenant with proper notice when terminating their periodic lease.
In a periodic lease agreement, both parties of the lease can terminate the agreement by serving the other proper notice. The advance notice to serve the tenant will depend on how long they have lived on the property.
|Length of Tenancy||Notice Requirement|
|If the tenancy is less than 1 week||1 Day|
|If the tenancy is between 1 week and 1 month||3 Days|
|If the tenancy is between 1 month and 6 months||7 Days|
|If the tenancy is between 6 months and 12 months||28 Days|
|If the tenancy is a year or more||91 days|
#5: You must follow certain rules when raising rent.
Colorado is, undoubtedly, considered to be a landlord-friendly state. There is no rent control and state law prohibits local jurisdictions from enacting their own rent control laws.
As a landlord, this means that you can charge whatever you want and raise it by whatever amount. Be that as it may, you must abide by certain rules when raising rent.
For one, you cannot raise rent during a fixed-term lease, unless the lease allows it. Two, you must not raise rent more than once a year. Three, the rent raise must neither be borne out of discrimination towards the tenant, nor be a retaliatory tactic against the tenant.
You may also be required to serve the tenant with an advance notice prior to the rent raise.
#6: You must treat your tenants fairly.
Colorado renters have two layers of protection when it comes to fair housing laws. At the federal level, renters are protected against discrimination on the basis of 7 classes. That is, race, color, sex, religion, disability, familial status, and nationality.
Colorado law extends that list by adding gender identity, sexual orientation, ancestry, marital status, and ownership of a service animal to the list of protections.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Colorado Landlord Responsibilities
Q: Can a landlord enter without permission in Colorado?
A: As a landlord in Colorado, you have a right to enter your tenant’s rented premises. You may need to enter the property to carry out important responsibilities, such as to respond to a maintenance request, show the unit to a prospective tenant or buyer, or respond to an emergency.
That said, can a landlord enter without permission in Colorado? Generally speaking, no! You don’t need permission to enter a tenant’s unit for a legitimate reason. However, a few exemptions do exist to this rule.
The first exemption is if the lease agreement requires you to provide an advance notice to the tenant. The other exemption is if you are entering the property to inspect for or treat bedbugs. In which case, you must provide the tenant with a 48 hours’ written or electronic notice.
Q: What are the Colorado month to month lease termination requirements?
A: As a landlord, you can terminate a month to month lease in Colorado without a just cause. To do so, however, you must provide the tenant with proper notice. The amount of notice to provide them will depend on how long they have lived on the property.
For instance, if the tenant has lived on the property for between one and six months, you must provide them with an advance notice of 21 days. If between six months and a year, you must provide them with an advance notice of 28 days.
The notice must meet several requirements, too. It must be in writing and sent to the tenant either in person, by certified mail, or posted in a conspicuous area of the property.
Q: What are the things that a landlord cannot do in Colorado?
A: There is an extensive list of things that a landlord cannot do in Colorado. Here is a full rundown to get you started.
These are the responsibilities that you must fulfill when renting out a property in Colorado. Failure to do so can not only impact your reputation, but can also attract certain legal and/or financial repercussions.
Disclosure: The content herein isn’t a substitute for advice from a professional attorney. It’s only meant to serve educational purposes. If you have a specific question, kindly seek expert attorney services.
I am a real estate attorney with over 11 years of experience in tenant eviction cases. My mission here at LTRC is to help answer your commonly asked questions on everything regarding real estate laws, especially on eviction matters.
I’m a member of the following professional organizations: Attorneys’ Real Estate Councils of Florida (ARECs), Florida Bar Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section, American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), and the Florida Association of Community Managers (FACM).