Colorado Landlord-Tenant Laws

A summary of Colorado Landlord Tenant Laws based on state law statutes as they apply to residential lease agreements executed between landlords and tenants.

Security Deposit Limit

There is no statute limiting how much landlords may charge for the security deposit.

Deadline for Returning Security Deposit

Landlords must return a security deposit within one month, unless the lease agreement specifies a longer period of time (up to a maximum of 60 days). Deposits must be returned within 72 hours (not counting weekends or holidays) if a hazardous condition involving gas equipment required the tenant to leave.

Small Claims Lawsuits

Disputes for security deposits and other matters involving a lease may be filed in small claims court as long as the damages sought don’t exceed $7,500.

Increasing Rent

At least 10 days notice must be given in writing to increase rent or change another term of a month-to-month tenancy. Rent amounts in longer term leases cannot be changed unless the lease itself provides for an increase.

Discrimination and Retaliation

Rents may not be raised in a discriminatory or retaliatory manner.

Late Fees

Colorado statutes do not address late fees. Therefore, a landlord may only charge a late fee if it has been specifically addressed in the lease.

Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent

Tenants may withhold rent if a landlord fails to take care of important repairs affecting the heath and safety of the residents. However, proper notice should be given to the landlord along with a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem based on its severity. See Colorado Rev. Stat. § 38-12-507 for more information.

Termination and Eviction

If a tenant has repeatedly violated any part of a lease clause, an unconditional quit notice may be served to move out within three days. If the tenant does not leave, the landlord can file for eviction. If minor lease violations occur, a three day notice to cure or quit may be given. If the violations are substantial, then no opportunity to cure needs to be granted.

Domestic Violence

  • A landlord (who is governed by public housing laws) is prohibited from terminating the tenancy of a documented victim of domestic violence (the filing of a police report or the issuance of a protection order) if the domestic violence is the basis for the termination notice.
  • Landlord (who is governed by public housing laws) may not include in a residential rental agreement or lease agreement, a provision that permits the landlord to terminate the lease or impose a penalty on a residential tenant for calls made by the tenant for peace officer assistance or other emergency assistance in response to a domestic violence abuse situation
  • Landlord (who is governed by public housing laws) cannot evict a victim of domestic violence on the ground that the tenant or tenant’s guest committed a crime or dangerous act. A victim may terminate lease and only pay next month’s rent if present evidence (protective order, etc.) of violence within past 60 days.
  • In issuing an order of protection, a court may include a provision excluding a party from the “family home upon a showing that physical or emotional harm” would likely occur.

Colorado Lease Agreement

See Colorado Residential Lease.

Colorado Landlord-Tenant Law Statutes

Colorado Rev. Stat. §§ 38-12-101 to 38-12-104; 38-12-301 to 38-12-302; 38-12-501 to 38-12-511; 13-40-101 to 13-40-123.