If you’re thinking about becoming a landlord in Colorado, we know you want to do everything possible to ensure that you don’t run into any potential problems with your tenants.
While conducting proper building inspections and performing timely maintenance within your building is essential if you want to keep your tenants happy, you also need to familiarize yourself with the Colorado Landlord-Tenant Law.
This law exists to protect both you and the tenants that you lease your properties to. The more you understand when you are and are not in violation of it, the better off everyone will be — and the more conflicts you’ll be able to resolve quickly.
However, Colorado rental laws can sometimes be a bit of a challenge to make sense of.
Consider this your plain English, no-nonsense guide to the laws you need to know.
Understanding the Fair Housing Acts
Let’s begin by discussing one of the most essential parts of the Colorado Landlord Tenant Law — the Federal and State Fair Housing Acts.
As a landlord, you are obligated to behave in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Act, which exists to protect potential tenants against housing-related discrimination.
This means that you cannot deny a tenant the right to lease/rent your property based on that tenant’s:
- Physical/Mental Disability
- National Origin
- Skin Color
- Familial Status (pregnant women, legal guardians, age of children, parents, etc.)
In addition to the Federal Fair Housing Act, the state of Colorado also has its own statewide Fair Housing Act.
It means that you cannot deny access to your property based on the above categories as specified by the Federal Housing Act, as well as based on:
- Sexual Orientation
- Marital Status
The Warranty of Habitability
We know that you take great pride in ensuring that your properties can provide excellent homes for your tenants.
But there are specific regulations in place under Colorado rental laws that define the standards of habitability that your tenants are entitled to.
In plain English, this means that your properties need to meet certain requirements in order to be considered acceptable living conditions.
This habitability is a part of tenants rights in Colorado.
Tenants are required to give you, the landlord, notice that they are planning to end the lease agreement and move out because of a breach of the warrant of habitability.
You then have five business days to make the required repairs — and if you do, the rental agreement can’t be terminated.
Common issues that could allow for at least notice of a tenant’s intention to move out in Colorado include:
- A lack of running water
- A lack of gas/plumbing
- A lack of rodent/pest extermination
- A lack of door locks
- A failure to provide heating
These are just a few of many examples, and you can see a more complete list here.
Security Deposit Regulations in Colorado
Under the Colorado Landlord Tenant Law, you as the landlord are allowed to require a security deposit, in addition to the standard monthly rent payment, in order to allow tenants to move into your properties.
However, there are a few specific rules regarding both the amounts and the deductions regarding the security deposit that you need to be aware of.
There is no maximum amount for a security deposit in the state of Colorado, but you’ll want to use your common sense here. If you’re asking for a deposit that’s more than half a year’s worth of rent? No one is going to want to move into your building.
Keep it between 1-2 month’s rent.
Should you need to make deductions from that security deposit when the tenant is ready to move out, you will be allowed to do so under the basis of unpaid repair bills, unpaid cleaning bills, and unpaid utility bills.
The same goes for damage to the property/unit, as well as any unpaid rent.
You can store the security deposit any way that you as the landlord wish. In other words, it doesn’t need to earn interest or be placed in a bank account.
Other Key Components of the Colorado Landlord Tenant Law
As you’ve likely started to realize, the Colorado Landlord Tenant Law can be a bit complex.
There are still several aspects of this law that you’ll need to understand, and we’d strongly advise you to meet with both legal and real estate/rental property professionals to ensure that you fully understand both your rights and those of your tenants.
Tenants also have certain obligations they must adhere to under the law. For example, they must agree to pay rent on time, and that they will not act in violation of the terms set out in their lease agreement.
The state of Colorado also requires tenants to keep the units sanitary and clean and to refrain from making continuous excessive noise.
You also have rights as a landlord when it comes to dealing with difficult tenants.
Need Help Managing Your Colorado Rental Properties?
We hope that this post has helped you to better understand some of the most important aspects of the Colorado Landlord Tenant Law.
If you want to work as a successful landlord — and ensure that you select the right tenants from the start — we strongly suggest working with a reliable property management company.
We can handle the day-to-day tasks of managing your rental properties so that you can continue to collect passive income without all of the headaches. We’ll even help you to screen your tenants, assist with building repairs, and so much more.
Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you to secure your financial freedom and keep your tenants happy.
Further Reading from Bergan & Company