Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in Colorado

Colorado landlord-tenant statues guide the relationship between landlords and tenants. These statutes outline the rights and responsibilities of each party. Once properly understood, both parties should be able to deal with many legal issues without requiring a lawyer.

If you are a landlord or tenant in Colorado looking to learn more about the landlord-tenant laws, this overview should get you started.

Colorado Fair Housing Rules

Fair housing laws are in place to ensure everyone has equal access to the housing of their choice. The Colorado Fair Housing Act was enacted in 1968 as part of the civil-rights legislation.

Protected classes in housing include familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, disability/handicap, sex, national origin, creed, religion, color, and race.

Examples of discriminatory in housing include: retaliating against someone who has exercised his/her fair housing rights, refusal to sell, failure to provide reasonable modification and accommodation for a person with a disability, discriminatory financing, unequal terms and conditions, and refusal to rent.

Colorado Rental Laws on Lease Termination

Lease termination is a mutual agreement to bring a lease or rental agreement to end. The following are Colorado rental laws on lease termination:

  • If a tenant feels as though they are in danger for any reason related to domestic violence, they can terminate their lease early without penalty.
  • State law requires that monthly renters give at least a ten days’ notice, prior to the final day of the rented month, to their landlord.
  • For any reason, if a tenant needs to stay a few months longer than indicated in the lease, there are certain clauses allowing this without them being charged a prorated rent per month.
  • Landlords are in no way obligated to renew a person’s yearlong lease.

Colorado Security Deposit Laws


Colorado law, Section 38-12-101 contains all information about security deposits in Colorado. Security deposits protect landlords from lost revenue as well as property damage.

At the state level, Colorado law doesn’t limit how much landlords can charge a tenant for a security deposit. City and county laws may, however, contain caps on the amount.

When a renter moves out, a Colorado landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant within 60 days. If the landlord doesn’t, then he or she must send the tenant a list if itemized reasons and costs that explain why the security deposit has not been returned. This must be done within a month after the tenant vacates the rental premises.

Here are some reasons you might lose more of your security deposit:

  • You have not paid your utilities. If the renter has not paid their utility bills, they may not be entitled to the return of their security deposit.
  • The landlord has to do a proper cleaning. If the cleaning isn’t the result of normal wear and tear, the landlord can make deductions on the security deposit.
  • You caused damage to the property. Landlords can keep all or a portion of the tenant’s security deposit if a tenant causes property damage. The damage should, however, be in excess of normal wear and tear. Examples of normal wear and tear include tarnishing on bathroom fixtures, dirty grout, or a few small stains on the carpet.

Examples of damage include broken doors, broken windows, broken bathroom vanity, cracked kitchen or bathroom countertop, missing outlet covers, huge stains or holes in the carpet.

  • If you have defaulted on paying rent. You have breached the lease. When the renter doesn’t pay their rent, the landlord may keep all or a portion of the security deposit.
  • The landlord can also keep all or part of the deposit if the tenant breaks their lease early.

For more information on Colorado security deposit laws, see Colo. Rev. Stat. § § 38-12-102 to 38-12-104.

Colorado Rent Rules

State law regulates several rent-related issues, including:

  • The amount of rent
  • How to pay rent
  • When rent is due
  • Where rent is due
  • The consequences of late rent payments
  • The amount of notice a landlord must give a tenant before raising rent amount

See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-509 for state rent rules and procedures on issues such as raising the rent.

This information is only meant to be informational. It’s not a substitute for legal advice. If you have a specific question, please consult a qualified Colorado attorney. Contact us today for help with any of your real estate needs!

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