With the number of rental households climbing throughout the U.S., Colorado, specifically Denver is experiencing immense growth. From its vast skyline tipped with mountains to the sought after city life, Colorado offers it all. It is important to understand the local laws when managing property in the state of Colorado. For instance, the city of Boulder has some stricter enforcements and regulations in place.
At a Glance:
Late Fees: No stated limitations on the amount that may be charged. Wait one moment…. there is a way to avoid late fees! How you ask? By collecting rent automatically with SparkRental’s rent automation service or the one-of-a-kind RENTDEDUCT™,where rent comes directly from your renter’s payroll!
Security Deposit: There are no restrictions on the amount to collect for a security deposit.
Returned Payment Fee Limit: Bounced check/NSF fees should not exceed $30 per check/payment.
Notice to Enter: There is no required notice stipulation in the Colorado Landlord Tenant Act.
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Late Fee/Returned Check Fee:
Overall, Colorado is silent on fee limitations. Colorado landlords must be careful to avoid any fees that may be construed as “punitive damages”. This means a charge or fee so exorbitant that it is more of a punishment rather than recouping any lost money. There are also criminal avenues to explore with regards to tenants who routinely write bad checks.
Colorado regulates that a security deposit must be returned within thirty days after the tenant relinquishes possession of the rental unit. An extension of sixty days can be made if it is provided for in the written lease. The amount of security deposit held by the landlord may be used for unpaid rent after the tenant moves out including the remainder of the lease term, as applicable. It may also be used for any physical damages on or around the rental unit beyond what is referred to as “normal wear and tear”. Great caution should be used not to confuse normal wear and tear and real damage. An example would be carpeting that is worn as opposed to a burn mark caused by the tenant.
If any deductions are made, a statement of the costs must accompany any balance of the security deposit when returned to the tenant.
Right of Entry:
There are no written statutes regarding the right of the landlord to enter the rental property after the tenant takes possession. Caution should be taken, however to be sensible utilizing this power. Even though there are no written laws in place, it could be construed as harassment by many courts if a landlord takes advantage of this right.
Locking a tenant out, changing the locks or shutting the utilities off before going through proper eviction procedures is not permissible and can cause the landlord some bad consequences. Notice, a chance for the tenant to make good, when applicable, and then when all else fails, filing an eviction case or a Forcible Entry and Detainer (F.E.D.) are the basic steps to follow in an eviction in Colorado. There are two types of notices. One known as a “Notice to Cure” provides the tenant with the option to correct the problem. For instance, if rent is owed, the tenant can pay the rent and there are no further procedures. The other notice gives no chance for the tenant to correct the issue. The “Notice to Quit” gives the tenant three days to leave. And if on the third day, the tenant remains, then and only then can the landlord go to the local courthouse and file for eviction. It is important to know that tenants in subsidized housing may have additional rights.
Most states have specific ways to serve a notice to the tenant and Colorado is not different. An eviction case can actually be dismissed and cause time delays if delivery procedures or any procedures for that matter are not followed to a “t”. The landlord has three different choices to serve a notice:
- Hand delivery direct to the tenant. (if there are several tenants listed on the lease, then it is a good practice to provide one for each.
- Hand-deliver the notice to someone whom is 15 years of age or older who lives on the premises.
- Posting the notice somewhere conspicuous on the property. Make sure it is firmly attached. If there is more than one entranceway, post a notice at all. TIP: Take a picture of the posted notice. It is always good to cover yourself in all circumstances!
Questions? Ask a Colorado Landlord-Tenant Attorney!
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