Owning property and renting it out can be a very lucrative business if you do it right. With any type of business there will always be certain laws and regulations that you need to abide by to avoid having any hassles or setbacks. We want to cover some of the rental laws in Denver that you need to be aware of if you are renting out your home/apartment in Denver, Colorado. Take note that all the responsibility of abiding by these laws is not only on the landlord but also the tenant. So we will be covering some key laws that tenants need to follow as well.
Just keep in mind when reading this article that the rent laws in Denver that we discuss in this article are not the only laws, rather we will be covering what we think to be the most important laws to be aware of, whether you are a tenant or a landlord.
The state of Colorado has landlord and tenant laws in place that serve to protect the rights of both parties. Before renting out your home you should be aware of these laws so that you have a good understanding of what is legal what’s illegal.
The Landlord Tenant Law Protects Tenants
If for some reason a tenant is not happy with the living conditions of the home that they are renting out then according to the Landlord Tenant Law, they have the right to file a formal complaint against the landlord outlining what they aren’t happy with. For example, if the home is not being maintained by the landlord or there are health and safety concerns then a formal complaint can be filed.
A landlord may become very upset at these complaints and retaliate against the tenant. This is where the Colorado law comes into play to protect the tenant against any retaliations from the landlord. When you rent out your property in Colorado then you must follow the rent laws. One of these laws is the warranty of habitability.
This means that when you are a landlord in Colorado you must make sure that your property meets certain standards. When you as the landlord accept a lease from a tenant you are confirming that your property is in a safe and habitable condition. A property complies with the warranty of habitability if the property does not pose any dangers to your tenant’s life, is not putting a tenant’s health at risk and is safe to live in.
Some things that a unit of property needs to include to comply with this rent law in Denver include:
- The windows and roof must be waterproof
- Gas, heat and plumbing must be functioning
- Running water and hot water must be available
- Sufficient and functioning sewage system
- Electrical fixtures must work and be in good condition
- Sufficient number of waste receptacles
- Working locks on all doors and windows
- Necessary extermination of any rodent infestations
- The unit of property must comply with all health codes
Colorado Security Deposit And Return Law
A landlord in Colorado is not limited by the amount they can ask for when requesting a security deposit, however the Colorado rent law in Denver and other applicable cities does dictate when the security deposit needs to be returned. It states that the deposit must be returned within one month after the tenant moves out, unless the lease specifies a longer period of time, but this time period is to not exceed 60 days from the time the tenant moves out of the rental unit.
If a tenant is forced to move out due to any health or safety concerns then the security deposit needs to be returned much sooner. A common scenario is a hazardous situation in regards to the gas in the house, forcing a tenant to have to move out. If for some reason a landlord refuses to return the deposit then the tenant has the option to take the landlord to small claims court and sue them for an amount up to $7,500.
When making any sort of deductions from a tenant’s security deposit, the landlord by law is allowed to make the necessary deductions needed for things such as:
- Any unpaid rent that is due
- Damage to the unit of property
- Utility bills that continue to go unpaid
- Repair bills that continue to go unpaid
- Bills from cleaning services that are unpaid and due
Colorado Termination And Eviction Rules
You may be wondering on what grounds can a landlord terminate a lease and evict their tenant. There are different scenarios that the Colorado state law gives when it comes to grounds for termination or eviction, but we will go through one scenario right now so you have a basic understanding of the rent law in Denver. If you would like to learn more about the Colorado state termination and eviction rules then you can click here.
For example, if a landlord has a tenant that is repeatedly violating any of their lease clauses then they can issue that tenant with an unconditional quit notice that will force the tenant to move out with immediate action. If the tenant then refuses to leave the landlord has the right to file an eviction notice against them.
What Is Considered Retaliation By A Landlord?
It’s no secret that sometimes tenants and landlords don’t see eye to eye. In some situations a tenant may want something to be done or taken care of in the property unit and the landlord simply does not comply with that request, ignores it or takes far too long to get anything done with regards to that particular issue or concern.
In other situations a landlord may seek revenge on a tenant for something that they did in regards to them, things such as filing a formal complaint or taking the landlord to small claims court. In this section we want to outline what is considered retaliation when it comes to rent law in Denver so you have a good understanding of it.
Things that are considered retaliation by a landlord include:
- Increasing a tenant’s rent
- Decreasing or limiting services to a tenant
- Threatening to evict a tenant without a valid reason
This is just a short list of what is considered retaliation, but there are other circumstances as well. If for example a landlord refuses to perform key maintenance on their property unit or for any reason remove a tenant’s personal belongings from the home then things like this are also considered retaliation and a tenant has the right to take action against the landlord in these kinds of circumstances according to the rent laws in Denver.
With all that being said, a tenant cannot just take action against their landlord at any time. Whenever you speak about retaliation from a landlord, you always have to attach a time frame to the situation. If for example a tenant files a formal complaint against their landlord or takes any other sort of legal action, after a period of 180 days the landlord’s action is automatically considered an act of retaliation unless they provide some sort of proof stating otherwise. This rent law that we have just discussed refers to the California rent law. Now let’s talk about the rent law in Denver.
In Colorado, the rent law actually works in the favor of the landlord. Any action by a landlord that is within their legal right, this could be things like increasing a tenants rent or filing for an eviction. These situations will not be considered an act of retaliation for the fact that the action was committed shortly after the tenants complaint. It would then be on the tenants hand to prove to the state that the action performed by the landlord was in fact an act of retaliation.
Federal Landlord-Tenant Laws and Regulations
In Colorado, primarily the tenants and landlords will be concerned and pay most attention to the state rent laws, but there are several federal laws that need to be taken into consideration too. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development have put laws in place covering tenants from discrimination and have put the responsibility on the landlord to disclose any environmental health hazards that could be a tenants health in jepordy. Things such as using lead based paint in their property unit.
Laws For Domestic Violence Victims In Denver Colorado
Colorado has laws in place that protect tenants from domestic violence. The law was put in place to help out tenants in the situation that they have become a victim of domestic violence.
Any Colorado tenant that falls victim to domestic violence or abuse has the right to terminate their lease agreement. Provided that they have given proper prior written notice to the landlord as well as the necessary documentation as proof of the domestic violence or abuse like a police report or order of protection.
It is very good to know that the rent law in Denver has the proper measures in place that protect people from abuse and violence. This sort of behaviour should never be tolerated and any victims of violence need the necessary protection to insure the safety of themselves and their families.
What we have covered so far in this article will help you get a better understanding of the rent laws in Denver. While these laws apply to Colorado, they can in some circumstances be universally applied to other states. You just need to do your research on the specific rent laws for the state that you are wanting to rent in.
Let’s now answer two of the most important questions when it comes to being a landlord in Colorado
Do landlords have to pay interest on security deposits in Colorado?
In Colorado, the landlord is not required to pay the tenant interest on a security deposit.
Can security deposits be mixed with other assets in Colorado?
In the Colorado state law there is nothing that is written that stops a landlord from mixing their tenants security deposit with his or her personal assets. With that being said it is always a best practice to separate the tenants security deposit from a landlords personal assets. Doing this will prevent the security deposit from being used while the tenant is still living in the property unit. A landlord is always required to return the tenants security deposit in full unless the landlord has a valid reason to withhold all or some of the security deposit like we discussed earlier on.
Now that you have a pretty good understanding of the specific rules and rent laws in Denver, you can see that renting out your property or properties is not as straightforward as it seems. There are quite a few things to take into consideration when deciding to rent out your home to potential tenants.
Like we mentioned previously, this list of rent laws that we have outlined in this article are some of the most important laws to take note of and also know that there are more laws, if you would like to learn more about each individual law then you can click here. Abiding by these regulations set out by the state will ensure that you are covered as a landlord and as a tenant in case you run into any problems with regards to renting in Denver Colorado.
Also be aware that this is not legal advice. You should not rely or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel first.
If you have any further questions or concerns when it comes to the various rent laws in Denver Colorado we are always available and will be glad to assist you with any questions that you may have regarding renting your home to tenants or becoming a tenant for a landlord. You can quickly get in touch with us here and we will get back to you as soon as we can.