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New Laws in Colorado Related to Rent, Late Fees, and Security Deposits

Posted May 23, 2024 in Landlord Tenant and Leasing, Real Estate

What are the new/updated laws in Colorado regarding rent, rent increases, and security deposits? As discussed in our summary blog here, landlord tenant law in Colorado has seen significant change since the pandemic era.

Below we have provided a summary of the new laws that every landlord, property manager, and tenant needs to know. If you are a landlord, owner, or property manager, read carefully, and do your own research, as these changes may impact how your leases need to be drafted. And, many changes include penalties for non-compliance.

Rent & Financial Assistance

  • New 2021 law defined certain tenants as indigent for purposes of not having to pay past due rent into the court registry during eviction litigation, including when bringing habitability defenses (2021 Colo. S.B. 173)
  • Created the ERAP program (Emergency Rental Assistance Grant Program) through DOLA for certain at-risk tenants to help pay past due rent, utilities, and associated costs. (2021 Colo. H.B. B-1001)
    • “A landlord that issues to a tenant a notice of late rent or a demand for payment of rent is encouraged to include with the notice or demand for payment a notification to the tenant concerning the grant program and the possibility that the tenant may be eligible to receive a grant from the grant program.” C.R.S. § 24-32-721(7)(k).
    • The ERAP statute is set to be repealed on June 30, 2025. C.R.S. § 24-32-721(7)(l).
  • There is a new 60-day notice requirement for rent increases.

Rent Increases

  • 2021 Colo. H.B. 1121 added that rent may be increased in non-residential or commercial tenancies on 21 days notice for short tenancies less than 6 months where there is no written lease. (See C.R.S. 38-12-701(1)).
  • For residential tenancies without written agreements, landlords must give 60 days’ notice to raise rent and cannot terminate the tenancy by notice to quit to try to increase rent. (See C.R.S. 38-12-701(2)).
  • Rent in residential units cannot be increased more than once per 12 months regardless what the lease says. (See C.R.S. 38-12-702).

Security Deposits

  • 2023 Changes to Security Deposit Law (2023 Colo. S.B. 184): Security deposits MAY NOT exceed the amount of two months’ rent. (See C.R.S. 38-12-102.5).

Late Fees

New late fee requirements added in 2021 (2021 Colo. S.B. 173)
  • Landlords/property managers may not charge late fees prior to 7 days late.
  • Late fees may not exceed the greater of $50 or 5% of the past due rent. So, if the past due amount is $1000 or less, the late fee cannot exceed $50.
  • Any late fee charged MUST be in the lease agreement.
  • Landlords cannot evict or terminate a tenancy based on tenant failure to pay late fees.
  • Landlords cannot charge late fees on rent owed/due from a subsidy provider.
  • No interest on late fees.
  • Landlord cannot charge late fees to same late payment more than once unless it adds up to no more than $50 or 5% of the past due amount.
  • Landlord cannot apply other rent payments to the late fees due.
  • Written notice of late fee required within 180 days after the date the rent payment was due. (See C.R.S. 38-12-105(1))
Tenant Remedies added in 2021 (2021 Colo. S.B. 173)
  • After providing a seven day notice of violation, tenants may bring a claim for injunctive relief against landlords who violate the above/fail to cure, penalize the landlord $50 per violation, Seek damages, attorney fees, costs, and penalties up to $1000 per violation. (See C.R.S. 38-12-105(2)-(5)).
2021 Changes
  • Late fee violations may be used as affirmative defenses in eviction cases. (See C.R.S. 38-12-105(6)).

CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IN COLORADO TODAY

For further information and advice regarding new landlord tenant laws regarding rent, late fees, and security deposits, reach out to Volpe Law today to request a consultation. We can be contacted through our online form, or you call us directly at (720) 441-3328. Our team of dedicated attorneys are here to listen and identify the best legal options for you.

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The information contained on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be construed as providing legal advice on any subject matter. Laws frequently change and therefore this content is not necessarily up to date, nor comprehensive. Contact us or another attorney with any legal questions specific to your matter. You may request a consultation by completing our consultation request form.

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