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What is a Month-to-Month Residential Lease Agreement?
The month-to-month residential lease agreement in Colorado is a contract that gives the tenant a lease that does not have a long-term obligation. Many leases extend for a year or two, but when a tenant is unsure of how long they will need to live in the unit, this is an option that does not make them commit to a certain period of time. It will also benefit the landlord because it will allow them to easily get rid of a tenant when they are unruly or troublesome in some way.
When the first month is complete, the lease will automatically renew, and all of the responsibilities that were laid out for the first month will roll over to the next one. This will continue as long as the rent is paid on time or the terms of the lease are broken in some way. If either of the parties wish to terminate the lease agreement at the end of a month, the other party will need a 30-day notice. If the tenant has resided in the unit for longer than a year, then a 60-day notice may be given instead.
Another reason that this type of rental agreement may benefit the landlord is that there will be time to make repairs or update the unit between tenants, which will allow for a rent increase. If the rent increase is set to occur during the terms of a tenant’s lease, there must be a notice given to the tenant 30 to 60 days before it occurs, depending on the amount of time that the tenant has lived in the unit.
This is an excellent option for a tenant who is going to be living in the area for an undetermined amount of time. This could be for a job that they are working during the time period. It could be an individual who is planning on moving shortly, and a longer lease would keep them from moving when they need. It could also be a great option for a family who is looking for their first home. A month-to-month agreement could allow them to quickly move when the home that they are looking for becomes available.
Writing a Month to Month Lease Agreement in Colorado
Here are the specific sections advised to include in a legally-compliant month-to-month residential lease agreement in the state of Colorado:
Parties and Personal Information
In this section, the full name of the owner and the tenant should be listed. It should also include a bit more information about both parties, which includes the address and the phone number for each. It may also be a good idea to list the information for a property manager that can be contacted instead of the owner.
The next part of this document should spell out the unit that is being rented. It should include the street address, the unit number, the city, and the county. If any furniture is included in the rental, it can be listed in this section as well. Additionally, any storage space that the tenant will be given access to should be listed here as well.
Terms of the Lease
This is where the date that the lease starts should be listed. It should also have an end date for the first month that the tenant is going to live in the unit. Then, there should be a clause in the document that will state that the terms of the lease will automatically renew at the end of the initial period of time. If the tenant wishes to end the lease, there will be a spot where the landlord can state how much notice is required before the tenant wishes to vacate. In most cases, if the rental agreement is only a month, it will require at least a 10-day notice.
This section will also detail how much rent is going to be due at the beginning of each month, and the date that it due. If the rent is not paid on time, any late fees that will be added to the rental rate should be added in this section as well. If there renter’s check does not clear, there will also be a fee, which should be laid out in this section as well.
If a security deposit is required, the amount that the tenant will need to pay should be listed as well. In general, this amount cannot equal more than a month’s rent, and if there is no damage done to the property, it should be given back to the tenant when they vacate.
Any utilities that the tenant will be responsible for paying should be listed as well. Some landlords may choose to pay some of the utilities since it is a month-to-month lease, but if not, it needs to be listed here.
Expectations of the Tenant
Some of the things that a tenant will come to expect with a month-to-month lease may include:
- Parking: In the state of Colorado, it is very common for tenants to drive their own vehicle, so they are going to need a parking space that they can use while they are staying on the premise. This can be a designated space for the unit, or it can be a parking lot where all of the tenants can park. To make sure that the tenant’s vehicle is not towed, the landlord may ask for details about the tenant’s vehicle. This could include the make, the model, the color, and the license plate number. Some landlords may request that the tenant puts a sticker on their window to indicate that they live on the property.
- Quiet time: Some landlords require quiet time on the property after a certain hour into the day. This may not be required in all month-to-month rental agreements, but it if it does apply to the tenant renting the unit, it should be mentioned in this agreement.
- Maintenance and repairs: Most maintenance and repair concerns that need to be done on the property should be covered by the landlord. This should be something that covers indoor repairs as well. Anything that is not covered by the property management should be listed in the agreement so that the tenant knows that they will need to take care of it. Make sure to include shoveling snow, mowing grass, and other outdoor maintenance.
- Addressing issues: If the unit has an issue that will affect the other tenants that live in the same building, then it will need to be reported right away. In most situations, this will be a leek of some type where the water damage can ruin the walls and the floors. If the sink or the toilet is leaking because of a clog, then it is imperative that the tenant calls the landlord or the maintenance company immediately. Water leaks that are left unattended will cause mold issues, so the first thing that should be done is to turn off the water if possible.
- Adding locks: Most units will only have a single lock on the door, but having two locks can add a lot more security to the unit. Sometimes a landlord will not permit new locks to be added to the door, but in all situations, any change in the locks will require the tenant to provide the landlord with keys to the new lock.
- Grilling: Grilling can be a fun activity that neighbors can enjoy together on the property, but not all landlords will permit grilling to be done. If grilling is permitted, it is likely that it is not allowed in specific locations around the property, so tenants will need to confirm what is permitted before grilling.
- Pets: In Colorado, not all landlords allow pets to be on the property. Some housing options will allow cats, some will allow dogs, but some will not permit any animal on the premise. If there is a rule about pets that a tenant needs to know, it needs to be listed in the document. Some landlords will allow all pets, but certain breeds may be omitted from the list for the protection of the other tenants.
- Bicycles: Colorado is a great state to ride a bike, but tenants who have one will also need to have a place to store the bike. Some landlords may have a designated area where they can be parked and protected.
In Colorado, this is a legally binding document, so it will need to be signed and dated by both of the involved parties. Once all of the terms of the lease are agreed upon, the lease will begin at the date that was stated at the top of the document. Both parties will also need to print their names in this section so that it is easy to read who agreed to the terms.