Grab our FREE Colorado residential lease agreement sample and read further about required disclosures in Colorado, optional addendums for things like pets, and what Colorado landlord-tenant laws apply to residential lease agreements.
Click here to view/download the direct PDF file.
What is a Residential Lease Agreement?
A residential lease is a legally binding agreement between a landlord and a tenant who intends to rent a specific property. It is an all-inclusive document created to outline the expectations of both parties and address any special circumstances that may arise during the length of the agreement. It also clearly states the potential consequences for not adhering to the stated terms. For maximum legal credibility, it is critical that this document be produced in writing, reviewed and signed by both parties prior to occupancy.
Before reviewing and signing a residential lease agreement, a landlord will likely ask a potential tenant to complete an application form to begin a background and credit check. If these assessments are met with approval, then the process of renting the property may continue. Applicable rent, security deposits and fees will be paid by the tenant, and the residential lease will be signed by both parties. The tenant may take occupancy on the date indicated in the residential lease.
Colorado Residential Lease Agreement Elements
The following sections are necessary elements to a residential lease. Each section contains information that pertains specifically to lease agreements in Colorado. All rental properties are unique, and it is important for the landlord to tailor their residential lease to the unit or property being rented. This guide lists various circumstances for landlords to consider as they are drafting a residential lease agreement. Landlords need to include the components listed here to be legally compliant in the state of Colorado.
When you are writing a lease agreement in the state of Colorado, you are going to need to start each agreement with the names of the people that are entering into the agreement. Both of the parties will need to have their full, legal name printed at the top of the page, and if there is more than one tenant moving into the property, then both names should be included in this part of the agreement.
The address of the property that is potentially being considered to be rented will also need to be included in this section. Make sure to include any apartment number or floor that is part of the address. The landlord should also include their name and address in this section so that the potential tenant knows where the landlord can be reached.
Terms of the Lease and Limits of Occupancy
The next section that you should consider for your lease agreement is the terms of the lease. In this section, the type of unit that is being considered for the agreement must be laid out. This will include whether it is a house, an apartment, or a condo, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that are present in the unit. If there are any furnishings left in the unit for the new tenant to use, this should be included in this section, and the appliances that are in the unit as well. If none of these things are included with the lease, then it should be mentioned here as well.
The terms of the lease will also detail when the rent is due each month. This should state that the tenant agrees to pay a certain amount of rent on a monthly basis. It should state that the rent is due on the first of the month, or another date if that information differs. It should also state a definitive date that the rental agreement starts and stops as well as what is required to renew the lease agreement. This will also need to mention if the lease in a monthly one, a yearly one, or a lease that lasts two years or longer.
If there are additional individuals occupying the unit, for each additional person who lives in the unit, the landlord can charge an additional fee for them to be permitted to stay in the unit. Guests who stay in the unit for longer than a two week period may be required to get written permission from the landlord.
Rent and Utilities
In the next section, the amount of rent that the tenant is required to pay each month should be mentioned , and where it should be delivered when it is time for the tenant to give it to the landlord. If the rent is not delivered on time, mention in this section when it becomes late and how much of a late charge will be added to the rent at that time.
If the rent is not paid in a timely manner, then the landlord can also request that the tenant pays their rent for a period of time with a bank check or a money order. This can also be required for tenants who have had their checks not honored by the bank, and it may be required that the tenant pays an additional fee in the form of a money order of a bank check as well.
Depending on the type of utilities that are in the unit, the landlord may decide that they will be responsible for covering a few of them. If this is the case, it will need to be documented in the lease agreement. The landlord has the right to request that the tenant pays their portion of the utilities, but only what is used in their unit, so if the units are not separated, they are often paid by the landlord. Anything that the landlord is planning on covering needs to be listed in this section of the agreement.
When it comes to parking for the tenants who are renting the unit, there may be assigned parking or unassigned parking. The terms of the parking that is permitted for the tenant will need to be laid out here. If there is a specific spot where they need to park, it should be specified in the agreement and the space should be numbered or marked in some way. The vehicle will need to be registered in the tenant’s name, and if there are any other rules for the tenant to follow like that washing the car is not permitted on the property, it should be stated here as well.
Security Deposits and Fees
This is the section of the lease agreement that should cover the price of the security deposit that the tenant is required to pay as well as any other fees that they will be responsible for covering. When it comes to the security deposit, this is an amount that the tenant is required to pay when they agree to the terms of the lease. This amount will be due at the same time as the initial rental payment, and it can not exceed the amount of a month’s rent for the unit. This may vary from unit to unit, so it needs to be in writing in this section of the agreement.
The security deposit is something that is used to make repairs to the unit when the tenant moves out, but if there is not substantial damage done to the property, then the security deposit should be returned in full to the tenant. Typically, the landlord is given a period of 21 days to do this, but it should be listed here so that the tenant knows what to expect. In order for the tenant to be given the keys to the unit, the initial payment, which includes the security deposit and the first month of rent, will be required.
If the tenant is moving in before the beginning of the month, some landlords will permit a proration period. If this is permitted, then the amount that the tenant needs to pay before the official start of the lease should be mentioned in the agreement as well.
Maintenance, Alterations, Repairs
Before the move in process begins, the tenant will need to walk through the unit for an inspection. The conditions of the unit will need to be discussed and written down in this part of the agreement. Without agreeing to specific maintenance needs, the tenant is agreeing that the property is in good condition, and that the unit has been cleaned properly before they sign the lease agreement and move into the unit. This also ensures that all of the appliances in the unit are working, and if there are some that are not, then it should be listed in this section as a repair that needs to be done.
Depending on the landlord, either one of the parties can be responsible for repairs that need to be done in the unit. Some of the things that a landlord may require a tenant to do include repairing or replacing the garbage disposal or the plumbing in the unit. Anything that needs to be taken care of in the unit when it comes to repairs will need to be requested by the tenant. Once it is requested, the tenant must give the landlord plenty of time to make the repairs before withholding any amount of money from the rent. In some agreements, the landlord can request that the tenant makes a request for repairs to the unit before making any of the repairs. Some landlords will allow the tenant to do the repair themselves and take the repair costs out of the next rent payment.
Alterations that a tenant needs to do on the unit cannot be done in the state of Colorado without written permission from the landlord that states that the tenant is permitted to make these alterations. This will include things like changing the light fixtures in the space and changing out the appliances for newer models. It will also include adding new appliances to the space to replace older ones that are more energy efficient.
A landlord may not want the locks in the unit to be adjusted or changed, so if a tenant wants to add a new lock to the door, it must be agreed upon by the landlord, and the rules of the lock change should be stated in this section of the lease agreement. The landlord will typically provide each new tenant with a set of keys for the unit and the mailbox so that you have access to it. If there is more than a single tenant, more than one set may be provided. When it comes to a new lock that is added to the door of the unit, the tenant must provide the landlord with the keys to the lock.
In addition, the paint that is on the walls will typically only be allowed to be changed to certain colors, and the paint will often be supplied by the landlord every few years. The terms of painting the walls in the unit should be added to the residential lease agreement in this section as well.
Pet and Other Addendums
Pets are something that should be considered in all residential lease agreements. In the state of Colorado, some landlords will allow a tenant to have a pet or two in the unit that they are renting. Other landlords will not permit pets of any type to be in the unit, so if there are any rules or regulations that need to be noted by the tenant before they agree to this lease, it needs to be stated in this section of the document.
In general, only domestic animals like cats, dogs, fish, and birds will be counted in this addendum. The tenant must not have a pet in the unit without written consent from the landlord. In any given unit, the number of animals could be limited to one or two, and it could also be limited to only cats. Some landlords will not allow dogs on the premise, especially if it is a certain breed.
Any damage that is done to the unit will be taken out of the security deposit, and in some cases, the landlord will require you to pay an additional deposit to cover the cost of any damage caused by your pets. This will include any damage to the carpet from the urination or defecation of the pet. It will also include damage that is done by the pet scratching or clawing on the walls.
Another addendum that will need to be considered when you are writing up your lease agreement in the state of Colorado is one that considers any disruptive activities. Tenants who move into units on the property will need to remember the other tenants who live on the property. This will mean that it may be required that there is a quiet time after a certain time each night. If this is something that is required, then it should be listed in this section of the agreement clearly so that the tenant knows what to expect.
Tenants will be responsible for their guests as well, and they will need to make sure that they keep the noise levels down during their visit. In addition, loitering in the common areas of the building or the home is not going to be permitted, and no personal items will be allowed to be placed in the hallways or other common areas.
Smoking is something that is going to vary from location to location, so the landlord will need to put what is expected from the tenants who live on the property in this section as well. Some landlords will not permit smoking at all in the building, while others only restrict smoking in the common areas that other people may be using as well.
Some furniture may not be permitted in the unit as well. Typically, this will refer to a waterbed, but it can also mean that installing a washer and a dryer is not allowed as well. Sometimes these items are permitted with consent from the landlord, so if there are specific rules that the tenant must follow, they need to be listed here as well.
This section of the agreement will deal with all of the things that a tenant will need to know about the legal aspects of the lease. The first thing that should be talked about in this section are hazardous materials. In the state of Colorado, a landlord will not permit their tenants to keep hazardous or dangerous materials on the premise. This will include anything that could potentially start a fire or an explosion.
If the building was in existence before the year 1978, there is a chance that lead-based paint was used on the property. If this is the case, the landlord will be required to share this information with the tenants who plan on living in the unit. This is something that can be dangerous to small children as well as someone who is pregnant, so it will need to be included in this section of the lease agreement so that it is in writing that the tenant understands. There are actually pamphlets that are available across the nation that are approved on the federal level to provide information about this topic.
If the lease agreement is ever terminated, the party that terminates it will be required to provide a 30-day notice to the other party to inform them that the terms of the agreement will be broken. All notices that are served to the tenant must be sent by certified mail to the address of the unit. It can also be hand delivered by the landlord or a member of the management team. If any action is brought forth to enforce the terms that were agreed upon in the agreement, then the party that wins the case will be responsible to pay the legal fees for the other party.
The final section of the agreement for a residential lease will be the section where both parties sign the document in order to say that they agree to the terms that are discussed in it. There will be a space for the landlord to sign and date the document as well as the tenant. Both names should be printed in this section as well. If there is more than a single tenant moving into the unit, then they will all need to sign and date the document. If a guarantor is required for the rental of the property, then their information will be required in this section as well.