A new law tightens Colorado rental agreement regulations by further limiting what landlords can include in their leases. Find out what the changes are in this article so your lease agreements stay within the parameters of the law.
Colorado House Bill 23-1095 includes a slew of new rules surrounding rental agreements and fees landlords can charge, so let’s dive right into them.
No More Waiving Tenants’ Rights
Perhaps one of the most significant changes to Colorado’s written rental agreement regulations is that landlords can no longer include a provision that requires tenants to waive their right to a jury trial, except if the parties agree to waive a jury trial during a hearing to determine possession of the unit. Other waivers landlords may not include are the:
- ability to pursue, bring, join, litigate, or support joint, class, or collective claims or actions related to leases
- implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing (learn about good faith and fair dealing)
- implied covenant of quiet enjoyment
As far as quiet enjoyment goes, the law does offer landlords some grace. Landlords may include in leases that they cannot be held responsible in situations when they’re unable to reasonably control a third party that violates the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment.
Reining in the Fees
Lease Renewal Notifications
Colorado landlords cannot charge tenants for failing to notify them that they’ve decided not to renew their lease before the term ends. The exception to this is if the landlord incurs actual losses because the renter didn’t give proper notice.
Only Rent Can be Called Rent
Also, landlords cannot characterize “rent” as anything other than the monthly fee charged to occupy the leased premises. For instance, landlords cannot say that utilities or other services are “rent.” C.R.S. 38-12-801(3)(a)(V)
Charging for Third-Party Services
Landlords are also now limited to how much they can charge tenants for third-party services, such as trash collection. Landlords can ask tenants to pay up to $10 a month toward a third-party service or up to two percent of a service fee – but not both. C.R.S. 38-12-801(3)(a)(VI)
Recovering Reasonable Attorneys Fees
Legislators also added clarifying language to the law’s sections involving the recovery of attorney fees.
The law now states that a prevailing party involved in a court dispute regarding the rental agreement, residential premises, or dwelling unit may recover attorneys fees “following a determination by the court that the party prevailed and that the fee is reasonable.” C.R.S 38-12-801(3)(a)(II)
Landlords cannot include a provision that claims to let local, state, or federal voucher or subsidy providers pursue eviction for unpaid utility bills. C.R.S. 38-12-801(3)(a)(VII)
Leases that include any of the prohibited provisions are considered null and void under the law.
Talk to a Landlord Attorney
Colorado rental rules are vast and ever-changing. It’s important for landlords to ensure they are operating within the confines of the law. Our landlord attorneys can help. Call 303-688-0944 to begin a free case assessment.