Sexual Assault and Stalking Victims Legally Able to Break Leases in Colorado

Picture of Colorado court book on breaking lease for sexual assault victims

HB17-1035 – Sex assault and stalking victims may break leases

Signed into law on 6/1/17

This bill expands on the rights of tenants to break a lease agreement. This bill makes it possible for tenants to break a lease agreement if they are victims of sexual abuse or stalking and believe that further residence at their current location would continue to put themselves (and/or children) in danger. This bill also expands and clarifies tenants rights to break a lease agreement if they are victims of domestic violence or domestic abuse.

Under this bill, the law dictates that a person must provide in writing that they are a victim of such abuse and are thus seeking early termination of their lease to their landlord. Along with the written letter, the victim of sexual abuse, domestic violence, or domestic abuse must supply evidence in the form of either a police report (written within the prior 60 days), a valid protection order, or a statement from a medical professional confirming the tenant’s victim status. Additionally, a victim of stalking can also supply as evidence a written statement from an application assistant who has consulted with the victim.

What this means for Colorado landlords: The landlord in now required by law to allow victims of sexual assault and stalking victims to break their lease agreement, should they be provided with a letter from the tenant and the corresponding evidence. Additionally, the tenant can only be held responsible for one month’s rent after leaving the property. A landlord is also forbidden from disclosing the victim’s status to anyone other than the victim, unless they have the victim’s consent.