Landlord Tenant Handbook

Tenants' Personal Property

The landlord is not responsible for damage to the tenant's personal property unless such damage was caused by his/her negligence. A tenant should purchase renter's insurance to protect his/her personal property.

Landlord Lien

Colorado law provides that in certain situations a landlord may have a lien on some items of a tenant's personal property for past due rent. Prior to taking such action, the landlord should seek legal advice from an attorney as s/he could be liable to the tenant for actual punitive damages if a lien is improperly exercised. If property has been seized, the tenant should document in writing the property taken as well as keeping all written notices received from the landlord. Whenever involved with the exercise of a landlord lien, whether as a tenant or a landlord, legal advice should be sought.

When Rental Propertv is Sold

When rental property is sold, the new owner is subject to all rental obligations of the previous owner unless the lease provides otherwise. The new owner may increase the rent or change other lease terms only upon the expiration date of the existing lease.

Rent Increases

If a lease specifies the amount of rent to be paid, it cannot be raised during the lease period. However, after the lease expires, the lease may still control the rent amount. At the present time, under Colorado law there is no rent control. Once the lease has expired the agreed rent amount may change. Refer to Termination of the Lease for additional information.

Subleases and Assignments

A sublease and an assignment are not the same thing. A sublease is a second contract between the landlord and a new tenant. It doesn't relieve the original tenant from their obligations under the lease. For example, if a subtenant doesn't pay rent the landlord may sue the original tenant, the subtenant, or both. The landlord may or may not require a new security deposit on a sublease.

An assignment is a contract between the landlord and a second tenant which relieves the original tenant of their obligation under the lease. If the second tenant doesn't pay rent, the landlord may only sue that tenant. On an assignment, the landlord will almost always require a new security deposit from the second tenant.

Subleases and assignments may only occur with the landlord's permission. Under Colorado law a landlord may not unreasonably withhold permission to sublet. Check your lease for a sublease or assignment clause.