Colorado Habitability Law

Colorado has enacted new habitability laws requiring landlords to state where tenants can report uninhabitable conditions. These changes become effective on and after January 1, 2025. Landlords must update rental agreements and tenant portals to comply. Learn more about the new bill’s specific requirements and how you can remain compliant within your rental agreements and online portals.

This year, new legislative action in Colorado has resulted in new requirements for landlords and property managers concerning safe housing for residential tenants.

While each state’s landlord-tenant laws are specific to their location, everyone in the industry can glean information from new legislation, which may serve to highlight suggested best practices for rental professionals in all areas. As with any significant rental industry legislation, staying aware of new laws is key in the event that other municipal areas or states also decide to adopt a similar bill.

New Colorado New Colorado Habitability Laws for Rentals

For investors, landlords, and property managers in Colorado, understanding what has changed and how to implement the new requirements is key. Colorado’s new bill SB24-094 “Safe Housing for Residential Tenants,” serves to modify existing habitability laws and clarify actions that may constitute a breach of the warranty of habitability. Among other important requirements, this will require landlords and property managers to feature a statement within rental agreements and online portals or platforms citing where a tenant can deliver written notice of an uninhabitable condition. 

According to SB24-094:

  • (c) On and after January 1, 2025, every rental agreement between a landlord and tenant must include a statement in at page 18-senate bill 24-094 least twelve-point, bold-faced type that states that every tenant is entitled to safe and healthy housing under Colorado’s warranty of habitability and that a landlord is prohibited by law from retaliating against a tenant in any manner for reporting unsafe conditions in the tenant’s residential premises, requesting repairs, or seeking to enjoy the tenant’s right to safe and healthy housing.
  • (d) On and after January 1, 2025, every rental agreement between a landlord and tenant must include a statement in English and Spanish and in at least twelve-point, bold-faced type that states an address where a tenant can mail or personally deliver written notice of an uninhabitable condition and an e-mail address or accessible online tenant portal or platform where a tenant can deliver written notice of an uninhabitable condition.

How Can Landlords and Property Managers Remain Compliant?

To ensure compliance with the new legislation, landlords and property managers must modify rental documents on and after January 1, 2025 to ensure they contain the required information. As with any legal documentation, it is recommended that you seek the review of a landlord-tenant attorney in your area to ensure the documentation meets the legal requirements. However, this is not the only location where landlords are required to feature the statement. 

If you have a property management software and a tenant portal, it is essential that this resource also remains compliant according to the new laws. Landlords and property managers who utilize Rentec Direct property management software now have the ability to post bulletin notifications, which can serve to comply with these requirements.

Learn more: New Feature | Tenant Portal Bulletin Will Permanently Display Notices and Disclosures to Your Residents

What is the Warranty of Habitability?

Most states refer to the exchange of rent for a safe, livable home between a landlord and tenant as the implied warranty of habitability. Each state’s laws will define terms in which a tenant can withhold rent or attempt to fix an issue if the property does not comply with the warranty of habitability standards. 

While the statute’s language will vary by state, every landlord is responsible for maintaining a safe and habitable environment for their tenants. Some state statutes will specifically use the term “implied warranty of habitability,” while others refer to the idea under landlord responsibilities and use terms like “fit for human habitation” or “fit for occupation by human beings”. 

While most states define specific requirements for their landlords to follow, other states do not define any implied warranty conditions for a landlord-tenant relationship. For instance, in Arkansas, tenants usually agree to take the unit “as-is,” and the landlord is not required to do additional maintenance on the dwelling. The only obligation the landlord has is to meet city building codes that serve to protect health and safety.

Learn more: What Is The Implied Warranty Of Habitability For Rentals?

What is Considered Uninhabitable in Colorado Rental Law?

While each state may list specifics when referring to what is considered a habitable living space, many listed requirements are similar across the nation. Landlords and property managers must be aware of the specific requirements for their area.

For Colorado, this quick reference is available from Colorado Housing Connects and lists issues that would be considered uninhabitable due to the condition interfering with a renter’s life, health, or safety. 

These issues can include:

  • Leaking roof or walls
  • Broken windows or exterior door locks
  • Gas and plumbing problems
  • Mold
  • Broken appliances
    • [EG: refrigerator or range stove if present at move-in or in the lease agreement]
  • Lack of hot and cold running water
  • Sewage disposal system problems
  • Problems with heat
  • Electrical lighting and wiring in poor order
  • Common areas that are not kept clean or
  • have garbage
  • Infestation of bugs, pests, and rodents
  • Floors, stairways and railings in poor condition (inside the building)
  • Lack of compliance with building or health codes