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Tenants and Domestic Violence

Colorado law provides several protections to residential tenants who are victims of domestic violence.  At the outset, a landlord is forbidden from including in a residential lease agreement any provision authorizing the landlord to terminate the lease or impose any penalty on a tenant for calls made by the tenant to the police for assistance in response to a domestic violence situation.

If a tenant notifies the landlord in writing that he or she is the victim of domestic violence and provides the landlord evidence of domestic violence in the form of a police report written within the prior 60 days or a valid protection order and the tenant seeks to vacate the leased premises due to fear of imminent danger for them or children, the tenant may terminate the lease and vacate the premises.

If the tenant who is the victim of domestic violence does vacate the unit after giving the landlord written notice and evidence of domestic violence, the tenant is responsible for one month’s rent following the vacation of the premises.  The rent is due and payable is the landlord within 90 days after the unit is vacated.  The landlord is not obligated to return the tenant’s security deposit until after the one month’s rent has been paid.  The landlord or the tenant may use any amounts owed to the other to offset costs for the one month’s rent or the security deposit.

Under Colorado law nothing authorizes the termination of a tenancy and eviction of a tenant solely because the tenant is the victim of domestic violence.

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