Colorado Security Deposit Laws

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 10.25.2022

The state of Colorado has minimal regulations regarding the security deposit amount property owners are allowed to collect from renters, save that they keep it reasonable. Here is a comprehensive summary of the regulations in Colorado regarding security deposits for rental units.

Is there a limit on how much the property manager/owner can charge for an application fee? If so, what is that amount?

There is no limit on the application fee amount in the state of Colorado. Application fees are non-refundable.

What is the security deposit amount the landlord can collect?

As a Colorado property owner, you can request any security deposit to protect your property in the event of damages and unpaid rent, however the amount collected must be reasonable. This does not include mobile home parks for which there is a one- or two-month security deposit limit depending on whether it is a multi-wide unit or not.

Can the property manager/owner collect a fee for pets?

A pet deposit separate from the apartment security deposit is allowed in the state of Colorado. Service pets are an exemption, and disabled persons with service pets do not have to pay an additional security deposit. However, if a service dog causes damages, the renter is still liable for covering costs incurred.

How does the security deposit need to be held?

There are no regulations requiring how a security deposit needs to be held in the state of Colorado.

Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident where the deposit is held?

Property managers in Colorado do not have to tell residents where the security deposit is held.

Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident what the interest rate on the account is (if applicable)?

Property owners in Colorado are not required to tell residents what the interest on their security deposit it (if applicable).

What can the property manager/owner deduct from the security deposit?

Property owners operating in Colorado may use the security deposit for a variety of things including unpair rent or utilities, repairs to the unit, unpaid cleaning services, and property abandonment. The security deposit cannot be used for normal wear and tear repairs.

How long does the property manager/owner have to return the security deposit after the lease has ended?

Property owners in Colorado must return the security deposit within a month from the lease termination, or when the renter leaves the property (the later of the two), unless otherwise written in the rental agreement. Written lease agreements cannot exceed 60 days for security deposit return. In the event that a renter vacates the premises due to a property owners’ failure to repair hazardous items, the security deposit must be returned within 72 hours of the tenant vacating the property.

What penalties does the property manager/owner face if they do not return the security deposit on time?

Property owners in Colorado that do return the security deposit on time, do not provide an itemized list of deductions, or have failed to repair hazardous may be fined up to double the amount of the security charges plus court and attorney fees.

What is the process for the property manager/owner to claim the security deposit funds?

Property managers in Colorado who want to claim a part of the security deposit, or the entire security deposit must mail a written notice and return the security deposit remainder (after additional costs have been incurred, if any). The security deposit remainder must include an itemized list of the deductions.

Is the resident allowed to apply their security deposit towards the last month’s rent?

Residents in the state of Colorado cannot choose to use the security deposit for their last months’ rent, unless the property owner agrees upon it in writing.

To summarize, Colorado has minimal limitations on security deposit amounts, however, there is a clear outline regarding when and how to return the security deposit, as well as the property owners’ responsibility in the case of a hazardous event. To ensure that they are not subject to heavy fines, property owners in Colorado should keep accurate records of all damages incurred and unpaid rent to their property. Property owners should provide this information to renters upon vacating the unit at the end of the lease.

Disclaimer & Sources:

Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is for informational purposes and should not replace legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.


Kasee Godwin

Position: Director of Marketing
Social Networks

Kasee is the Director of Marketing for Qira. She has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate marketing industry, including 10 years on the client side. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science fiction, exploring new wineries, and fostering Golden Retrievers.

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