Colorado State Laws Prohibiting Landlord Retaliation

Learn what types of landlord retaliation are illegal in Colorado.

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Colorado state law (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-509) prohibits landlords from retaliating against tenants.

Tenant Rights Protected Against Landlord Retaliation in Colorado

It is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant in Colorado who has exercised the legal right to complain to the landlord or to a government agency, such as a building or health inspector about unsafe or illegal living conditions that violate the warranty of habitability.

Types of Retaliation That Are Against State Law

The kinds of retaliatory acts covered by Colorado law include terminating a tenancy or filing an eviction lawsuit; increasing the rent; or decreasing services, such as locking the laundry room. Tenant must prove actual violation in order to prevail. Any termination, rent increase, or service decrease that follows a complaint is presumed to be not retaliatory (timing alone of such actions will not make them retaliatory).

For advice on how to respond to—and prove—retaliation, see the article Landlord Retaliation.

Colorado Guide to Tenant Rights

For an overview of tenant rights under Colorado landlord-tenant law, and resources for filing complaints, see http://dola.colorado.gov/app_uploads/docs/Renter_booklet_2009.pdf.

Colorado State and Local Law on Landlord Retaliation

For state law on landlord retaliation, see Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-509.

See the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo for advice on finding and reading statutes and court decisions.

Also, check your local housing ordinances, particularly if you are covered by rent control, for any city or county rules that protect tenants from landlord retaliation. To find yours, call your mayor or city manager’s office or check your city or county website.

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