A well-put-together rental application is invaluable for helping you make informed decisions about prospective tenants and offering lease agreements.
Before allowing someone to live in your property, it’s essential to know their rental and credit history and whether they have a criminal background.
Possessing this knowledge can also make the selection process easier when you have many applicants for one property by narrowing down anyone who is not financially sound or may be a danger to the community.
Colorado Rental Application Fees
State legislation tightly regulates how you collect Colorado rental application fees.
The Colorado assembly passed the Colorado Rental Application Fairness Act in 2019, Colorado Code §§ 38-12-901 to 38-12-905, that specifically addresses how landlords are required to handle rental applications and any associated fees.
- Property owners charging a rental application fee must use the collected amount and can only use the money to cover the costs of processing the rental application.
- You must provide an exact or estimated cost for the screening tools you plan to use, and provide the applicant with an itemized list of actual or expected expenses and a receipt for any application fees received.
- Landlords cannot charge one applicant a different amount than another for the same rental unit, and you must return any unused portion of the rental application fee within 20 days.
- You may be liable for three times the rental application fee and court costs if you violate any of these rental application requirements.
- The state of Colorado doesn’t place a limit on how much landlords can charge for security or pet deposits. Still, you must return any deposits 30 to 60 days after the tenant vacates the property or provide a written explanation for why you’re withholding the deposit.
Colorado Rental Background Checks
A prospective renter must give written consent to undergo a credit check under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
It’s a good idea to include the consent statement in your rental application or use a separate background check authorization form.
Length of Look-back Period
Landlords in Colorado are only allowed to consider seven (7) years of rental or credit history before the date of application.
For criminal history, landlords can only consider five (5) years before the date of application unless the criminal record relates to a crime involving methamphetamines, sex offender registration, or homicide or stalking charges.
If a landlord denies a rental application, he or she must provide the applicant with a written notice of denial. This notice should state the reasons for not accepting the applicant as a renter.
The landlord should make a good-faith effort to provide the denial letter to the applicant within 20 calendar days after the decision to deny.
How to Conduct an Eviction Record Search in Colorado
You can use the Colorado Judicial Branch website to conduct your rental background check for potential renters.
Simply access public records and conduct a court records search to see if there have been any recent legal actions taken against the applicant that involve the failure to pay rent or eviction from a property.
Other Resources for Landlords in Colorado
How to Write a Rental Application
Follow the steps below to write a rental application in Colorado.
Step 1 – Fill in Property Address Information
Write the date of the rental application and the address of the rental property.
Step 2 – Collect Basic Rental Applicant Information
This section provides the applicant(s) basic identifying information about themselves.
Step 3 – Collect Applicant’s Residence History
In this section, the applicant(s) provides their residence history including addresses, dates of residency, and reasons for moving.
Step 4 – Gather Applicant’s Employment History
This section is for the applicant(s) to provide current and previous employment information and other sources of income.
Step 5 – Gather Applicant’s Financial History
This section is for the applicant(s) to provide bank account and credit card information.
Step 6 – Collect References
The applicant(s) provides personal references’ names and contact information in this section.
Step 7 – Additional Questions and Verification
This section contains additional questions to determine more information about the applicant such as smoking or pets.
Sample Colorado Rental Application Form
Below is an example of a standard Colorado rental application form.
You may download this free form or use our document builder to create a customized Colorado rental application that covers all the details unique to your real estate needs.