How Much Notice Do I Need to Give My Tenant to Terminate Lease?

How Much Notice Do I Need to Give My Tenant to Terminate Lease?

I’ve been asked this question three times in the last couple days so I thought it could be helpful to post an answer.  There is lots of confusion over this question because the answer depends on the circumstances, and namely, the terms of the written lease agreement.

The rule of law in Colorado is that when you have a lease with a specified termination date, the landlord does not have to give any advance notice. When the termination date arrives the lease ends and the tenant is then occupying without a lease and subject to eviction.

The lease might also have different notice requirements for the tenant to the landlord.  Most leases contain a provision that requires the tenant to give 30 days notice of termination, otherwise the lease converts to a month-to-month lease at the end of the stated term.   Landlords insist on such provisions so that they have advance notice that the tenant is going to stay or go so they can start advertising the property to a new tenant. If the tenant leaves on the termination date, but fails to provide the advance 30 day notice to landlord, the tenant will be liable for a month of rent.

What happens if the lease doesn’t specify a termination date?  Without a termination date, the notice requirements are dictated by Colorado statute: CRS § 13-40-107. Under the statute a lease of one year or longer will require a 91 day notice; a month-to-month lease will require 10 day notice; and leases less than a month can be terminated upon three days notice.  The form you want to use for that notice is a “Notice to Quit.”  You can download the form for free at the Colorado Judicial Branch website:  http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/

Greg Parham
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3 comments

  1. Romaine /

    Greg,
    Thanks for the complimentary copy of 2013 Guide to CO RE Investing.
    How do I sign up for your wholesale property alerts??
    Romaine

  2. Denise Wambsganss /

    Greg: I was one of those people that asked you this question. THANK YOU sooooo much for being available to us and being so good at what you do!!

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