Raising rents in Colorado

9 Replies

Is there any limit as to how much a landlord can raise rent on a month-to-month tenant in Colorado?  I know this sounds like a weird question, but I have a tenant who is paying below market by quite a bit.   

History:  He and his partner moved in a couple of years ago.  They both had decent credit and all was pretty good thru out that time with both of them.  This past May, they broke up and one moved out.  The remaining one wanted to stay.  But he wanted to sign just a month-to-month lease, which was fine with me.  But in these 5-6 months now with this guy, he has been pretty high maintenance.  

Because they moved in a couple of years ago, and have been good tenants, I kept them at their original rental amount until May, when we went to the month-to-month.  I raised the rent by $50 at that time.  But now with everything, and given that the rent is still quite a bit below market, I would like to raise it by a couple of hundred.  I know I can get that much more, as I've tested it on Craigslist.  And I certainly don't mind losing this guy as a tenant now.

I've read that Colorado law only requires 10 days for a rent increase.  I want to give him at least 30 days.  But just want to make sure that there is no limit on the amount that I can raise the rent.  

Any thoughts from anyone?

no limit to rent increase amount so long as your lease doesn't limit you. I do agree with giving a 30 day notice  as courtesy. 

Before going for full market rent you might consider what a turnover is going to cost you, but if you don't want to deal with the fella anymore a rent increase is a good way to do it. 

If your under lying intent is to get rid of the tenant than just donor with a 30 day or longer notice and turn it over. If he is a pain now, it will probably be worse at a higher rent. 

Good luck!

@Tanya H. No limit on rent increase. My advise would be, if you want him to go, send him packing. Raising the rent and hoping he will move will only result in heart ache. It's unlikely he can afford the higher rent and he'll be mad when he sees what the market really is. He may take it out on you or promise to pay more and then end up not having adequate funds. It's never easy. 

In reality, 10 day notice is too short. It's highly unlikely that he could find a place to move or hire someone to move him or even rent a truck to move in that amount of time. 30 days is ok. Unless your rental agreement says otherwise, then I would wait until he paid the rent then give the notice. 3 or 4 days isn't going to make or break him. That keeps him from withholding rent and sending you down the path of just use my security deposit for last month's rent. 

There is no limit on the amount you can raise the rent. I’m not familiar with Colorado law, but commonly landlord should give at least 30 days’ advance written notice if the rent increase is 10% or less. However, if the increase is more than 10% you should give at least 60 days’ advance notice.

Thanks all for the info and advice.  I'm certainly planning on giving him 30 +/- notice.  Since he's already late with the rent, with a promise to have it tomorrow, I am waiting until I get the rent. 

@Bill S. , I agree that I shouldn't use the rent increase as the vehicle to get rid of him.  But since he's late with the rent, I do want to wait until I get the rent, and by then, we're past the 30 days notice required with the month-to-month lease.  So I can get past the 30 day notice requirement by using the rent increase instead.  

This is the first time that he has ever been late, and he did let me know ahead of time that he would be late due to a job change.  But that indicates to me that he can't really afford the rent on the place on his own.  

I may wait another month, and give him notice at the first of December.  I think he's going to really surprised to find out the housing costs in Denver, because I'm not sure he's been keeping up with news.  I do try to provide affordable housing, because I know it's a big issue here in Denver, but once a tenant turns troublesome, I no longer feel it's in my best interest to keep them.   

Tanya,

I'm just curious, have you raised rent, and plan to raise rent based solely off of what the market is doing, or have you made improvements to your property in conjunction with the rent increases? 

I feel like rent increases are totally justifiable based on what the market is doing, but I also feel like there should be noticeable improvements for the renter as well, otherwise every tenant will always be a pain in the butt. 

Lost my last post - wanted to delete the partial reply...

Hi @Christian Fernandez .  There are not any significant improvements to the property.  We replaced the furnace and water heater, but I call those maintenance items not improvements.

I agree that rents generally would be increased if there were improvements.  If this were a great tenant, I would not raise rents just due to the market.  But that is not the case here.  

There certainly will be a turnover cost, but past experience with this property is that I can turn it around in 2 weeks.  The demand is high in this area.  And so the turnaround costs outweigh the costs/time of keeping this tenant now.  

Why would you choose to discriminate against individual tenants with your rental rates.

Is it your present business plan to supplement tenants rates based on whether you like them or not.

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