Colorado's Sublease Laws

Whether you’ve outgrown your commercial real estate or are simply looking for a new living situation in Colorado, chances are your lease doesn’t lock you in entirely. Colorado law allows tenants to sublet commercial and residential properties while withholding some of the rights of the landlord. Although subleasing may be a less than optimal solution if your current residence no longer suits your needs, Colorado subletting law provides a solution for both landlords and tenants during mid-lease changes.

Prior Prohibition

A landlord may prohibit a tenant from subletting a property altogether, but only if the tenant has prior written notification on the subleasing limits. Because verbal notification is difficult to prove if the matter goes to court, the original lease should spell out this limitation on tenant’s rights. If the lease does not specifically bar subletting of rental property, Colorado tenants have the right to do so.

Subletting During Bankruptcy

Even in situations where subletting is expressly forbidden by terms of a lease, federal law allows a tenant in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings the right to sublease his property to another party. This law even grants tenants in bankruptcy the right to sublease the property without consent of the owner.

Landlord Approval of Tenants

As with subletting restrictions, Colorado law is largely silent about landlord approval of tenants of a sub-lease. If a lease doesn’t expressly provide right of refusal to a landlord, he may not object to new tenants. Lease languages, particularly commercial leases, may expressly grant landlords refusal rights, a claim to the profits made on the sublease rent, or impose fees for the sublet. Colorado law expressly prohibits landlords from rejecting sublet tenants without providing reason.

Original Tenant Remains Responsible

When the original leaseholder sublets a property, he remains responsible to the landlord for rent, upkeep and damages. Responsibility for enforcing the original lease terms on the subletting tenants goes to the original occupant as well. Any violations of the original lease may result in termination of the sublease.

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About the Author

Wilhelm Schnotz has worked as a freelance writer since 1998, covering arts and entertainment, culture and financial stories for a variety of consumer publications. His work has appeared in dozens of print titles, including "TV Guide" and "The Dallas Observer." Schnotz holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Colorado State University.