I’m A Tenant In Colorado – Can My Landlord Make Me Clean My Home?

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These are just an example of the questions we will answer for you today. 

WAIT! Avoid a sticky mess

Can landlord make me clean. Can a landlord force me to clean? Clearly, this is a contentious issue. 

I would ask you to read the next couple of sections, very carefully. Both Tenants and Landlords.

As a landlord: Please take the time to listen to your tenant. AND give them the respect that they deserve. Don’t overstep your mark. 

Renters: Do the same. Don’t threaten a landlord with some BS lawsuit. The truth is that will just get them more upset and could end up with a suite of your own.

If there is a house cleanliness issue talk to each other about it. If all else fails then everything you need to know about how clean your house or home has t be is right here in this article. 

If you both do this I absolutely promise things will go great. 

Useful resources:

renters and landlords could be associates that get along


If nothing else the next couple of sentences are the most in this document and it will help you if you are a tenant in Colorado or an investment property owner in Colorado.

This will help you both immensely.

As a landlord it is very important to take a deep breath when talking with a tenant. You must establish the ground rules, rent amounts, and dates when rent is due.  Landlords can streamline their property management processes by collecting rent online. Once you get your process of collecting rent in place, it’s easier to start off on the right foot with your tenant. On the flip side. Likewise, if you rent a home then be patient when talking to your landlord. 

Most landlords and most tenants are 100% absolutely trying to do the right thing.

So, before talking, might I suggest, writing down on paper the current issue. Leave all opinions out of it. Promise yourself to keep your voice in a normal conversational tone. Doing this will really let you get your point across and hear the other side.

Now, if either of you starts to get upset – do what I do… Pretend your Doctor is calling. It goes like this…

Oh my, I am getting a call from my Doctor and I have been trying to talk to them for 2 days I have to take this but I will call you right back I promise ok, talk soon.

At which point you answer the fake call (i.e. hangup) 

Now take a few minutes to calm down then re-enter the conversation. 

This strategy has helped me keep a level head on many occasions. Hope it helps.

Now onto more specific info about Colorado Landlord and Tenant relationship and most specifically – Can a property owner tell a renter how clean their home must be. 

Let me say one side note before diving in really deep.


If you are thinking of selling a hosue in Colorado talk to us

Watson Buys is a company local to Colorado and we buy houses in Colorado. We buy houses for a living. We buy them, fix them up and then resell or rent them out. The service we can give you is making the process of selling extremely easy. We are cash buyers and that may not be the right choice for everyone. 

So I put together this article about selling your house using an agent and it gives you all the ins and outs of who to get it done right a and therefore if you are thinking about selling will help you decide on the best choice for you. 

We buy houses in Colorado because we love Colorado. It’s where we live. Our friends and family are here. Call us if you have any questions about real estate. We can help. Especially if you need to sell. 

Message for Landlords

This article will help all Colorado landlords make sure renters keep your rental house/investment property clean and maintain it properly.

Colorado tenants and renters, this article will explain when it is required that you clean your home.

ABOUT ME: I am a real estate investor based in Denver, Colorado. I buy distressed (think old and ugly) property.  I am one of those we buy houses in Colorado companies. I have been working in real estate since 2010. 

So, we buy houses in Colorado and then after purchasing them I fix them up, tastefully, and then rent them out or resell them.

When I rent out a house I use a lease that has been put together by a well established attorney, local to Denver, Colorado, that includes paragraph about how clean a property must be kept by a renter.

Simply put, if a contract (lease) is signed between a landlord and a tenant then it becomes law. Of course, you can write into your contract things that fly in the face of the constitution. However, making rules around how clean a rental house must be kept is 100 legal and legitimate for a lease to include.

In fact I would go further and say, that is very important rules are set, in the lease, about just how clean the renter must keep their home.

This article is Landlords, This Is What You Must Do To Ensure Tenants Keep Your Investment Property Clean and Tidy in Colorado – however, I believe the ideas you find here will help any landlord or tenant understand the requirements outside of Colorado also.

SUMMARY: We buy houses in Colorado, fix them up, rent them or resell them. Our lease is reviewed by a Colorado real estate attorney. 

This article pulls from all of my real estate experience, lesson and mistakes I have made as a we buy houses in Colorado business. I sincerely believe their is some good stuff here for you – as a tenant and landlord. 

Below is a picture of me – and a little advertising for my business – feel free to ignore it and go to the part about if a landlord can tell you that you have to clean your house in Colorado. 


Image above: We buy houses in Colorado and this is one we bought and fixed up - its toward the end of the bathroom remodel in the master

Tenants and owners are responsible for the greater good of the house

AND it absolutely starts with respecting each other.

Landlords – Be good to your tenant. Don’t assume the tenant is out to get you. Give them the benefit of the doubt – at first at least.

Tenants – Be kind to the house owner.  Not all landlords are monsters. In fact, the vast majority are hardworking decent people just like you. If they are willing to give you a nice place to live in then you absolutely must do your part and take good care of it. 


Tenant and landlord relations can be simple but you must write it all down!!! Of course, make sure it is all written down. Who has to pay for the electricity is one example. Who has to keep the bathrooms clean can be another. Rules around inspections to ensure they are clean can be included. Who is responsible for the upkeep of everything in the house is what the lease is all about. Who has to do what… ok?

Are you bored yet? 

If yes I do apologize but I promise there is some great stuff in here. AND if you have any questions just email us or fill out a form. We will get the answer for you. We buy houses in Colorado and that is our specialty but because of that, we have learned a lot of stuff about real estate over the years. 

PLUS: We have all been tenants, now we are landlords too I see it from both sides. 

Let’s continue…

can landlord make me clean

Can landlord make me clean?

A landlord can make you clean. A landlord can require tenants to keep the rental property clean all the time. This includes not accumulating piles of junk, trash in the driveway, empty boxes, and certainly ALL hazardous materials. However, it must be set out in the terms of the lease for it to be binding. 

Let’s discuss how a landlord can make you clean in more detail. This includes if a landlord can force professional cleaning AND if a landlord can charge a cleaning fee in Colorado.

A landlord can make rules about how clean a rental must be.

As a real estate investor in Colorado myself (more than 10 less than 100 rentals in 3 states) I am occasionally told by the city or a neighbor that my rental property is not being kept clean by the current tenant. This leads to the renter being told they need to keep the house clean – per the contracted terms.

More than once the response has been, “You can’t tell me how to keep my house clean” (by my house they are referring to the property they rent, which is actually MY house, right).

The truth is as a landlord you can put in the lease agreement just how clean a property needs to be. Therefore a landlord can tell a tenant how clean to keep the house.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, tenants, and in-fact most people, feel that they don’t need to abide by contract law (think CDC telling landlords they can’t evict despite having a contract in place #supreme court just struck down the eviction moratorium – but that is a article for next week).

All to often tenants want to have quite control of the property they rent (their home) which I am a huge advocate for and of) but are not willing to do their part.


Their part is follow the contract, which in my case lays out very clearly the requirements about just how clean a property has to be. (I will put a few of the clauses from the lease at the bottom).

If you are a landlord and you have decided to sell the house it would be nice of you to let the tenant know regardless if you are learning to sell it FSBO, choosing an agent or selling for cash.

Keep the lines of communication wide open at all times. This always makes life easier between owners and their occupants.  


Can a landlord force professional cleaning?

Did you know that a landlord can force professional cleaning on you? AND HERE’S HOW!

When you sign a lease you agree to all the terms within the lease. More commonly landlords are requiring that a tenant keep the house clean. This state alone can force professional cleaning on you, but here’s what can.

Following this requirement, a landlord will document what will happen if the rental unit is not kept tidy. Many will document that if the unit is not kept clean the owner will have a professional cleaning company enter the unit and get it up to standard. All of this is at the expense of the tenant.

However, as a tenant, remember your rights! The owner can only force a cleaning crew on you if it is written in a lease that you signed. 

Do you know how much a landlord can bill for cleaning?

We talked with an expert from Senior Life Insurance who said, “We talk to people about cleaning out their rental often, especially older people who are downsizing to save money. They want to be sure they get their deposit back. They need to move into a smaller rental unit, so it costs less rent and utilities, is easier to clean, plus so they can afford essentials like food and well priced senior life insurance.”


Can a landlord charge a cleaning fee in Colorado?

A landlord can charge a cleaning fee in Colorado. There are a couple of situations when a landlord will charge a cleaning fee. 


A landlord can charge you a cleaning fee when you move out. Of course, before they charge you, you can clean the unit yourself. It would be best if you made it as clean as when you moved in. The cleaning fee covers the cost incurred to return the unit to PRE-RENTAL condition. PRE-RENTAL condition is how clean the house was when you began renting it. Does this make sense?


As discussed already, another time a landlord can charge you a cleaning fee is if you do not keep the premises tidy and clean according to the terms set out in the lease. If your home is found to be dirty the landlord could force you to pay for cleaning.

Do you want to know how much landlords can charge for cleaning?


How clean do you have to leave a rental property?

How clean you have to leave a rental property is determined by the lease. The lease, or rental contract, spells out how clean the rental property must be when you vacate it. 

Typically, landlords require that the occupant make the house as clean as it was before they moved in. As a tenant, I highly recommend you document the cleanliness of the rental property when you move in. To document how clean the place is you can:

  1. Take pictures
  2. Write descriptions (e.g. loaf of bread behind the fridge)
  3. Have the owner walk the property with you AND…
  4. MOST IMPORTANT is to have the landlord sign off on the move-in condition of your new residence.

This last step ensures there can be no arguments about how clean the house was when you moved in. Therefore you know exactly how much you need to clean hat when you move out.

Are you getting a good deal

Avoid landlord cleaning charges when you move out

It is quite simple to avoid cleaning charges from your landlord when the lease is up. All you have to do is return the unit to the condition it was before you moved in.

Remember when I told you to take pics, write down the move-in condition and cleanliness, AND have the landlord sign their name to the condition?

Well, this is when you need it.

After you have finished cleaning have the landlord walk the property with you. Be sure to have with you all the photos, documentation, and the landlord signed recognition that the unit was when you rented it. 

For more details go here to learn how to avoid cleaning charges when you move out.

Dear Tenants, A Good Reason To Keep Your Home Clean

A quick side note on why, as a renter, you should keep the place clean. 

There are a lot of real estate investors out there who are looking to buy property in Denver from Landlords that are fed up and tired of having rentals. If you like your place then you don’t want the owner to sell it, do you?

These real estate pro’s have lots of ways to buy houses in Denver so even if the place is not listed don’t think you are safe. 

I know the landlord has to be good to you to but make sure you are good to the landlord :-).


Can a landlord tell you how clean to keep your house in Colorado?

Denver, Colorado:

So is it legal for a property owner or landlord to tell a renter how clean you have to keep your home.

The short answer is yes.

A landlord can set out requirements in regards to how a property must be maintained. The requirements can include the tenants responsibilities. These responsibilities can include how clean a house has to be kept so as to not breach the contract.

PROP TIP: Keep the requirements as objective a s possible.

Example: One example might be that the rental property must be cleaned by a professional company every 14 days.

Before you role your eyes hard at me, I get it. This might turn prospective renters away.

However, it is something you could include if you wanted too. Just as you can include in the lease that utilities must remain on and current at all times.

TO THE TENANT: If you don’t like something that is written in a lease then do not sign it. Negotiate with the landlord. Maybe they are willing to change it. However, if you sign the lease, then you are saying that you will (in this example) use a professional cleaning service every 2 weeks in your home to keep it clean.

So again, in Colorado landlords can tell tenants how to clean to keep your house, knowing that it can also harm you and the whole compound.

Like anything you sign, in Colorado or anywhere, make sure you read it and understand it. If you don’t understand a clause in the contract then ask for clarification.

Before signing the lease agreement, landlords are allowed to create a list of dos and don’ts when renting their property. They mention specific rules, like how to manage the trash, bottles, and biodegradable items. In Colorado, landlords can include this on the lease agreement to maintain their tenants’ safety and the cleanliness of the whole property. If a tenant breaks this rule, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant out of their rental property. Just how clean to keep the place is something a property owner is allowed to define.

Colorado Regulations on Tenancy

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, in Colorado or anywhere. This is 100% an opinion piece. That said, it is opinion that I have formed over 20 years of investing in real estate, buying houses for cash, renting them out, and all under the careful eye of my real estate attorney, to ensure I am doing every thing correctly, when it comes to the law.

CYA she calls it. Cover you’re a$& she says all to often to me. AND a$& is another word for donkey J

In most cases, landlords in Colorado, reserve the right to dictate how their CO rental properties should be used and managed. After all, they are the ones who will pay for the repair and maintenance when something goes wrong in their rental property.

Some rules still vary in every state; that’s why every detail must be thoroughly discussed before both parties sign the lease agreement.

In Colorado, to avoid problems and confusion in the future, landlords should include a cleanliness clause in the agreement. They need to make sure that they explicitly mention what they expect from their CO tenants and the possible consequences when they break the rules.

More importantly, they need to make sure that the tenants understand these rules are made for their own safety.

PRO TIP: And even more important as a landlord you need to make sure the rules have been read by the renter to be. My mentor gave me the idea of recording the lease (focus on points you want to get across) as an audio or video. He then plays it to every new renter – in a 1.5 speed. This way they don’t get bored, have a little at the owners expense (because his voice sounds funny) and is actually a nice way to start the relationship, if you ask me.

Things to Include in the Cleanliness Clause in Colorado

Colorado Trash day – Depending where in Colorado you are be sure to mention wildlife. If your rental is in on e of the ski resorts in the Colorado Rockies think about what might happen if a tenant puts the trash out the night before trash day and a bear gets their hands on it.

Every Colorado landlord should assign a cleaning and trash day at least one day a week to prevent the trash from piling up. Pretty easy as we all typically have acouple local trash optns, right.

They must also assign a particular space for the trash so the renters would know where to put their stuff.

State of the Property in Colorado, Denver, Lakewood, Golden, Montbello, Arvada or any other front range neighborhood.

In the “terms of use,” every CO landlord must list in their lease agreement that the renters must maintain the place’s condition all throughout their stay. Otherwise, they would pay for the necessary repairs and replacements. In some cases, their security payment will not be refunded. This holds true for Colorado leases and in fact any lease agreement that is signed.

Areas to be cleaned and maintained – The landlord should also mention the house or apartment’s specific parts that need to be cleaned and maintained. This aims to avoid the confusion of who needs to clean what.

Once again I like the pro cleaning service agreement. Even 2 weeks or every four weeks depending on the company. If a cleaning company comes into the investment property how things happen:

  1. The house is cleaned property
  2. We get eyes on the property to make sure it is clean as well as anything else

Colorado cleaning inspections

To make sure that all the CO laws and regulations are being followed, a landlord can also regularly check the property. This should be clearly stated as they cannot enter the property without prior notice. On the other hand, renters have the right to deny the landlord’s access if no prior notice was given. As part of the privacy policy, proprietors should also follow this protocol.

What pests do we need to control in Colorado

The range of critters and rodents in Colorado range wildly – and they can be wild!

We spoke to a local pest control company who said they have been called out for bedbugs, fleas, mice, prairie dogs, raccoons, and even mountain lions and bears!

Keeping trash inside in a secure bin is very important – particularly for bears as outdoor trash will attract them. Especially when they are hungry!

If you leave a bunch of trash outside and generally have a messy yard then you are a bad neighbor. If you have a messy neighbor and trash keeps blowing onto your property then maybe you need some ideas on how to deal with a bad neighbor, right?

Otherwise your landlord may think the trash is yours!

How Much To Clean In Colorado and paying for Cleaning Service in Time of Relocation

In a Colorado lease, a landlord and tenant can negotiate the terms of cleaning when the lease is up and the tenant decides to leave.  When a tenant decides to leave the Denver house or Jefferson County apartment, the landlord has to hire someone to clean up the mess, dirt, and trash. If the landlord wants the tenant to pay for the final cleaning and repairs, it should also be posted in the agreement. The same is true when the eviction of the tenant happens.

Moving is never easy so it pays that both sides understand the contract and all I would highly recommend understand how much it costs to move in Colorado too!

What can be considered as mess or dirt in Colorado

Ideally, when you have a tenant in Colorado they remove all trash and smelly stuff when they leave. But this is not always the case.

Smelly items from rotting items – When biodegradable items are not disposed of properly, it can cause a very unpleasant smell throughout the apartment. Some tenants are sensitive to this kind of carelessness, and it can lead to unpleasant consequences. More importantly, it can also lead to health problems for people living in the same apartment.

Toxic chemicals – Colorado, like every state, has specific rules about what you must do with toxic chemicals. Whether they use these chemicals for work or home cleaning, tenants should not leave these items lying around. If these items are not properly disposed of, it can cause accidents, especially for kids playing around the play area. Tenants should dispose of these items properly to avoid these kinds of problems.

Colorado Clutter – If a tenant has too many unimportant items on their apartment unit (like empty boxes, empty bottles, and piles of papers), the landlord can politely ask the tenant to properly dispose of them. These items collect dust, and they can also be a cause of the fire. Here’s an article that can guide you on how to minimize dust in an apartment.

Mold in Colorado – Colorado is typically a very dry state. So mold is much easier to keep under control in Colorado. Of course, the western slope of Grand Junction is different from Denver or say Fort Collins but again Colorado, for the most part, is  When foods and wet items are not properly arranged, mold can grow and multiply. When not controlled immediately, these molds can also grow in the nearby apartment units. Tenants should make sure that all their foods and wet items are properly managed to avoid molds’ growth.

Colorado Rodents Infestation – When foods and biodegradable items are left open in the kitchen, rodents may start to emerge and infest an apartment unit. From there, it will begin to infest other apartment units and do the same thing. To avoid this, renters should place their leftovers in closed plastic or containers to prevent rodents’ infestation.

Rights of the Tenant in Colorado

While I am doing my best to spell out the ly of the land in Colorado I must again say that if you do have questions that you should speak to an attorney. Of course, prevention is always better than cure, and before talking to an attorney try to reason with the tenant first. Listen to what issue they are having and how you might be able to address it together.

Colorado Privacy Policy – A Colorado property owner has to advise a tenant at least 48 hours (2 days) before entering the CO tenant’s home if they want to conduct their inspections. While the proprietor owns the property, borders still have the right to protect their privacy. In case their rights get violated, borders may report or sue the owner for doing such acts.

Make sure your tenant in Colorado has a copy of the lease

 Problems may occur in Colorado (even though Colorado is awesome, right!) every once in a while; that is why it is important for both parties to have a copy of the lease contract so they will know how to solve an issue properly. When a problem occurs in Colorado, a tenant can easily see the information written in the lease contract to assess the situation at hand. More importantly, when a dispute happens, a legal expert can easily notice the problem and quickly solve the case.

Abusive Landlord – It never happens in Colorado, right????!!!??

I wish that statement was true! Unfortunately, abuse happens everywhere, in every industry and the Colorado Real estate industry is no different.

Abuse is not that common with me and my friends but it’s out there.

While property owners can tell you how to clean and use the home, there are still some limitations that they need to observe. So, how do you know if your landlord is already abusing their power over you? Here are some signs that you need to look for:

  • Threatens you verbally or even physically
  • Enters your home without giving prior notice (at least 2 days time)
  • Move your personal items without first consulting you
  • Invading your personal space and putting unnecessary items/tools in it
  • Blocks your driveway when you make a minor mistake
  • Refuses to pay for the maintenance service and buy the necessary items when need
  • Shows up more frequently than agreed upon to check and see your room for inspections
  • Does not return your personal belongings when they find it lying around the place
  • Constantly neglect your concerns and questions
  • Cuts off your access to certain amenities even though you are paid
  • Does not follow the rental laws and ignores the information mentioned in the lease contract
  • Treats you unfairly compared to other people renting in the same apartment

FAQS about tenant and landlord agreements in Colorado:

Can a landlord keep my security deposit for repairs in Colorado?

As mentioned above, yes. A landlord can keep your security deposit to make necessary repairs on the property that were caused by you. The landlord must hire a professional to make the repairs however.

In Colorado, a security deposit is one of the reasons why property owners collect a deposit before allowing a tenant to rent their real estate property. These deposits are usually equivalent to one month of the rental fee. If anything goes wrong during the tenant’s time in the apartment, the money will be used to repair and buy the necessary stuff to replace the damaged items. This is a common policy in almost any apartment, and the same rules apply whether you are in New York or Alabama.

Can you be evicted for having a dirty apartment in Colorado?

Yes you can be evicted for having a dirty apartment or house in the state of Colorado.

If a CO tenant cannot follow the CO landlord’s laws and regulations, the latter has the legal right to evict the former. Again, cleanliness is important not only for the unit renter themselves but also for other tenants’ health in the same rental apartment. To avoid possible eviction from the Colorado residence, see to it that you read all the information written in the agreement before signing it. More importantly, as a responsible tenant, clean your apartment regularly and ensure that it is well-maintained and properly taken care of.

Now in Colorado it is common to have neighbors, right? On the other hand, when you notice your neighbors being messy and irresponsible, you may want to discuss it with them and talk things out. Remind them that maintaining cleanliness is part of the landlord’s policy, and not following them could get them in trouble with the owner. In other words, they could get evicted when the landlord sees the situation. If this approach does not work, immediately tell the landlord so they can easily solve the issue.

Sometimes the landlord may be tired of owning investments by now. If this is the case let us know because we buy houses in Colorado from owners regularly even with tenants in place!

We can take over as-is, get the place ship shape and move forward. 

What are the tenant’s responsibilities to keep the rental clean in Colorado?

Just how clean in Colorado do I have to keep my rental house? 

It depends on the lease agreement between the tenant and the CO owner. Some Colorado owners shoulder some of the cleaning responsibilities, while others pass the responsibility to the renters. However, as a responsible tenant, ensure that you clean your room properly. Even if the proprietor does not ask you to do so, find a few minutes each day to get your stuff properly arranged and maintained. If you are really busy at work and have no spare time to do the chores, you could ask someone to clean your home for you for a few bucks.

As a company, we have some great cleaners phone numbers we are happy to share with you. They are not part of our company but we have used them on many occasions. We need cleaners regularly because when we buy houses in Colorado we often have to clean them after purchasing them,

In Colorado when serious maintenance (like plumbing issues) is needed, you can read the lease contract and check whether you or the owner has to pay for it. Read the “terms of use” part properly so you can avoid further disputes with the owner.

Conclusion: Keep it clean people

Colorado: Cleanliness is one of the most important issues that all renters and homeowners need to pay close attention to. To avoid possible accidents, health problems, and possible disputes, renters should properly observe and follow the owners’ rules especially in Colorado. On the other hand, owners should also be considerate enough when their renters make some minor mistakes. They should be considerate enough not to abuse their rights and power.

We have come across many situations where a house has been left in shambles for the owner to deal with. We have seen it all because we buy houses in Colorado on a regular basis. 

While it is unfortunate let us be a simple solution for you. We will buy the rental or investment property as-is. You don’t have to repairs or clean a thing!

Are you ready to sell your rental house?

Maybe the timing is right and you are ready to cash out of your rental property.

Well, if that is the case we buy houses in Colorado and we will buy them from with, or without a tenant in place. When you sell to us you don’t have to make any repairs, deal with the tenant, or even clean.

Watson Buys property all over Colorado. We buy houses in Colorado because we love Colorado. We purchase houses from landlords. We buy them as-is. We’ll even buy homes with tenants in place. 

We are the premier choice for owners who need to sell a rental property fast and easily. Do not hesitate to call us. 


Alternatively read this review that we received on a property we purchased in Denver for cash.

Watson Buys houses in a faster, easier way that ifs free to the seller.

Selling a property in the market today is hyper-competitive. To get help in selling your house successfully simply submit the form below and we will help you get your house sold!

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