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Does My Landlord Have to Mitigate Damages in Colorado?

If you're renting in Colorado, your landlord is probably required by law to try and find a new tenant to replace you if you move out early.

In Colorado, landlords are usually required to mitigate damages if you move out of your rental before the lease is up. They're supposed to make a reasonable effort to find a new tenant—and when they do, you're no longer on the hook for rent going forward.

This responsibility was established in Colorado by a specific court case, Schneiker v. Gordon. The decision reads, in part:

Under traditional property law principles, a landlord could allow the property to remain unoccupied while still holding the abandoning tenant liable for rent. This encourages both economic and physical waste. In no other context of which we are aware is an injured party permitted to sit by idly and suffer avoidable economic loss and thereafter to visit the full adverse economic consequences upon the party whose breach initiated the chain of events causing the loss.

Although the case addresses commercial landlords specifically, it strongly implied that the duty should extend to residential landlords—and many local courts across Colorado now rule that way. You can generally assume that your landlord is required to mitigate damages unless a local lawyer says otherwise.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.