New Court Rule of Seven

The Rule of Seven – When does a tenancy terminate? By Jean Arnold.

I was never good at my “7’s” in multiplication and division. Thanks to the State Legislature and Colorado Supreme Court, my “7’s” proficiency is improving.

Effective July 1, 2012, Senate Bill 175 (SB 12-175), applied the “Rule of Seven” to the provisions of §13-40-107, C.R.S. affecting the duration and termination of tenancies in real property. The Rule of Seven changed the calculation of statutory deadlines for a myriad of existing Rules and Statutes so now most deadlines must be divisible by “seven.” The idea being that a deadline would not fall on a weekend. Plus, the former rule of adding three days for mailing to any deadline was eliminated. Now, statutory and rule deadlines are figured in 7-day increments: 7 days, 14 days, 28 days, 35 days, etc. Gone are: 3 days, 10 days, 15 days and 30 days, 90 days etc. – used prior to July 1, 2012.

Applying the “Rule of Seven” to the Forcible Entry and Detainer process and termination of tenancies:

(1) A tenancy may be terminated by notice in writing, served not less than the respective period fixed before the end of the applicable tenancy, as follows:

(a) A tenancy of one year or longer, ninety-one days;

(b) A tenancy of six months or longer but less than a year, twenty-eight days;

(c) A tenancy of one month or longer but less than six months, seven days;

The Rule of Seven does not apply to deadlines, cure provisions and tenancy terms written into leases, however. Therefore, the common 5-day late “late charge” provisions and 10-day “cure” provisions for defaults remain unaffected by the statutory change if these time periods are written into the lease. If the lease contains a written provision shortening the above notice periods for termination of a tenancy, such provisions are enforceable. Beware as to return of residential security / damage deposits. The 30-day requirement to account for and return a security deposit cannot be lengthened in favor of the landlord under the terms of a lease. In Colorado, the protections afforded the tenant as to the tenant’s security deposit under §38-12-103(7), C.R.S. cannot be waived.