The rights of new tenants come into force while the temporary protections linked to the end of the pandemic
SOUTH COLORADO – An executive order from Governor Jared Polis officially ended on Sunday the remaining temporary protections given to tenants threatened with eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Polis did not renew a provision that extended the right to cure from 10 days to 30 days for people with a pending request for housing assistance. The decision was made because the Housing Division has made “significant progress in clearing the backlog of rental assistance applications,” according to the governor’s office.
A moratorium on evictions has not been put in place in Colorado for several months.
News5 received the following statement from the Colorado Apartment Association:
Ending the temporary 30-day rent application requirement was the right course for the governor to take. This will make it easier for housing providers to take the risk of accepting residents with low demands. Since the eviction process takes about three months in Colorado, even a modest extension of the length of the rent application required has made it extremely difficult for people with bad credit history to rent.
The ordinance had already been revised downwards several times (so that by the last executive decree, it only had an impact on people who claimed to have applied for rental assistance but did not have it. not yet received). However, the governor’s order was still misinterpreted by many local judges and housing advocates. It’s been a month and a half since the U.S. Supreme Court declared the CDC’s moratorium on evictions illegal and invalid. Colorado eviction requests remain at an all time high (about half of the normal number of cases filed in September 2021). The governor’s executive order was the final step in bringing Colorado real estate markets back to normal.
A law, which came into effect Oct. 1, establishes new rights for tenants in Colorado. Rights under SB21-173 include:
- Limits the amount a landlord can charge in late fees to $ 50 or 5% of the amount of the rent overdue, whichever is greater. Landlords cannot charge late fees up to seven days after the missed rent payment.
- Prohibition of evictions against a tenant solely motivated by the payment of one or more late fees.
- Requires a trial date to be set seven to 10 days after a response is filed, but allows the court to extend if it finds just cause for an extension.
- Requires tenant and landlord to provide relevant documents before trial.
- Prohibits the transfer of one-way charges in contracts and unreasonable damages.
CLICK HERE for a list of frequently asked questions from Governor Polis’s office regarding rent assistance.
The COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project is a non-profit organization providing free legal services to people at risk of deportation. The organization also manages Emergency Rent Assistance (ERA) dollars, giving them to people trying to pay rent.
It sounds like a step in the direction of sanity, and a step in the direction of building a framework for a state that is increasingly facing an affordable housing crisis.
Zach Neumann is the executive director of the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project. He called SB21-173 an ambitious long-term solution to tenants’ laws in Colorado. “We would like these protections to continue. They help our customers. They give them more time. At the same time, the SB21-173 will fill this time. It won’t be at the start of the process, it will be later in the process. And so, for that reason, I think we’ll see about the same time for tenants to go find those ERA dollars, pay and catch up, ”Neumann said.
Neumann said he was very excited about the new rule extending the healing period. “If you are behind on the rent, you not only have those 10 days at the start of the process, you can make the payment throughout your day in court. So you have a lot more time to go and pick up those IBAs. dollars and to make the payment, ”Neumann explained.
Tony Gioia is a local owner who rents a condo in Colorado Springs with his wife. He said SB21-173 just makes it harder for homeowners to make a living. “They forget behind the scenes. The owners, we have mortgages to pay. If we can’t pay our mortgage because the tenants have too many outs, then we lose the house and they lose a place to live afterwards. everything, ”Gioia said.
Gioia said the new tenant rights will make the eviction process longer and more expensive. He said it could cause rental prices to rise as landlords cannot absorb the price of non-payment.
Plus, he thinks it might be more difficult for people with bad credit or past evictions to find a place to live, if homeowners are more reluctant to take the risk. “The vast majority of landlords who want to rent, we also try to help other people, but the legislature is making it more and more difficult, which is really doomed to fail. They want to help the tenants, and in doing so, by hurting the landlords, they end up hurting the tenants, ”said Gioia.
Pikes Peak United Way can help tenants and property owners apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.