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Colorado Poverty Law Project: 2023 Legislative Summary

Remote Participation in Residential Evictions:

HB23-1186, sponsored by Rep. Mandy Lindsay, Rep. Iman Jodeh, Sen. Tony Exum and Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis

  • Provides any party or witness in a county court residential eviction with the option of participating in person, by video conference, or by telephone

  • Allows unrepresented parties to submit motions and documents electronically

  • Prohibits e-filing or electronic service fees for indigent parties


Protections for Residential Tenants:

SB23-184, sponsored by Sen. Faith Winter, Sen. Tony Exum, Rep. Meg Froelich, and Rep. Lorena Garcia

  • Limits consideration of a prospective tenant’s income to 2x the cost of rent, or for tenants with a voucher, 2x the portion of rent they are responsible for paying

  • Prohibits consideration of credit scores and credit history for rental applications who have a voucher

  • Caps allowable security deposits to not exceed 2x the cost of one month’s rent

  • Clarifies that discrimination and fair housing violations are an affirmative defense to an eviction


Portable Tenant Screening Report for Residential Leases:

HB23-1099, sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Vigil, Rep. Mike Weissman, Sen. Rhonda Fields and Sen. Tony Exum

  • Allows a rental applicant to recycle a recent tenant screening report if certain conditions are met, to avoid paying multiple application fees

  • Empowers the Attorney General to enforce the Rental Application Fairness Act

  • Establishes meaningful, minimum statutory damages for violations of the Rental Application Fairness Act


Eviction Protections for Residential Tenants:

HB23-1120, sponsored by Rep. Junie Joseph, Rep. David Ortiz, Sen. Rhonda Fields and Sen. Faith Winter

  • Provides most tenants receiving federal disability or TANF benefits with the right to a mediation, at no cost and facilitated by a neutral third party, before an eviction filing

  • Ensures 30 days to move after an eviction for most tenants who receive these federal benefits


Prohibited Provisions in Rental Agreements:

HB23-1095, sponsored by Rep. Steven Woodrow, Rep. Mandy Lindsay, Sen. Nick Hinrichsen, and Sen. Faith Winter

  • Establishes new guardrails concerning the award of attorney fees in an eviction

  • Prohibits most leases from including clauses that waive the right to a jury trial, a class action lawsuit, the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” and the implied “covenant of quiet enjoyment”

  • Limits the imposition of “lease non-renewal” fees and other third-party fees

  • Restricts leases from characterizing fees and utilities as “rent” for the purposes of an eviction.


Habitability of Residential Premises:

HB23-1254, sponsored by Rep. Kyle Brown, Rep. Javier Mabrey and Sen. Lisa Cutter

  • Modifies Colorado’s warranty of habitability to require appropriate remediation after a natural disaster, and allows tenants to terminate a lease if the unit remains unsafe

  • Expands retaliation protections for tenants who have raised a habitability complaint, organized with other tenants, or participated in a tenants’ association


Pet Animal Ownership in Residential Housing:

HB23-1068, sponsored by Rep. Alex Valdez, Sen. Faith Winter and Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis

  • Prohibits an insurer from considering the breed of a dog

  • Provides a process for the care of pets when an eviction is executed

  • Caps “pet deposits” to not exceed $300 and ensures that those deposits are refundable

  • Limits the imposition of “pet rent” to not exceed the greater of $35 per month or 1.5% of monthly rent


Affordable Housing Right of First Refusal:

HB23-1190, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Boesenecker, Rep. Emily Sirota, Sen. Faith Winter and Sen. Sonya Jacquez Lewis


Governor Jared Polis surprisingly vetoed this bill. This legislation was thoroughly vetted and amended based on a variety of stakeholder input—including the Governor’s own administration. While we are dismayed that the Governor refused to sign this historic legislation into law, CPLP commends the sponsors and the coalition that advanced this bill, and we remain committed to working on policy solutions to address Colorado's affordable housing crisis. This bill would have:

  • Provided local governments with a “right of first refusal” to match the best offer on a qualifying apartment for sale, in order to preserve or convert the apartment as affordable housing

  • Allowed local governments to waive this right of first refusal if a third-party buyer agreed to certain affordability standards


Regulating Local Housing Growth:

HB23-1255, sponsored by Rep. William Lindstedt, Rep. Ruby Dickson and Sen. Julie Gonzales

  • Generally prohibits a local government from enacting or enforcing any law that constitutes a blanket “growth cap,” i.e. one that categorically limits new housing development

  • Provides local governments with flexibility to enact a ”temporary, non-renewable anti-growth law” under certain conditions


Questions?

Contact Jack Regenbogen, CPLP's Deputy Executive Director, at jack@copovertylawproject.org.

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