- Real Estate
Housing insecurity and access to affordable housing are at the center of the current housing crisis. To address these issues, Colorado lawmakers have passed a new bill that went into effect on October 1, 2021, known as Senate Bill 21-173. The following article about eviction law changes is for general knowledge and does not constitute legal advice.
New Tenant Protections Include:
- Longer Guaranteed Payment Acceptance: The old law had a 10-day “cure” period in which the tenant must make the full payment. However, the new bill abolished this 10-day deadline and allows payment any time before a court orders possession of the property.
- Changes to Breach of Habitability (Health and Safety) Defense: Previously, there were stricter standards to raise a health and safety defense, including a bond requirement, a cash payment, with the court to assert this defense. However, the new law allows tenants to assert an alleged breach of the warranty of habitability claim without paying a bond. It also allows tenants to assert a breach of the warranty of habitability defense in answer to nonpayment of rent or early move-out.
- Banning Shifting Costs on Tenants: The new legislation bans unreasonable liquidated damage clauses that assign costs to a tenant facing eviction and also bans rental agreements that contain one-way fee-shifting clauses that award attorney fees and court costs only to the landlord.
- Late Fees Capping: This new law caps late fees at $50 or 5% of a tenant’s outstanding rent balance, whichever is higher. Also, a landlord can only charge a late fee once per late payment. And landlords must now wait seven calendar days after rent is due to charge a late fee.
- No Eviction for Nonpayment of Late Fees: In Colorado, landlords can no longer initiate eviction proceedings against a tenant solely due to a tenant not paying late fees.
- New Summons Form: This new law led to a new drafting of the summons form used in eviction cases. This new form includes resources to help tenants understand their rights.
Landlords need to be diligent, given these new rules. That is why it is important to speak with attorneys who know the procedures and are up to date on the latest laws affecting real estate rentals.
If you have more questions about the eviction statutes or any other landlord matter, call (303) 678-0560 to connect with the attorneys of Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. We have offices in Broomfield, Loveland, and Longmont for client convenience.