A series of pro-tenant rental regulations are moving through the Colorado General Assembly, the latest of which is a bill that would prevent courts from reporting evictions unless the judge ultimately signs an eviction order.
Under the proposed measure, if the landlord settles the case before the eviction hearing, or if the case is dismissed — like where the tenant moves out before the hearing — the record would not be available to future landlords.
The draft bill also requires a disclosure on the eviction notice explaining to the tenant that the pending eviction will not be reported.
There has been little pushback on the measure from local landlord associations. However, there is concern that the move will make it more difficult for landlords to discover whether a prospective tenant has a history of missed rent payments or conduct justifying an eviction order.
Advocates for the measure draw a distinction between an eviction “filing” and an eviction order, suggesting that these are very different events. The bill’s sponsor claims that tenants might discover years later that an eviction filing was on record, which would then hamper the tenant’s ability to find another rental property.
Evictions typically are filed when the tenant has failed to pay rent and refuses to move out voluntarily. However, once an eviction is filed, tenants often will vacate just prior to the hearing. The landlord is still out any unpaid rent that may have given rise to the eviction, along with court costs and legal fees, regardless of how the dispute is resolved. This is one reason property managers and landlords tend to view an eviction as the ultimate bad mark when it comes to rental history.
Most eviction filings are for missed or chronically late rent payments. The Colorado General Assembly last month proposed a measure that would prohibit landlords from charging late fees until the rent is 14 days past due, and then only a nominal fee. That measure has been suspended.
In addition to the eviction measure, the General Assembly has introduced a bill that would require landlords to accept tenants who receive housing vouchers or other government assistance. If passed, landlords would not be allowed to advertise that vouchers are not accepted and could not reject applicants on that basis.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.