SB21-173 (Gonzales & Moreno/Caraveo & Gonzales-Gutierrez) Rights in Residential Lease Agreements
This bill would increase fairness in the eviction court process and reasonably limit late fees. It would establish reasonable limits on rental late fees and ensure tenants are not evicted for late fees alone. The bill would also extend the amount of time renters have to pay back rent during the eviction process (without extending the eviction timeline for landlords). It would allow tenants to assert warranty of habitability (health and safety) defenses without having to pay a bond so they are not priced out of court. It would also establish meaningful damages to help tenants who have been unlawfully locked out of their home.
The Children’s Campaign supports this bill. We believe every Colorado family should have a safe place to call home. Even before the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, many Colorado families were facing a housing crisis throughout our state. Lack of access to safe and affordable housing has serious impacts on kids’ health and well-being. Families with children face eviction at significantly higher rates. A study found that families with children disproportionately receive eviction judgments. Housing security is also a racial justice issue. Due to past and current racist policies and practices that create more barriers to housing stability for communities of color, communities of color are significantly more likely to experience higher housing cost burden, higher rates of eviction, and higher rates of homelessness.
Passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee as amended on a 4-3 vote and now heads to the Senate floor for a vote.
March 12, 2021
Assigned to the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee, where it is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, March 16 at 2:00pm. You can listen online here.