DENVER — A bill aimed at easing the threat of eviction for renters received its final pass through the Colorado legislature and is now heading to Gov. Jared Polis' desk.
SB-173, sponsored by Colorado Democrats, has several provisions that help renters bide time to make rent payments including: establishing a week-long grace period before late fees and capped late fees.
Gov. Polis has not indicated whether or not he supports the measure.
The bill's progression comes at a time when Colorado's unemployment rate remains higher than the national average.
On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the nationwide unemployment rate fell to 5.8%; meanwhile, Colorado's latest rate is 6.4%.
One of the bills sponsors, Sen. Julie Gonzales, D-Denver, told Denver7's partners at The Denver Post:
“Overwhelmingly, you’ve got good tenants and good landlords. But what happens when things get hard?”Gonzales said. “When a global pandemic hits? When somebody is a few days late on rent? When a landlord finds themselves in a position where they have to move to evict? Just having a few days to come up with the rent can mean the difference between stability versus moving into a car or finding yourself on the street.”
Some Colorado landlords have spoken out in opposition to the bill, citing it as another mounting difficulty in doing their jobs. Since the onset of the pandemic, there's been periods of eviction moratoriums enacted by both the state and federal government.
"Well, most landlords don't like legislation of this type because it makes it tougher on them to be a landlord. It makes it more expensive and more burdensome," said William Bronchick, president of the Colorado Landlord's Association. "Ultimately what it does, it's going to drive a number of landlords out of the business because they don't want to deal with this type of regulation, which results in fewer rentals and higher prices for tenants."