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Proposed legislation capping income requirements for Colorado renters causes concern for some landlords

The Colorado House passed SB-184 over the weekend
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Posted at 5:29 PM, Apr 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-30 20:13:25-04

DENVER — Colorado renters with lower incomes may soon have more housing options opening up after the House passed SB-184 over the weekend. But some landlords say it may lead to an increase in defaults.

The bill now heads to the governor's desk, where its fate is unknown.

Supporters say the legislation will offer more protections for tenants by capping minimum income requirements to twice the cost of monthly rent. Right now, many landlords require tenants to make at least three times what they charge for rent.

It will also cap the amount a landlord can charge for a security deposit to two months' worth of rent.

Riley Fox, a renter in Colorado who recently moved to the state, says this comes as a big relief.

"I think it's super helpful. Because, a lot of times you're hearing about people who are only making so much money because wages are not rising with the equivalent to the expenses of living these days," he said.

Supporters of the legislation say these changes also will prevent landlords from discriminating against people using housing vouchers.

Denver7 spoke with Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Greenwood Village, who is a prime sponsor of the bill.

"We have an affordable housing crisis," said Froelich. "The more we crunched the numbers, the more we realized the folks who can't afford to pay a deposit of three times their monthly rent, are teachers, first responders, and folks we want living in our community. So that was really pretty shocking as we went through the process of passing this bill."

Proposed legislation capping income requirements for Colorado renters causing concern for some landlords

But landlords say they have major concerns over the bill.

William Bronchick, who has been a landlord for around 30 years, says his biggest worry comes with the new income requirement.

"Frankly, I don't see why the government should be telling a landlord what the criteria should be. You're putting landlords in a very difficult position to qualify someone who's really not qualifying," said Bronchick.

He said if the bill is signed into law, he predicts the amount of tenant defaults will increase.

"Traditionally, it's (minimum income requirements) been three times the rent, and that's what most landlords do, and some landlords do two-and-a-half with exceptions. But two times is really thin. It's going to lead to a lot of defaults," said Bronchick.

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