By: Brian L. Allard
In 2023, the Colorado legislature passed seven bills related to residential landlord-tenant laws. Two Colorado court cases were also decided in 2023, which have impacted residential landlord-tenant actions. The following is a list of all the new landlord-tenant laws with their effective dates, a general description of the new requirements, and a brief explanation of the two new cases.
- HB 23-1120 (effective June 6, 2023) Landlord-Tenant Actions. Now requires that an affidavit be filed with any complaint for possession showing that pre-suit mediation requirements were met. Tenants that receive supplemental security income, social security disability insurance, or cash assistance under Colorado Works may provide written notice to a landlord that they are entitled to pre-suit mediation with the Office of Dispute Resolution. If pre-suit mediation did not occur, the affidavit must state the reason why. The demand for compliance must contain a statement to the tenant that they may provide a written request for pre-suit mediation to the landlord if they receive supplemental security income, social security disability insurance, or cash assistance under Colorado Works. The execution of a writ of restitution for tenants who are receiving rent assistance, as outlined for pre-suit mediation requirements, is stayed for thirty days from its issuance rather than the typical ten days.
- HB 23-1186 (effective January 1, 2024) Residential County Court Actions. The Court must now permit the parties and witnesses to appear remotely, allow the filing of answers electronically for pro se defendants, and if a motion for waiver of fees is submitted, the court may request additional documentation and give twenty-four hours to provide such documentation to the court.
- HB 23-1068 (effective January 1, 2024) Pets in Leased Spaces. An Officer that executes a writ of restitution shall inspect the premises for pets and either give the tenant the pet, if the tenant is present, or contact local animal control. The landlord shall post a notice to the tenant of what local animal control has the pet. The landlord cannot receive more than $300 additional security deposit or $35 or one and one-half percent per month extra rent for pets.
- HB 23-1099 (effective August 6, 2023) Portable Tenant Screening. A landlord is not permitted to charge a prospective tenant a rental application fee if the tenant provides a portable tenant screening report. A portable tenant screening report is a consumer report prepared for the tenant by a consumer reporting agency and includes rental and credit history and criminal history. The landlord can set some parameters on portable tenant screening, such as requiring the screening to be within the last thirty days.
- SB 23-184 (effective August 6, 2023) Income and Rental History. If a landlord uses financial information, including rental history or credit history, it shall not consider the tenants’ amount of income, except for determining if income equals or exceeds two hundred percent of the annual cost of rent, unless required by federal law.
- HB 23-1095 (effective August 6, 2023) Prohibitions in Rental Agreements. A residential rental agreement:
- cannot have a one-way fee-shifting and, if there is a fee-shifting provision, must have a determination by a court that the party prevailed, and the fee is reasonable;
- cannot waive a jury trial except for a possession hearing;
- cannot preclude class actions; and
- cannot waive the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment, affix damages for non-renewal of the lease except for actual losses, misconstrue rent, mark up third-party services, or permit a provider to pursue eviction for non-payment of utilities.
- SB 23-206 (effective August 6, 2023) Radon Disclosures. Requires the landlord to disclose to a tenant whether a radon test has been done. The tenant must sign an acknowledgment of receiving the disclosure and the landlord must provide the tenant with a brochure from the Colorado Department of Health and Human Services showing the potential health hazards of radon exposure.
- In re Arvada Village Gardens v. Garate, 2023 CO 24, May 15, 2023. Before filing for forcible entry and detainer in Colorado, landlords of property which are “covered” by the CARES Act must give thirty days’ notice of a lease violation.
- Anderson v. Shorter Arms, 2023COA71 July 20, 2023. A tenant must strictly comply, not just substantially comply, with the written notice requirements of Section 38-12-503 C.R.S. to maintain a warranty of habitability claim against a landlord.
There have been a lot of changes to residential landlord-tenant laws in recent years. As such, there are many pitfalls that landlords and tenants can run into. Practitioners must review and understand the new landlord-tenant laws to properly advise clients. If you have any further questions, you can reach Brian Allard at firstname.lastname@example.org.