CONCERNING PROTECTIONS FOR RESIDENTIAL TENANTS RELATED TO ACTIONS BY LANDLORDS
The Colorado Landlord Legislative Coalition represents single-family and small multi-family landlords in the state of Colorado. This subset of Landlords typically own 1-3 rental properties and are much more vulnerable to industry regulation since they operate on smaller economies of scale. These landlords rent out approximately 41% of all rental units in the U.S. and 72.5% of rental properties with 4 units or less. Most of our members are mom-and-pop landlords or represent mom-and-pop landlords, who rely on rental income to pay the mortgage or as household income. Making permanent changes to existing landlord-tenant laws will overburden landlords, who are already working to recover their incomes. These new laws are encouraging them to exit this important housing market, which will have a detrimental impact on available inventory, and subsequently on affordable housing for tenants across the state. The CLLC is here to give these landlords a voice for the sake of landlords and tenants alike.
The CLLC does not support extending notice deadlines. These deadlines were just extended two years ago from 3 days to 10 days (or 5 on exempt properties), and we find no evidence that an additional extension is warranted, or that it makes a reasonable difference in assisting tenants who are behind on their rental payments. We find instead, it simply extends arrears further. Our intention is to work with tenants to assist them in catching-up on their payments. We are not aware of any of our members who are not willing to work with tenants to create a payment program, or other means to avoid eviction (which is the last thing any landlord wants to pursue) and we find deadlines are a necessary component to resolve these payment situations as deadlines do bring necessary structure that helps both the landlords and the tenants bring issues to a suitable conclusion for all parties.
We also regularly hear from our members that there are issues beyond non-payment which landlords must have the available tools to address. During the moratoriums, we are hearing about increases in noise and other complaints, and our hands have been tied for enforcement of these violations (most notably during the Colorado moratorium), which is creating a hostile and often dangerous situation for the adjacent residents. We believe landlords, tenants, and the legislative proponents, all have the same goals – assist tenants with resolving their rental delinquencies while improving the process for accessing available rental assistance funds.
The CLLC does not support changing the 2-day period to a 14-day period for the issuance of a writ after a judgement for possession has been granted. Pre-COVID evictions were already taking approximately 2 months to process (county dependent). This means that as it stands, tenants have around two months to pursue other housing accommodations. Adding more time places an undue burden on property owners who have already been under substantial regulatory pressure throughout the pandemic and are also in need of a resolution for cases where the tenant is uncooperative with applying for relief funds.
The CLLC does not support prohibiting rental rate increase on regulated intervals. This is a fundamental intrusion on the freedom to contract between landlords and tenants and will have negative consequences for both owners and renters. For example, there are situations where tenants need the flexibility of a shorter-term lease and this provision would remove such options from the market if landlords are not able to offer differing rental amounts for shorter-term rentals. The legislature should not remove this well-established contractual relationship and market flexibility away from Landlords. This provision would also restrict the ability of landlords to offer tenant incentives, which benefit both parties in these transactions. This would take away available negotiation options between landlord and tenant which especially affects tenants who need flexibility in their lease terms.
Thank you for taking the time to review our position on this bill. We want to be a resource for legislators who are seeking to understand how proposed legislation will impact small landlords and tenants in Colorado.
Mutch Government Relations