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Legislative Year: 2021 Change
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Bill Detail: SB21-173

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Title Rights In Residential Lease Agreements
Status Introduced In House - Assigned to Business Affairs & Labor (04/19/2021)
Bill Subjects
  • Civil Law
  • Courts & Judicial
  • Housing
House Sponsors S. Gonzales-Gutierrez (D)
Y. Caraveo (D)
Senate Sponsors D. Moreno (D)
J. Gonzales (D)
House Committee Business Affairs and Labor
Senate Committee State, Veterans and Military Affairs
Date Introduced 03/05/2021
Summary

The bill addresses the following items related to landlord and
tenant rights in residential rental agreements:
  • When a landlord removes or excludes a tenant from a
dwelling without resorting to proper court procedures, it is
an unfair or deceptive trade practice for the purposes of the
Colorado Consumer Protection Act;

  • After a complaint is filed by a landlord, the clerk of the
court or the attorney for the plaintiff shall issue a summons,
including information concerning filing an answer and
legal aid. A court shall not enter a default writ of restitution
before the close of business on the date upon which an
appearance is due.
  • Provides additional details regarding the defendant's
answer, including that a defendant does not waive any
defense related to proper notice by filing an answer; that
the court shall set a date for trial no sooner than 7 days
after the answer is filed, unless the defendant agrees to
waive this provision and schedule the trial for an earlier
date; and in the time after an answer is filed and before a
trial occurs, the court shall order that the landlord provide
any documentation related to the tenancy or the current
action that the defendant requests;
  • Repeals language requiring the defendant, in an appeal
from a judgment of a county court, to deposit with the court
the amount of rent found due;
  • When a court has issued a writ of restitution in a residential
forcible entry and wrongful detainer (FED) proceeding, a
tenant may pay any rent that is still owed to the landlord at
any point up to 48 hours after a court has ordered a writ of
restitution;
  • Eliminates the bond requirement for the warranty of
habitability and allows the tenant to assert an alleged
breach of the warranty of habitability as an affirmative
defense;
  • Establishes allowable court procedures and remedies in
cases of an alleged breach of warranty of habitability;
  • Bans liquidated damage clauses that assign a cost to a party
stemming from a rental violation or an eviction action;
  • Prohibits rental agreements that contain one-way
fee-shifting clauses that award attorney fees and court costs
only to one party; and
  • Guarantees parties to a residential FED dispute the right to
a trial by jury.
The bill prohibits a landlord of a mobile home park or a residential
premises (landlord) from:
  • Charging a tenant or mobile home owner (tenant) a late fee
for late payment of rent unless the rent payment is late by
at least 14 calendar days;
  • Charging a tenant a late fee in an amount that exceeds the
greater of:
  • $20; or
  • 2.5% of the amount of the rent obligation that
remains past due;
  • Requiring a tenant to pay a late fee unless the late fee is
disclosed in the rental agreement;
  • Removing, excluding, or initiating eviction procedures
against a tenant solely as a result of the tenant's failure to
pay one or more late fees;
  • Terminating a tenancy or other estate at will or a lease in a
mobile home park because the tenant fails to pay one or
more late fees to the landlord;
  • Imposing a late fee on a tenant for the late payment or
nonpayment of any portion of the rent that a rent subsidy
provider, rather than the tenant, is responsible for paying;
  • Imposing a late fee more than once for each late payment;
  • Requiring a tenant to pay interest on late fees;
  • Recouping any amount of a late fee from a rent payment
made by a tenant; or
  • Charging a tenant a late fee unless the landlord provided
the tenant written notice of the late fee within 180 days
after the date upon which the rent payment was due.
A landlord who commits a violation must pay a $20 penalty to an
aggrieved tenant for each violation. Otherwise, a landlord who commits
a violation has 7 days to cure the violation, which 7 days begins when the
landlord receives notice of the violation. If a landlord fails to timely cure
a violation, the tenant may bring a civil action to seek one or more of the
following remedies:
  • Compensatory damages for injury or loss suffered;
  • A penalty of at least $500 but not more than $2,000 for
each violation, payable to the tenant;
  • Costs, including reasonable attorney fees if the tenant is the
prevailing party; and
  • Other equitable relief the court finds appropriate.
The attorney general may investigate and prosecute alleged
violations. A violation that is not timely cured or that was committed by
a landlord in bad faith is an unfair or deceptive trade practice for the
purposes of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (04/26/2021) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
Including:
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  • Past fiscal notes
  • Committee activity and documents
  • Bill History
 
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