House advances bill to prevent evictions, homelessness

SUBMITTED BY COLORADO HOUSE DEMOCRATS

The House on Feb. 20 passed legislation in a 38-19 vote to prevent evictions and keep Coloradans safely housed, outlining the conditions when landlords would have grounds to file for evictions or “no-fault” lease terminations. Majority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge said, “Current Colorado law leaves renters vulnerable to homelessness and an eviction on their record that can make it nearly impossible to find housing. This legislation will reduce evictions and offer a greater sense of community that hardworking Colorado families and renters deserve while ensuring that landlords can still file for evictions when appropriate.” 

“Nearly 13,000 evictions were filed in Denver last year, having a devastating impact on Colorado renters and leaving many homeless,” said Rep. Javier Mabrey, D-Denver. “These aren’t just numbers, these are real people who deserve a safe place to call home. This ‘For Cause Eviction’ legislation strengthens protections for renters and provides stability for landlords by clearly outlining the reasons why an eviction can be filed. Our bill is essential in preventing the displacement of renters and protecting vulnerable Coloradans from facing unnecessary evictions.” 

Currently, Colorado law exposes renters to possible arbitrary, retaliatory or discriminatory evictions. The ‘For Cause Eviction’ legislation would prevent a landlord from evicting a tenant unless there is cause for eviction. Under HB24-1098, the reasons a landlord could lawfully evict a tenant include failure to pay rent in a timely manner, destruction of property, interfering with the right to quiet enjoyment, or a substantial violation of the rental agreement. 

The bill also includes allowable reasons for a no-fault lease non-renewal, including substantial repairs or conversion of a residential premises, and selling the property. Some exceptions to the ‘For Cause Eviction’ bill include rentals within the landlord’s primary residence, short-term rentals, mobile homes and for employers who provide housing to employees. 

Evictions threaten the health and safety of Coloradans, with research showing that individuals who experience an eviction are more likely to report poorer physical or mental health outcomes. In 2023, Denver set a new record of annual evictions, reaching nearly 13,000 filings.