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January 24, 2024

House Democrats Unveil Bill to Prevent Evictions, Homelessness

DENVER, CO - House Democrats today unveiled legislation 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.

“Being evicted as a single mother and a survivor of domestic violence was devastating for me and my young son, and thousands of Colorado families continue to face this reality every year,” said Majority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “The majority of evictions are preventable. Our ‘For Cause Eviction’ legislation would ensure that more Colorado families have a safe and secure place to sleep, preventing unfair evictions and reducing displacement and first-time homelessness.”

"Colorado landlords can evict tenants, even if they have done nothing wrong and are up to date on their rent—opening the door to discrimination and retaliation,” said Rep. Javier Mabrey, D-Denver. “Our ‘For Cause Eviction’ legislation establishes clear guidelines for when a landlord can legally evict a tenant and requires them to have a good reason or ‘cause to evict’. This legislation will increase tenants' sense of stability and security, prevent homelessness, and benefit the community's overall health and well-being while only applying to landlords who evict their tenants for no reason."

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 the bill, the reasons a landlord could lawfully evict a tenant include failure to pay rent in a timely manner, destruction of property, or a substantial violation of the rental agreement that the tenant fails to address.

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 time-limited housing like hotels and motels.

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.

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