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March 11, 2024

House Passes Bill to Prevent Price Gouging on Rent After a Disaster

DENVER, CO - The House today passed legislation that would prevent excessive increases in rent in the wake of a disaster. HB24-1259 passed by a vote of 43-18.

“Many Coloradans saw rents skyrocket after the Marshall Fire, and those who had lost their homes were forced to juggle exorbitant rents while they tried to rebuild their lives,” said Rep. Kyle Brown, D-Louisville. “Disasters, like wildfires, cause financial and emotional trauma, and no one deserves to be taken advantage of while they try to piece their life back together. This legislation adds essential protections for Coloradans so they don’t experience excessive rent increases in the aftermath of a disaster.”

“After the Marshall Fire, hundreds of families suddenly had to find housing overnight because they lost everything they had, only to experience huge increases in rent because of the influx of renters in the market,” said Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora. “Disasters devastate communities and have a ripple effect on neighboring communities that now must house Coloradans post-disaster. This consumer protection legislation reigns in price-gouging of rent for a two-year period after a declared disaster, preventing disaster survivors from being taken advantage of."

HB24-1259 would help protect Coloradans who have lost their home in a natural disaster from being taken advantage of by price gouging in rent. After a Governor- or Presidential-declared disaster that reduces the availability of housing, rent increases would be capped at the greater of 10% or the percentage rent increase in the previous year within the declared area for two years. The bill would make it a deceptive trade practice to price gouge when providing rental housing during this two-year period, allowing the Attorney General or a district attorney to pursue enforcement actions, including civil penalties, under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. Affected tenants would also be able to pursue civil action for violations.

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