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House Bill 24-1098: Understanding the New Rules

House Bill 24-1098: Understanding the New Rules

Colorado House Bill 24-1098 represents a significant legislative step toward enhancing tenant protections and clarifying the responsibilities of landlords and property managers in Colorado. 

The bill stipulates that evictions from residential properties must be supported by well-defined and documented reasons, aiming to prevent arbitrary evictions. This “for cause” eviction requirement is designed to provide tenants with increased housing security and stability, thereby minimizing the risk of sudden displacement.

Non-Renewal Classified as Eviction: Justify with ‘For Cause’ Standards

In the context of this bill, a landlord’s decision not to renew a lease is treated as a form of eviction if it requires the tenant to leave the property. Under the bill, landlords must provide valid reasons for not renewing a lease, these reasons must align with the overall requirements of “for cause” evictions.

Understanding No-Fault Evictions: How Colorado House Bill 24-1098 Affects Landlords and Tenants

Under Colorado’s House Bill 24-1098, no-fault evictions are scenarios in which tenants may be asked to vacate a rental property due to no fault of their own but due to circumstances related to the landlord’s plans for the property or changes in their personal situation. 

The bill specifies several conditions under which no-fault evictions are permissible, always requiring that landlords provide tenants with a 90-day notice to ensure sufficient time for tenants to secure alternative housing. Here are the outlined scenarios for no-fault evictions permitted under the new law:

  • Property Demolition or Conversion: If a landlord intends to demolish a building or convert the residential premises to non-residential use or into a short-term rental property, they may initiate a no-fault eviction. Landlords must provide tenants with a 90-day notice and evidence of their plans, such as a building permit or a timeline for the conversion.
  • Substantial Repairs or Renovations: Landlords can evict tenants to conduct substantial repairs or renovations that cannot be safely or efficiently completed with the tenant occupying the space. The renovations should be significant enough that they necessitate the tenant vacating the premises for at least 30 days. Landlords must outline the scope of work and expected timelines, and provide tenants with the first right of refusal to return to the property once the work is completed.
  • Landlord or Family Member Occupancy: A landlord may evict a tenant if they or a family member plan to occupy the unit as their primary residence. The landlord must provide a 90-day notice and demonstrate that no substantially equivalent unit is available in the same building for the landlord or family member to occupy. The property should not be rented out as a long-term or short-term rental for at least 90 days following the eviction.
  • Withdrawal from the Rental Market: If a landlord decides to withdraw the property from the rental market altogether, perhaps to sell it as a single-family home or other property type, this too allows for a no-fault eviction. Again, a 90-day notice must be provided, and the property should not appear as a rental for at least 90 days after the tenant vacates.
  • Refusal to Sign a New Lease with Reasonable Terms: If a tenant refuses to sign a new lease under reasonable terms similar to or the same as their previous agreement, the landlord may proceed with a no-fault eviction, provided that the standard 90-day notice is given.

These no-fault eviction scenarios emphasize a balance between landlord rights and tenant protections. They aim to ensure transparency and fairness in the eviction process and allow tenants ample time to make alternative living arrangements.

Understanding ‘For Cause’ Evictions: Key Legal Grounds for Tenant Removal

The term “for cause eviction” refers to the legal requirement for landlords to provide a justified reason for evicting a tenant, as opposed to evicting without any specific cause. This concept is central to ensuring that evictions are fair and justified, protecting tenants from arbitrary displacement. Here are some of the valid causes for eviction as typically outlined under laws like Colorado’s House Bill 24-1098:

  • Nonpayment of Rent: This is one of the most common grounds for eviction. If a tenant fails to pay rent as agreed in the lease, the landlord has a valid cause to initiate eviction proceedings after providing appropriate notice and an opportunity to pay.
  • Violation of Lease Terms: If a tenant breaches specific terms of the lease agreement (such as keeping pets in a no-pet building, unauthorized occupants, or illegal activities), the landlord can proceed with an eviction. In most cases, the landlord must provide a notice to the tenant detailing the violation and offering a chance to remedy the situation (if fixable).
  • Damage to Property: Causing significant damage to the property that goes beyond normal wear and tear can be grounds for eviction. Landlords need to provide evidence of the damage and give the tenant an opportunity to repair the damage or cover the cost of repairs.
  • Disturbing the Peace: Conduct that disturbs other tenants’ or neighbors’ quiet enjoyment of the property can lead to eviction. This might include excessive noise, harassment of other tenants, or other disruptive behaviors. If this type of behavior is not handled correctly, the landlord can share in any liability resulting from it.
  • Health and Safety Violations: If a tenant’s actions compromise the safety or health standards of the property, such as creating fire hazards or severe sanitation issues, this can serve as a basis for eviction.
  • Illegal Activities: Engaging in illegal activities within the rental property is a strong ground for eviction. This includes drug manufacturing, selling illegal substances, or other criminal activities.

These causes aim to balance the needs and rights of both landlords and tenants, ensuring that evictions are carried out legally and with due process, protecting tenants from unfair displacement while allowing property owners to manage their properties effectively.

This legislation also requires that landlords provide a 90-day notice to tenants under no-fault eviction circumstances, maintaining transparency and giving tenants ample time to find alternative housing.

This bill is significant for both parties involved in the rental market. For tenants, it provides a layer of security and predictability, protecting them from sudden and unjustified evictions. 

For landlords, it sets clear legal frameworks within which they can operate, helping them manage their properties while respecting the rights of their tenants. Overall, House Bill 24-1098 aims to balance the interests of residential tenants and landlords, fostering a fairer and more equitable rental market in Colorado.

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