Landlord notification to tenants ahead of a rent increase or lease termination would grow from a week to 21 days in a bill that is gaining traction in the Colorado Legislature.
Senate Bill 17-245, already approved in the state Senate, passed out of the House Local Affairs Committee on a 9-to-4 vote Wednesday, and supporters are confident it will find support in the larger House.
Currently, landlords in Colorado can provide tenants under a short-term lease just seven days’ notice of a pending rent increase or lease termination, among the shortest notification windows in the country.
The bill extends advanced notification to 21 days, which housing advocates say is a more reasonable amount of time for renters to find another place if they can’t afford a rent hike or if the landlord needs them out, say, because the building or house was sold.
“It may seem like a technical change, but it could be the difference between a house and no house,” said Jack Regenbogen, attorney with the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, an advocacy group for the state’s low-income residents that pushed for the change.
Most tenants start out under a one-year lease. When markets are tight, as they are now, some landlords prefer switching over to more flexible month-to-month agreements. Also, in low-income and transitory neighborhoods, monthly leases or handshake agreements tend to be more prevalent.
Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, emphasized that the bill, which he co-sponsored, won’t replace the notification requirements set in longer-term leases. Nor does it change existing notification rules when it comes to evicting tenants.
It is also is symmetric, in that tenants must provide three weeks notice to their landlords that they want out of a short-term lease.
Advocates for victims of domestic violence, the homeless and the elderly all testified on behalf of the bill, and no landlord representatives spoke out against it Wednesday.
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