Staying up to date with legal changes is critical when you’re renting out a property in Colorado, and we make a point of analyzing every new law and potential piece of legislation that will impact the real estate and property management industry.
Today, I want to bring to your attention four pieces of legislation that are really going to change the way we do business in the world of Colorado Springs property management.
Laws Addressing Bed Bugs
The first bill every landlord should be talking about is the Bed Bug Bill that was recently passed.
This law basically puts the burden of bed bug clean-up on the landlord, no matter how the bed bugs showed up on the property. You will definitely want to refer to the legislation or talk to an attorney about the specifics. As a general overview, it definitely changes the way that bed bugs are handled in the rental world. You’ll need to make this a big part of your pest control and turnover cleaning process.
Tenant Screening and Criminal History
The second bill is the Rental Application Bill. The application law changes the way we can screen tenants through the application process.
Checking criminal history has always been part of every landlord’s and property manager’s screening process. But, the criminal history that is older than a certain time period can no longer be used against the tenant. So, you cannot make approval or denial decisions based on older criminal histories.
We also have to account for any money that is owed or used during the application process. This is done in order to justify our application cost. It gives tenants some support if they feel like they have been wronged or if they’ve paid an application fee but don’t know what it’s used for.
Updates to Habitability Laws
There is also some new habitability legislation that recently passed. The new law drastically alters the habitability standards that are in Colorado and have been since 2009. Definitely take a look at those because it will change the way you handle maintenance. This updated legal change puts a lot of deadlines in place and a lot of burden on the homeowner.
Serving a 10-Day Notice
The final piece of legislation that we want you to be aware of pertains to how much notice you must give tenants during a demand. It’s important to know that there is now a 10-day Notice of Demand that’s required. Colorado used to have a Three Day Notice, meaning that if the tenants didn’t pay rent or if there was a breach of lease, you could serve them with a Three Day Notice to correct the problem before you terminated the lease and/or evicted them. Now, it’s 10 days.
This is important because it means you will need to change your lease. There are some exceptions, so read the legislation and talk to your attorney. But, just know everything is virtually 10 days now.
If you have any questions about these new laws or anything that requires the help of a Colorado Springs property management expert, please contact us at Muldoon Associates.