(As of May 2024)

Staying ahead of legislative changes is not just important—it’s essential for maintaining compliance and optimizing your property investment strategies. This year, the Colorado legislature has passed several key amendments that could significantly impact how we manage properties and interact with tenants.

At Keyrenter Denver, we understand that these changes can be overwhelming, and it’s our goal to simplify this complexity for you. In this article, we’re breaking down some of the most critical legislative updates from the 2024 session. Each of these bills introduces new rules and regulations that are vital for every landlord and property manager to understand and implement.

We’ve crafted this update to serve as your go-to guide for navigating these changes confidently. Whether it’s understanding the new eviction protocols, ensuring your properties meet enhanced safety requirements, or adjusting to modified property occupancy limits, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

These changes mark significant shifts towards a more regulated rental market, reflecting broader trends towards increasing tenant protections.

Overview of Key Legislation

Here’s a brief overview of the legislation we’ll be covering:

HB24-1152 – Accessory Dwelling Units: This bill promotes the development of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) by setting requirements for local jurisdictions to permit at least one ADU per single-unit detached dwelling, streamlining approval processes, and discouraging restrictive local ordinances.

brown living room with fireplace

HB24-1318 – Modify Rental Premises Person with Disability: Modernize regulations to enable tenants with disabilities to make necessary modifications to rental properties without the requirement to revert changes upon departure.

SB24-094 – Safe Housing for Residential Tenants: Mandates landlords to meet specific safety standards emphasizing tenant health and safety.

HB24-1098 – Cause Required for Eviction of Residential Tenant: This law requires landlords to have a just cause for evicting tenants (and redefines what it means to evict, which now includes the non-renewal of a lease), protecting tenants from arbitrary or discriminatory evictions.

HB24-1007 – Residential Occupancy Limits: Standardizes occupancy regulations across Colorado, focusing on safety and health standards to determine the number of permissible occupants per rental unit.

HB24-1152 – Accessory Dwelling Units

Summary of Legislation:

House Bill 24-1152 aims to increase housing availability by mandating local jurisdictions in Colorado to permit the development of at least one accessory dwelling unit (ADU) per single-family residence. This legislation streamlines the approval process for ADUs, removes restrictive local ordinances, and introduces financial incentives to encourage ADU development through a new grant program.

Implications for Rental Investors and Landlords:

The passage of HB24-1152 could significantly expand rental market opportunities for property owners. By facilitating the development of ADUs, landlords can potentially increase rental income through additional units on existing properties. This not only maximizes land use but also provides more affordable housing options in the community.

family in kitchen

Changes Necessary for Compliance:

Landlords should review local zoning laws and adjust their property management strategies to integrate ADU development. Understanding the specifics of the grant program could also offer financial benefits to those looking to construct or convert structures into ADUs.

Compliance with this bill means ensuring that any constructed or existing ADUs meet the criteria set forth by local and state regulations, which now must be aligned with the new state-mandated standards.

This legislation encourages landlords to consider the development of ADUs not just as a revenue stream, but as a strategic move to cater to a broader market of renters seeking affordable and smaller-scale living options.

HB24-1318 – Modify Rental Premises Person with Disability

Summary of Legislation:

HB24-1318 is a significant piece of legislation that modifies the existing regulations concerning the rental of premises to persons with disabilities. Under the current law, it’s illegal to discriminate against renters with disabilities, including denying them the right to make necessary modifications to their living spaces.

Previously, landlords could require that tenants, upon leaving, restore the property to its original condition if modifications were made. This new bill removes that stipulation, facilitating easier modifications by tenants with disabilities to enhance their living environments without the burden of future restoration costs.

Implications for Rental Investors and Landlords:

This legislation is particularly important for rental investors and landlords as it emphasizes compliance with fair housing laws while accommodating tenants with disabilities. It protects landlords from potential legal disputes related to discrimination and ensures that properties are accessible and accommodating to all tenants.

Landlords must now allow modifications without the condition of reverting modifications at the tenant’s expense, which could involve additional considerations in lease agreements and property management practices.

business partners shaking hands

Changes Necessary for Compliance:

To comply with HB24-1318, landlords need to update their rental agreements and policies to align with the new requirements. This includes revising clauses that pertain to modifications of the rental space by tenants with disabilities.

Landlords should ensure they understand the extent of the modifications allowed and communicate clearly with tenants about their rights under this law. 

SB24-094 – Safe Housing for Residential Tenants

Summary of Legislation:

Senate Bill 24-094 mandates landlords to ensure that rental properties meet specific safety standards, notably the inclusion of air conditioning units as part of the essential amenities contributing to habitability standards. This bill is part of a broader move to improve living conditions in rental housing.

Implications for Rental Investors and Landlords:

The introduction of mandatory air conditioning and other safety requirements represents a significant shift towards prioritizing tenant health and safety. Landlords will need to assess their properties to ensure they comply with these new standards, potentially requiring upgrades or installations that could incur costs but also increase property value and appeal.

Changes Necessary for Compliance:

Landlords should perform a thorough review of their properties to identify any that lack the required amenities. Planning for the installation of air conditioning systems where necessary, and possibly budgeting for other safety upgrades, will be essential. Compliance with this legislation not only avoids legal repercussions but could also enhance tenant satisfaction and retention, ultimately benefiting the landlord’s business.

business professional at computer

HB24-1098 – Cause Required for Eviction of Residential Tenant

Summary of Legislation:

House Bill 24-1098 introduces critical changes to eviction laws in Colorado, requiring landlords to have a justifiable cause to evict tenants. This legislation significantly shifts the legal landscape, aiming to prevent arbitrary or discriminatory evictions and ensuring that evictions are conducted fairly and with due process.

Implications for Rental Investors and Landlords:

HB24-1098 may be the most impactful update for landlords this session, as it alters the fundamental nature of tenant evictions. Landlords must now have documented and legally valid reasons for evicting tenants, such as non-payment of rent, significant lease violations, or the landlord’s need to occupy the property. This change aims to enhance housing stability and protect tenants from unwarranted displacement.

Detailed Analysis:

  • Legal Requirements: The bill specifies several just causes for eviction, such as failure to pay rent, conducting illegal activities on the premises, and substantial breaches of the lease agreement. Landlords must carefully document any breaches to ensure they meet legal standards for eviction.
  • Documentation and Process: Proper documentation and following due process are now more crucial than ever. Landlords should maintain meticulous records of all interactions and violations concerning tenants to protect their rights to evict if necessary.
  • Impact on Landlord-Tenant Relations: This law could lead to more stable tenant relationships, as tenants are assured of their housing security unless they violate lease terms. However, it also requires landlords to be more diligent in their leasing practices and tenant screenings.

Changes Necessary for Compliance:

  • Review and Update Lease Agreements: Landlords should review their lease agreements to ensure they include clear clauses about what constitutes a just cause for eviction under the new law.
  • Enhance Tenant Screening Processes: With the increased difficulty in evicting tenants without cause, thorough screening processes become vital to ensure that potential tenants are likely to comply with lease terms.
  • Educational Outreach: Landlords may benefit from attending seminars or workshops on the new laws to fully understand their obligations and rights under these changes.

By aligning practices with HB24-1098, landlords can not only comply with the new regulations but also foster a more secure and positive environment for their tenants. This law marks a significant step towards more equitable housing practices in Colorado, emphasizing the importance of fairness and stability in the rental market.

handing over keys

HB24-1007 – Residential Occupancy Limits

Summary of Legislation:

House Bill 24-1007 addresses residential occupancy limits, setting new standards that prohibit local governments from enforcing occupancy restrictions based solely on relationships. Instead, occupancy limits must be based on objective health and safety standards, such as minimum square footage per person.

Implications for Rental Investors and Landlords:

This legislation is pivotal for landlords as it standardizes how occupancy limits are determined, shifting from subjective criteria to more measurable and safety-focused standards. It opens the door for more flexible rental arrangements and can potentially increase tenant capacity in rental units.

Detailed Analysis:

  • Objective Criteria for Occupancy: The move to base occupancy limits on safety standards like square footage ensures fairness and clarity, reducing ambiguity in lease agreements.
  • Potential Increase in Rental Income: With potentially higher permissible occupancy, landlords might see increased rental income opportunities, especially in larger properties.
  • Legal Compliance and Adjustments: Landlords will need to adjust lease terms and possibly reconfigure spaces to optimize occupancy while adhering to safety standards.

Changes Necessary for Compliance:

  • Revise Lease Agreements: Update terms to reflect new occupancy rules and ensure that they comply with local health and safety codes.
  • Property Modifications: Evaluate if physical modifications are necessary to maximize allowable occupancy under new rules.
  • Stay Informed on Local Codes: Continuously monitor local government updates to health and safety codes to ensure ongoing compliance.

Conclusion

The recent legislative session in Colorado has brought significant changes to the landscape of property management and real estate, introducing several new laws that impact every landlord in the state.

From enhancing tenant protections in eviction processes to setting new standards for residential occupancy and safety, these laws necessitate a deep understanding and strategic adjustments to ensure compliance and protect your investment.

Navigating these complexities alone can be daunting, especially for self-managing landlords who must keep up with the legal nuances that could affect the value of their rental properties. It’s crucial not to let the value of your investment diminish due to non-compliance or misunderstandings of these new regulations.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the details and implications of these legislative changes, remember that you do not have to manage alone. Property management companies, like Keyrenter Denver, specialize in staying abreast of legal changes and can offer invaluable assistance.

Our team is equipped to provide you with the advice and support you need to adapt your practices and ensure that your property remains a profitable and compliant venture.

For personalized guidance on how to navigate these changes and keep your investment secure, contact Keyrenter Denver today. Our experts are here to help you understand the implications of these new laws and integrate them seamlessly into your property management strategy.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this blog regarding legislative changes is for general informational purposes only and is not comprehensive. While we strive to keep the updates accurate and timely, the laws and their interpretations are subject to change. These summaries should not be considered legal advice, and we strongly recommend consulting with a qualified attorney or legal advisor to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter or legislative change. Keyrenter Denver and its representatives are not responsible for any errors or omissions in this content, or for any actions taken based on the information provided in this blog.