As a property manager or rental property owner, you understand the importance of staying informed about the various laws that govern our industry. A recent bill focused on pet animal ownership in housing has successfully passed and is currently awaiting the governor’s approval. This significant bill aims to address the complexities surrounding the relationship between pet ownership and rental properties, which could have notable implications for landlords. In this article, we will objectively examine the key components of the bill, providing a balanced perspective on both the potential advantages and considerations that landlords may encounter. Our goal is to present you with clear and concise insights, ensuring that the legal aspects are easily understandable and applicable to your role as a landlord.
Breed Restrictions and Homeowner’s Insurance (Section 2):
Previously, insurers could deny homeowner’s insurance based on the breed or mixture of breeds of a dog residing in a property. This restriction often trickled down to the tenants who might face limitations on pet ownership based on the property’s insurance policy. Section 2 of the new bill disrupts this practice, prohibiting insurers from denying insurance based on a dog’s breed. This change could potentially lead to a wider variety of dog breeds in rental homes. However, an insurer can still deny insurance if a specific dog is deemed dangerous.
Writ of Restitution and Pet Animals (Section 3):
Section 3 outlines procedures for pet animal handling during the execution of a writ of restitution (a legal order to restore possession of a property to its owner). In the past, the fate of pets found in a rental property during a tenant eviction could be unclear. This provision clarifies that, if a tenant is not present during the eviction process, the landlord must contact a local animal shelter or rescue to take care of the pet and leave contact information for the tenant.
Restriction on Security Deposits and Rent for Pets (Section 4):
This section is likely to resonate most with landlords. The bill limits landlords from what they can demand or receive with regards to a security deposit or rent in exchange for allowing a pet animal to reside on the premises. Landlords can’t charge more than $300 as an additional security deposit for allowing pets. The extra rent for pets should not exceed $35 per month or 1.5% of the monthly rent. While this restriction might seem restrictive, it’s important to remember that the bill also includes the Pet Friendly Landlord Damage Mitigation Program.
Pet-Friendly Landlord Damage Mitigation Program (Section 5):
This program will be administered by the Department of Local Affairs. It allows a landlord to receive reimbursement for actual damages caused by a pet animal up to $1,000. To be eligible for this reimbursement, landlords must provide documentation of the damages. This can help to offset the financial implications of not being allowed to charge additional security deposits for pets.
Excluding Pet Animals from Personal Property Liens (Section 6):
The new legislation also excludes pet animals from the category of a tenant’s personal property that a landlord can place a lien on for unpaid rent. This change reclassifies pets, highlighting their unique status as part of the tenant’s family, rather than property that can be used to recover debts.
Affordable Housing Tax Credit and Pet Animals (Section 7):
Finally, the bill also addresses the Colorado Affordable Housing Tax Credit. Moving forward, the tax credit will not be allocated unless tenants are allowed to keep pet animals at the property. The aim here is to encourage more pet-inclusive affordable housing in Colorado.
Conclusion and Implications:
Overall, this bill represents a significant shift in the relationship between pet ownership and rental properties. It acknowledges the tension between a landlord’s right to dictate rental terms and the legislature’s prioritization of pet-friendly accommodations. While it may require adjustments to comply with the legislation, there are provisions like the Pet Friendly Landlord Damage Mitigation Program that offer financial protection for property owners.
Adapting to these changes requires understanding and navigating the new pet-friendly landscape. The underlying motivation behind this bill is to reduce the number of pets surrendered due to housing issues. Society is recognizing the invaluable bond between pets and their owners, making a pet-friendly approach not only a legislative requirement but also an opportunity to attract a broader range of potential tenants.
As a landlord or property manager, staying informed and seeking expert advice are crucial. Legal nuances may vary, and professional guidance can provide valuable insights specific to your situation. We are actively researching and collaborating with our legal support team to gain comprehensive understanding and share relevant information promptly.
While implementation details are still emerging, we will continue to keep you updated through our weekly email updates, ensuring you have the latest legislative and industry news. Our commitment is to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information to navigate these evolving times.
These changes reflect a more inclusive and compassionate approach to pet ownership. Embracing this legislation contributes to creating a more welcoming rental market for tenants and their beloved pets.
As always, we are here to support you on this journey. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns about these changes or any other aspects related to your rental properties.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is designed to provide a simplified interpretation of HB 23-1068 and its implications for property owners and managers. This information does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Instead, all information, content, and materials available in this article are for general informational purposes only.
Given the complexity and potential variability of legal regulations across different jurisdictions, it is crucial to consult with a professional legal advisor to understand the precise implications of this legislation for your specific circumstances. Readers of this article should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter related to pet ownership in rental properties. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.
As we continue to monitor and dissect the implications of the new HB 23-1068 bill, we’ll be sharing our findings in our monthly newsletter, The Denver Landlord’s Digest. If you appreciated the insights from this article and want to stay updated on legislative changes and industry news that could affect your rental properties, please subscribe to our newsletter. We’re committed to delivering tailored, timely information right to your inbox to help you make informed decisions. Subscribe now and join our community of informed landlords!