On June 13, 2020, Governor Polis issued an executive order temporarily curtailing eviction proceedings to provide relief to Coloradans affected by COVID-19. Since then, the Governor has issued a series of extensions and added requirements on how evictions may proceed. The current state of the law requires a 30-day notice period as well as compliance with the recent CDC order providing federal relief from residential eviction under certain circumstances. This post walks through the expectations and requirements of both the tenant and the landlord for residential and commercial evictions under current rules and orders.

Landlord Obligations and Restrictions:

Landlords MUST:
  1. Provide tenants with 30-day notice of any default for non-payment of rent before initiating or filing action for forcible entry and detainer (a.k.a. eviction). 
  2. Provide a written copy of the recently ordered “Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent Further spread of COVID-19, 85 FR 55292 to tenants prior to filing any eviction suit. Be sure to include a copy of the declaration as well. Click here for further details related to this CDC Order
  3. Provide a sworn affirmation by counsel that the premises at issue are not protected by the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). This includes federally subsidized and protected housing.
Landlords CANNOT:
  1. Charge late fees or penalties for any breach of the terms of a lease or rental agreement due to nonpayment. This prohibition is retroactive to March 2020.
  2. Evict persons from federally subsidized and protected housing due to non-payment of rent.
Landlords are encouraged to:
  1. Take steps to limit evictions for tenants who have made a good faith effort to make rental payments, or who have made a good faith effort to establish a repayment agreement
  2. Work with Colorado Department of Local Affairs (“DOLA”) to create and implement rent repayment agreements.

Colorado courts have required compliance with the CDC Order, Administrative Orders, and Executive Orders. Those Landlords who do not comply with the requirements detailed above can expect to see their cases dismissed or continued until compliance is demonstrated.

Tenant Rights:

Tenants CAN:
  1. Get current on rent unpaid rent if served with a notice of default. Once a tenant receives a notice of default for non-payment, the tenant has 30 days to catch up on the missed payments before the landlord can initiate an eviction suit, and the tenant may not be charged late fees or penalties on such payments.
  2. Arrange repayment agreements. Understandably, fully catching up on missed payments in the 30-day period may not be feasible. A tenant may be able to arrange a repayment agreement with the landlord. Understand that this is discretionary, and landlords are not obligated to provide this sort of accommodation.
Tenants in Federally Protected Housing ONLY:
  1. Are protected from evictions related to non-payment of rent under the CARES Act.

Effective Period:

            On September 22, 2020, Governor Polis extended Executive Order D-2020-101 until October 22, 2020. Tenants are still entitled to the 30-day notice period, even if it extends beyond the expiration date. There have been at least 4 extensions of Executive Order D-2020-101 thus far, so additional extensions appear likely. Be sure to check for updates, amendments, and extensions prior to acting, and be sure to consult with counsel. Executive Orders can be found here.

In order to ensure compliance prior to bringing an eviction action, or to respond to an eviction suit that has not met these pre-conditions, please reach out to Patrick M. Haines.

Authors: Patrick M. Haines and Mishal Ayaz

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