As Colorado legislators wrap up the 2017 legislative session, there are still a number of bills being considered that deserve strong bipartisan support from both chambers.
One of those bills, House Bill 1312, requires landlords to give renters a copy of their lease and a receipt for rent payments made with cash or a money order. Sponsored in the House by Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, D-Commerce City, the legislation was developed by CCLP as part of a suite intended to address common problems renters face in Colorado.
Current law does not require landlords to provide renters with either a copy of their lease or a receipt for rent paid. Because it is common for low-income renters to pay rent with cash or money order, there is no record of the transaction unless a landlord provides a receipt of payment. Many Colorado renters have been vulnerable to eviction or late charges because they were not able to prove that they had already paid rent – creating greater instability for those who are struggling to make ends meet. In addition, they cannot provide proof of their rent if they apply for public assistance. From the landlord’s point of view, these documents make it more likely that tenants will understand and adhere to the terms of their lease.
Just last week, legislators passed Senate Bill 245 which extends the seven-day notice on terminations and rent increases from seven to 21 days on month-to-month leases, providing more time for renters to find another place to live and move. Developed by CCLP, SB 245 was approved by the House and Senate with bipartisan support and has been sent to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Like SB 245, HB 1312 is an effective approach to a common renters’ problem that doesn’t impose any expense to taxpayers.
Please encourage members of the House Local Government Committee to support HB 1312, so it will also be considered by the Governor and signed into law.
HB 1312 is scheduled to be heard by the committee on Wednesday, April 26 at HCR 107 at 1:30 p.m.