The pandemic changed the rules of the rental market.
For the last year, it’s been far more difficult for landlords to evict tenants. Government intervention has saved countless people from losing their homes even as shutdowns cost them their jobs. At the same time, landlords say that they’ve been left powerless over their own properties, with some delaying mortgage payments and upkeep because their tenants aren’t paying.
Now, the rules are about to change again. The federal pause on evictions could be struck down by the courts in the months ahead, or it may just expire. At the same time, the government has made billions of dollars available to help renters and homeowners, but the aid has often been slow to reach those who need it.
And so many renters and landlords will have to confront a complicated problem: What should they do about unpaid rent and expired leases, and how do they avoid an eviction?
The stakes are high.
Evictions are costly for landlords, and they can bring lasting damage for tenants and for society — including homelessness. And even if a conflict doesn’t go to court, property owners want to recover their losses, and tenants could be left with burdensome debts that damage their credit and hurt their efforts to find new housing.
Eviction proceedings are governed by a confusing patchwork of local, state and federal rules. There is already pressure on state lawmakers — and Gov. Jared Polis — to create new protections for renters, or to remove them.
As the state starts to look beyond the pandemic, we need a space where anyone can ask their most pressing questions, or what feels like basic questions, about housing without judgment. That’s why we want to pose a simple request for our readers and listeners: What do you want to know about housing, evictions and the law in Colorado?
We want to hear your questions, comments and concerns — be they about evictions, rental and mortgage assistance, landlord rights or the housing market in general. We may not be able to answer questions specific to your situation, but we can be in touch, if you allow us to contact you.
So whether you’re renting and are worried about facing an eviction or are a landlord with mounting bills, we want to hear from you.