House Bills 20-1009 & 20-1332 – Explained

Before the close of 2020, there were a couple of significant bills signed into law. As always, Metro REIG is here to keep you up to date, and to give a little clarity on what it all means. 

First up, House Bill 20-1009
This bill requires a court to suppress court records related to an eviction proceeding or an action for termination of a mobile home park tenancy. Meaning, records related to any eviction or termination are not publicly available. These records can only become publicly available if an order granting the plaintiff possession of the premises is entered in the action. In that case, the court must then lift the suppression order. The only time the suppression order can remain is if the parties agree that the record should remain suppressed.

To be clear, the names of the parties included in a court record that is suppressed may be used by a court for administrative purposes, but the court cannot, for any reason, publish the names of the parties online. A summons in an eviction proceeding must include a notice concerning suppression of court records related to the action.

And then there’s House Bill 20-1332

This bill was written concerning prohibitions on discrimination in housing based on the source of Income, which came into effect on Jan 1, 2021.

This bill amends the unfair housing statute by adding that discrimination based on the source of income is a type of unfair housing practice. Meaning, refusing to rent to a section 8 applicant is prohibited. It’s also important to note that this law does not apply to landlords with 3 or fewer rental units. 

It’s important to note that a landlord is not prohibited from checking the credit of prospective tenants. Performing a credit check on a prospective tenant is not an unfair housing practice, provided the landlord checks the credit of every prospective tenant.

As is the case with most of these bills and legislatures, there are some ambiguities:

  • House Bill 20-1332 states: A landlord who owns 5 or fewer single family rental homes, and no more than 5 total rental units including any single family rental homes, is not required to accept federal housing choice vouchers for the single family homes.
    • This is a little unclear, and we’re not sure at the moment what this actually entails. 
  • What if inspections required by federal housing lead to delays for one applicant, when other applicants are ready and available?
    • This is another ambiguity that needs clarifying.
  • If you have a variety of applicants from an open house, and some come with subsidized housing vouchers while others do not, what happens then?
    • This is another ambiguity that needs clarifying.

These laws are new and have not been tested in court. Clearly, there are many unanswered questions that require attention. In the interest of having the most information possible, I’ve consulted my attorney for any clarification he can provide to ensure we’re working with the most up-to-date and accurate information. As soon as I have an answer, I’ll be updating this blog with answers. Be sure to subscribe to this blog by clicking the subscribe link on the right and we’ll keep you informed!

And of course, should you need assistance with property management, it’s never too late to set up a free consultation to see how we can work together. I look forward to hearing from you!

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