DENVER—Today, nearly every House Democrat voted for legislation that will have a devastating impact on the already surging rental market in Colorado. Two bills, which were rushed through the legislature in the last week, will give renters a clear path to strike against property owners and will prohibit verification of income on rental applications.
“Democrats are so out of touch with reality, that even after prominent economists and numerous industry experts warned that these regulations will only drive up rental rates, they ignored actual evidence and pushed through their extreme ideological polices,” said Representative Susan Beckman (R-Littleton), the ranking member on the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee. “You can’t experiment with people’s livelihood, and I can’t believe Democrats are willing to make Colorado even less affordable with these liberal policies that have never worked!”
Specifically, House Bill 18-1397 lowers the current standard from ‘dangerous or hazardous to the tenant’s life, health, or safety’, to ‘affects the health’ of the tenant, and would allow renters to withhold rent for the actual value of the repair. Proponents of the bill have been linked to movements in other states whereby the lowered standard allows tenants to withhold large amounts of rent based on unreasonable repairs in order to renegotiate rental prices or terms.
House Bill 18-1432 prohibits a property owner or manager from verifying income, and prohibits refusing to rent or lease housing based on a person’s source of income.
Representative Larry Liston (R-Colorado Springs), who heard House Bill 18-1432 in committee recalled the exchange between the bill sponsor and a Harvard economist testifying against the bill:
“I listened in committee as a well-respected Harvard professor and economist was berated by the Democrat sponsor because he wasn’t giving favorable testimony on this terrible policy. It’s bad enough that Democrats are rushing this flawed policy in the waning days of the session, but to completely dismiss the input of an expert economist is very discouraging.”
Both bills passed the House with no Republican votes.