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Arnold & Arnold, LLP
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Littleton, CO 80127
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Is Colorado Becoming a Tenant-Friendly State?

Does the strengthening of tenant rights in the Mobile Home Park Act mean Colorado is becoming a tenant-friendly state? A review of the proposed Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act may provide clues to the future of landlord-tenant law in Colorado.

The Proposed Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act

On January 19, 2012, the Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act was introduced in the Colorado General Assembly. The Uniform Act, if passed, would impact the following standard provisions in residential leases:

Attorney fees. A rental agreement may not provide that the Tenant agrees to pay the landlord's attorney fees. • Default and remedy clauses. Waives the landlord's right to terminate the lease if the landlord accepted rent knowing of the tenant's default. • Rules and regulations. Contains limitations on the landlord's imposing rules and regulations, similar to the limitations found in the Mobile Home Park Act.

The Uniform Act, if passed, would require a landlord at the commencement of the tenancy to disclose in writing: 1) the name and address of the authorized manager of the premises, and 2) an owner, or other person authorized to act for the owner, for purposes of service of process and receiving notices and demands.

The Uniform Act, if passed, would prohibit certain provisions in rental agreements including:

  • A tenant agrees to waive or forego rights or remedies under the article;
  • Any provision authorizing any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement;
  • Any provision agreeing to the exculpation or limitation of any liability of the landlord arising under law or to indemnify the landlord for that liability or the costs connected therewith.

Finally, under the Uniform Act, the tenant may recover, in addition to actual damages, an amount of up to three months periodic rent and reasonable attorney fees for a landlord's violation of the prohibitions stated above.

Unfortunately, Senate Bill 70 did not pass during the 2012 Colorado legislative session. It is currently not known whether it will be reintroduced. However, its introduction in 2012 may signal a change in how Colorado is viewing the future of landlord-tenant law. In the past, when Colorado recognized a need for expanding mobile home tenant's rights and protections, the Mobile Home Park Act was incrementally amended over ten years to meet the need. Will Colorado become a tenant-friendly state? We must wait and see.

Jean Arnold, Esq and Kelley Shirk, Esq.

See the full published article here:DU Law Review

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