Monday, March 22, 2010

LEGISLATIVE ALERT 3/22

The Senate has scheduled SB 185 for the Senate Floor TODAY. Please contact these Senators below and ask them to VOTE NO on SB 185!

This new bill aims to:1. Remove the requirement that a tenant must provide written notice to a landlord in the case of a breach.2. Expands the definition of a violation of the Warranty of Habitability.3. Adds new treble damages language.

  • This bill would undo several months of negotiation that took place ONLY 17 MONTHS AGO.
  • Those negotiations cost the taxpayers of Colorado upwards of $20,000 for mediation.
  • This bill REMOVES KEY COMPONENTS that were negotiated to achieve a balanced policy for all parties involved.
  • This bill removes the statutory requirement for written notice.
  • Required written notice is a fundamental protection for both tenants and property owners.
  • Since it is real and tangible documentation, it is easy for either party to prove that notice was given or received.
  • A tenant can easily prove he or she gave notice if a property owner denies receiving notice.
  • A property owner is protected from tenants who claim to have given notice, but never do.
  • If a warranty of habitability case goes to court, it allows the court to quickly resolve the notice issue. This allows the court to focus on the real issues of determining whether a breach of the warranty of habitability occurred and how a breach should be cured.
  • It creates a fixed timeline for a property owner and tenant to manage a problem. Without written notice, the timetable for fixing a problem may shift dramatically depending on what the parties claimed to have said or remembered about when notice was provided.
  • Written notice is especially helpful when a third party is managing a rental property. It allows a third party manager to show the property owner that a problem which needs to be fixed truly exists, and needs to be addressed immediately.
  • Required written notice does not prevent a tenant from calling or giving other forms of notice. A tenant may always provide oral or other forms of notice to the property owner if there is a problem. In fact, any property owner would encourage and appreciate immediate notice of a problem. But if a tenant claims a breach of warranty of habitability, which is a serious allegation, the property owner should have a right to receive written notice about the matter.
  • Required written notice does not limit any of the remedies available to tenants. Written notice is a separate and independent issue from the remedies available to tenants. The warranty of habitability adopted in 2008 had more tenant remedies than most states. Required written notice does not in any way diminish the number of remedies available to tenants.
  • SB 185 places greater strain on the court system through INJUNCTIVE RELIEF and broadens the definition of a violation of Warranty of Habitability. By allowing the tenant to obtain injunctive relief in county courts, including small claims courts, this bill will generate more traffic in our court systems.
  • SB-185 IMPOSES TREBLE DAMAGES to be awarded to the tenant for a violation.


Sen. Mary Hodge (D-25)Email: maryhodge@aol.comCapitol Phone: 303.866.4855Home Phone: 303.659.3298Sen.

Joyce Foster (D-35) Email: joyce.foster.senate@state.co.usCapitol Phone: 303.866.4875Home Phone: 303.343.6868Sen.

Dan Gibbs (D-16) Email: dan.gibbs.senate@state.co.usCapitol Phone: 303.866.4873Home Phone: 970.333.4707Sen.

Rollie Heath (D-18)Email: rollie.heath.senate@state.co.usCapitol Phone: 303.866.4872Home Phone: 720.272.2389Sen.

Chris Romer (D-32) Email: chris.romer.senate@state.co.usCapitol Phone: 303-656-9531Sen.

Lois Tochtrop (D-24)Email: lotochtrop@aol.comCapitol Phone: 303-866-4863Home Phone: 303.469.9217Sen.

Michael Johnston (D-33)Email: mike.johnston.senate@state.co.usCapitol Phone: 303.866.4864Sen.

Suzanne Williams (D-28)Email: suzanne.williams.senate@state.co.usCapitol Phone: 303-866-3432Home Phone: 303.751.2396

Senator Evie Hudak (D-19)Capitol Phone: 303.866.4840Home Phone: 303.423.8569Email: senatorhudak@gmail.comSenator

Linda Newell (D-26)Capitol Phone: 303.866.4846Home Phone: 303.956.9448Email: linda.newell.senate@gmail.com

maryhodge@aol.com; joyce.foster.senate@state.co.us; dan.gibbs.senate@state.co.us; rollie.heath.senate@state.co.us; chris.romer.senate@state.co.us; mike.johnston.senate@state.co.us; suzanne.williams.senate@state.co.us; senatorhudak@gmail.com; linda.newell.senate@gmail.com