NewsCovering Colorado


New Colorado law sets time frames for landlords to make repairs

The law sets a seven or 14-day deadline for landlords to repair certain issues after being notified.
Posted at 8:13 AM, May 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-06 10:13:37-04

DENVER — It's a problem renters across Colorado are dealing with — Landlords taking rent money, but not taking care of basic repairs to your unit.

Now that Senate Bill 24-094 has been signed into law, the hope is that will all change. The legsilation is meant to make sure property managers actually fix the problems you report.

When Blaire Moore moved into The Felix Apartments in southeast Denver, she thought she'd found a great place to call home.

“It’s a pretty good deal on paper,” Moore said.

That’s until the problems started piling up.

“The issues come in when you don't have heat in the winter, or you don't have hot water,” Moore said.

She reported the problems to her property manager, but waited months for a fix.

“If you go into the office, they might give you ‘Oh, okay, we'll put that on our work order list and get to it.’ And then they won't,” Moore explained.

Those issues and a laundry list of others caught the attention of Eida Altman with the Denver Metro Tenants Union.

“We’ve talked to people who could see their breath in their apartments, rodents, crumbling asbestos ceilings, electrical fires,” Altman listed.

Colorado does have a Warranty of Habitability law that’s supposed to guarantee tenants have safe living conditions.

But consumer advocates told Denver7, in reality — the law as it used to stand — didn't hold landlords accountable.

“It means that you never actually see the thing finished, or that there's no standards to it being finished,” Director of State and Local Policy for Community Economic Defense Project Melissa Mejía explained.

Safe Housing for Residential Tenants, SB24-094, sets deadlines for landlords so tenants don’t have to live in unsafe conditions.

Now, landlords will have up to two weeks after they are notified by a tenant to make reasonable repairs. They have seven days when the condition interferes with the renter's life, health or safety.

It also requires landlords to document all communications with tenants about their claim and offer other housing — like a hotel room — if the conditions aren’t met.

“I think the problem is bigger than we can actually document because so many people just live in conditions that they shouldn't have to live in,” Mejía said.

Denver7 reached out to the owners of The Felix Apartments and got no response about the issues there.

Moore hopes the new law will hold landlords — like her own — accountable.

“I just really want this place to be as livable as possible until I can hopefully find myself somewhere else to be,” Moore said.

New state law sets time frames for landlords to make repairs