Senate Bill 15 passed unanimously during a second hearing Thursday. A third vote will be cast Monday. If passed, it will move on to the House.
As we’ve reported, homeless people and transients target rental homes or houses that are unoccupied for extended periods of time. They move their stuff in and refuse to leave. Homeowners say when they get their properties back, they are on the hook for thousands of dollars in damages.
With a large military population, Colorado Springs has become a prime “target” for squatters. Some homeowners also have vacation/rental properties throughout the region—making them vulnerable as well.
Currently, police agencies across the state treat squatting situations as civil matters. A homeowner must file eviction paperwork and will have to wait weeks or months for the court to order an eviction which the sheriff’s office is responsible for executing.
Under the new bill, law enforcement would have immediate power to remove squatters from a property and make an arrest if the squatters damage property inside.
SB 15 is sponsored by Sen. Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs), Rep Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs), and Rep. Larry Liston (R-Colorado Springs).