We all know that the legislature is in session and that amendments and additions are made, but who has time to keep up with it? Most importantly, who has time to read them all and analyze how they affect the real people around Colorado?
Well, for starters, Jeremy Schupbach does. He is the Colorado Bar Association's Director of Legislative Relations and he reads all proposals and bills each morning before presenting them to the bar sections for consideration and comments. He is the liaison of sorts between the amendments and application of the law. I recently got to see he and Jean Arnold (of Arnold & Arnold Attorneys at Law, LLP) speak at the 2019 Real Estate Symposium and they made a great summarization of the updates as they relate to real estate law.
The following is a brief summary of what I learned.
Affordable Housing – HB1009 expanded the housing voucher program to include individuals with substance abuse disorders and appropriated $4.3 million for the next five years to aid the program.
Colorado Common Interest Communities – HB1050 augments the existing law to now extend to common areas under the control of a community's board, which would establish a right to use water-efficient landscaping, subject to aesthetic standards.
Deeds and Plats – HB1098 Title companies may now prepare deeds without being considered as practicing law without a license.
Eminent Domain – SB107 establishes that existing and future electric easements can be used for broadband without the consent of the interest holder in real property and limits damages in inverse condemnation actions.
Energy and Environment – HB1076 added E-cigarettes to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.
Landlord – Tenant – HB1106 bars a landlord from charging an application fee unless he can account for using it all in the application process. HB1118 changes the time of notice for eviction (or opportunity to cure) from 3 days to 10 days on residential properties. A five-day notice will be applied to landlords that own 5 units or less. HB1328 establishes a 96-hour response, inspection and mitigation standard for landlords with respect to bed bug infestation.
Public Trustees/Treasurer – HB1295 establishes that the county treasurer for each Class 2 county (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Pueblo, and Weld) will serve as the public trustee for the county.
This is not a full list of the legislative actions taken this session, nor is it a full explanation of them. However, this is a good start to assessing whether any of the new laws apply to you and your real estate transaction. If you would like to discuss how some of these laws will affect you and your real estate, we suggest you seek legal counsel to ensure full protection of your rights.