COVID-19 Legal FAQs for Renters in

This page has local legal information on residential (not commercial) renters’ issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not legal advice, and you should check with your local legal aid and courts for current information. Your local city or county may have additional protections for renters.

This page was last updated on October 14, 2020. It was reviewed by our volunteer attorney experts.

Its information is taken from these sources:Col. Governor executive orderCol. utility informationCol. court announcementsPrinceton Eviction Lab's COVID Policy ScorecardsColumbia Law School COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria analysisEnergy and Policy Institute Utility Disconnect TrackerCol. Governor extension of moratorium

COVID-19 Legal FAQs for Renters in Colorado
Are there any special protections for Colorado renters during the COVID-19 emergency?

You may be protected from eviction through Dec. 31 under the national CDC Eviction Moratorium. Read more below to see if you’re protected.

Colorado's eviction moratorium expired, but the Governor has ordered that landlords must give tenants a longer notice period before filing for eviction.

The governor's Executive Order had prohibited the filing and enforcement of evictions through June 13, 2020. The protection has now expired. The order also prohibited landlords from charging late fees for rent not paid during the emergency.

The Governor issued a new rule that landlords must provide tenants with 30 days notice before they can file an eviction lawsuit against them for not paying their rent (rather than the usual 10 days notice). Landlords can begin to give renters notice to pay or quit on June 14th, but tenants will have 30 days to respond before the landlord can file an eviction court case against them.

Colorado renters may also have national protections against eviction through the national CDC Eviction Moratorium. Check here to see if you are eligible.

What do the protections mean for Colorado renters?

The protections mean that in Colorado, after the eviction moratorium expired on June 13, 2020:

  • Your landlord might give you a notice to quit.
  • Your landlord can only file an eviction claim against you for not paying your rent, once they have given you 30 days notice.
  • Hearings are not necessarily suspended, and the court may still hear an eviction case against you.
  • The court can still issue a new order, judgment, or writ of eviction against you.
  • Law enforcement may enforce an existing eviction order against you, to remove you from your home.

You may still be protected against eviction in Colorado through a national CDC Eviction Moratorium through Dec. 31, 2020. Read more below to see if you are protected.

Do I still have to pay rent during the COVID-19 emergency in Colorado?

Yes, Colorado renters still need to pay rent during the emergency.

You were protected through June 13th from eviction for nonpayment of rent, but now this special protection has expired. Your landlord cannot charge you late fees for rent that you did not pay during the emergency period.

The Colorado governor established a special fund to provide rental assistance to low-income households impacted by COVID-19. Call 2-1-1 or go to the 211 website to apply.

If you cannot pay rent, take steps to protect yourself:

  • Get written records of all communication: Keep copies of any letter or email you send, and any responses from the landlord. Keep receipts for any payments you make, that are signed and dated. If you make a payment plan or rent agreement, make sure to get it in writing.
  • Keep proof of COVID-19’s impact on you: Collect documents about your COVID-19-related employment problems, health care issues, or other issues that affect your ability to pay rent. This includes letters from your employer, doctor, insurance provider, child care provider, schools, etc.

Can my landlord evict me during the COVID-19 emergency in Colorado?

Your landlord could not evict you during the emergency period through June 13th in Colorado, in most situations. If there had been a major lease violation, like if you have done significant damage to the property or are a serious and imminent threat to someone else, they were still able to evict you.

Once the emergency period ended on June 13, landlords can begin to enforce evictions against renters once again. They must give renters 30 days notice before filing an eviction lawsuit based on nonpayment of rent.

If you receive a notice to quit from your landlord, or an eviction lawsuit, reach out for legal help.

Can my utilities be shut off during the COVID-19 emergency in Colorado?

No. The Colorado Governor's Executive Order prohibits utility companies from shutting off services during the emergency.

Renters must still pay their utility bills. If you need financial assistance for utility costs, you may be able to get help.

Landlords are never allowed to shut off a renter's utilities in an attempt to force the renter out. This is illegal. Reach out to a lawyer for help if this happens to you.

Are you eligible for eviction protections under the CDC Eviction Moratorium?

What is the CDC Eviction Moratorium?

The CDC Eviction Moratorium orders that renters should be protected from eviction if they are unable to pay their rent due to hardships like job loss, income loss, or medical expenses. This protection lasts from September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

The CDC Eviction Moratorium is not automatic protection against eviction. Renters need to fill in a Declaration document and give it to their landlord to get the protection.

Landlords may still try to file an eviction lawsuit against renters, but renters can use the moratorium to defend themselves in court.

Do you qualify for protection under the CDC Eviction Moratorium?

The CDC Eviction Moratorium applies to people who:

  • Rent a home in the United States; AND
  • Make less than $99,000 (or $198,000 if you file a joint tax return); AND
  • Are facing eviction based on nonpayment of rent (not for other problems, like lease violations or criminal activity); AND
  • Can show they’re unable to pay rent because they’ve had a financial hardship, like losing a job, decrease in income, or medical bills; AND
  • Can show that they’ve been trying their hardest to pay their rent and find any rental assistance; AND
  • Can show that they’re at risk of homelessness if they were to be evicted.

If you live in a state, county, or city that has an eviction moratorium, the CDC Eviction Moratorium doesn’t replace this local one. It adds on top of your local protections.

What does the CDC Eviction Moratorium get you?

The CDC Eviction moratorium can stop an eviction proceeding against you. It could stop your landlord from removing you from your home, or from a court giving your landlord an eviction order through Dec. 31, 2020.

This means:

  • If your landlord has already started an eviction lawsuit against you, you can use the CDC Eviction Moratorium as a defense in court.
  • You can use the Declaration form to tell your landlord that you are protected from eviction, and to ask the court to stop the eviction.
  • You must follow the process below to be protected by the CDC Eviction Moratorium.

The CDC Eviction Moratorium does NOT get you rent relief:

  • Even if you fill in the Declaration, this does not cancel rent that you owe, or stop rent or late fees from building up.
  • After the CDC Moratorium expires on Dec. 31, 2020, you may be evicted for the rent that you owe.

The CDC Eviction Moratorium may NOT stop a landlord from suing you:

  • Even after you fill in the Declaration and send it to your landlord, they might still file an eviction lawsuit against you.
  • You can bring the Declaration to the court eviction hearing, to ask the court to stop the eviction.
  • Call a local lawyer for help if your landlord sues you for eviction.

How do you use the CDC Eviction Moratorium to protect yourself?

To secure CDC Eviction Moratorium protection, follow these steps:

  1. Apply for rental assistance. Look for any rental and utility assistance in your area, and submit applications to these programs. Find local assistance programs here.
  2. Fill out Declarations. You and every adult in the household need to fill out a Declaration about your financial hardships and your attempts to get assistance. In the Declaration, you must say that you are telling the truth and that you may face legal consequences if you are lying. You can use this guide for help with the Declaration.
  3. Send the Declarations to your landlord, and also tell the landlord that you will do your best to pay when you can. Keep a copy of the Declarations, as well as any receipt or documentation that you have sent it to your landlord (like email receipt or screenshots of the message). These can be useful evidence that you followed the process correctly.
  4. Protections through Dec. 31st. After you send this, your landlord cannot remove you from your home for nonpayment of rent through December 31, 2020. They are also never allowed to harass or intimidate you, or force you to leave the home without a court order.
  5. If your landlord has filed an eviction lawsuit against you, you can bring your Declarations to the court to ask them to stop the lawsuit. Contact a legal aid lawyer to help you with the lawsuit. Please note: Your landlord can still evict you for reasons other than nonpayment of rent, like for engaging in criminal activity in the home, violating building codes or health ordinances, or threatening the health and safety of other residents.
  6. You will continue to owe your rent. Try to make a plan about how you will take care of all the rent you owe. At the end of the Eviction Moratorium protections on Dec. 31, 2020, you will no longer be protected from being evicted.
  7. Make sure you know your lease and its terms. Some landlords may try to evict you based on violations of the terms in your lease. If you know your lease, you can protect yourself by making sure you do not break any of its terms.

If your landlord is trying to evict you, you should contact a legal aid attorney who helps with evictions. The CDC Eviction Moratorium might give you protections that lawyers can help you with.

Did I have eviction protections under the CARES Act?

What if I need repairs during the COVID-19 emergency in Colorado?

Can I break my lease?

What do I do if my landlord tries to evict me during the COVID-19 emergency in Colorado?

Are eviction cases still proceeding through court in Colorado?

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