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Colorado Governor Polis’s Executive Order D 2020 101: Keeping Up with Colorado’s Shifting Eviction Landscape during COVID-19

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Former Associate
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On March 5, 2020, Colorado Governor Polis issues executive order D 2020 012, which among other things imposed temporary limitations on evictions, foreclosures, and public utility disconnections. After being amended and extended three times (through April 30, 2020 via D 2020-0131, then for an additional 30 days via D 2020 051, and finally for an additional 15 days from May 29, 2020 via D 2020 088), this executive order expired on Saturday, June 13, 2020.

In its stead, the Governor issued a more limited Executive Order—D 2020 101 (the “Order”)—which is effective through July 13, 2020. Most significantly, this current Order requires landlords to “provide tenants with thirty (30) days’ notice of any default for non payment” before they can initiate or file an eviction action (known as an “action for forcible entry and detainer,” or “FED”) and clarifies that tenants shall have the opportunity to cure any default for nonpayment during this period. The current Order also prohibits landlords and lenders “from charging any late fees or penalties for any breach of the terms of a lease or rental agreement due to non-payment” if the fees were incurred between May 1, 2020 and June 13, 2020.

Importantly, as he did in the initial limitation order, the Governor made clear that the Order does not relieve anyone from their obligation to make mortgage or rent payments, but instead directs the Executive Director of the Department of Local Affairs (“DOLA”) to work with landlords and tenants to implement model rent repayment agreements that DOLA created in order to assist individuals who cannot pay rent due to COVID-19 imposed financial hardships. Without a specific agreement between tenant and landlord, there is no clear legal mechanism for preventing eviction.

Landlords and Tenants alike should employ best efforts to stay up to date with the evolving landscape related to COVID-19 executive orders in Colorado. Further, many local authorities have their own policies in place, and short-term assistance may be available through DOLA or other entities and charities. To the extent you are facing questions about your rights and obligations under these myriad and shifting policies, consult with counsel if at all possible.