LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The national eviction moratorium announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a relief for people at risk of losing their homes due to the economic downturn. Colorado landlords say the move could create a potentially damaging situation for them.
Debi Stobie owns 12th Avenue Apartments in Lakewood. She’s just one of many landlords across the state shocked over the CDC’s ban on coronavirus-related evictions through the end of the year.
“The resident has to give a written declaration under perjury that this is true: That they make less than $99,000, or $198,000, depending on whether they’re filing jointly, that they’re unable to pay full rent, but they’ve paid everything that they can, that they’ve applied for all government assistance, and that an eviction would lead to homelessness.”
If you don’t meet those standards, the Colorado Apartment Association says you won’t be protected. Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Drew Hamrick says most Colorado renters don’t need it.
“The moratorium, we feel, was largely unnecessary,” Hamrick told CBS4’s Andrea Flores. “Colorado has been blessed by extremely high levels of rent payment, current rent payment rates are 94.7%, which is a few percentage points off from normal.”
While the moratorium protects some renters, it hurts small landlords.
“Almost 70% of the rental units in this state are in properties of seven units of less,” Hamrick said. “If you’ve got one bungalow in Washington Park, and that one resident isn’t paying, you’ve got 100% default rate, and those people are hit by this moratorium in the same way.”
With the uncertainty of how this ban on evictions will work, landlords say it’s best for vulnerable renters to be up front about financial trouble.
“Tell us right away, that helps a lot,” Stobie said.