DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Apartment Association says rent payments are off to a strong start in 2021. Data analytics firm RealPage reports 93.5% of Coloradans paid rent as of Jan. 20, which is 4.9% higher than the national average.

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Colorado’s rent collection rate fell slightly this year compared to 95.8% in January 2020. However, CAA reports Colorado rent payments have outperformed national rent payments each month since they started tracking the numbers in April.

“High rental collection rates indicate the system is working and the rental housing market is maintaining its health through the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Mark Williams, executive vice president of CAA.

Colorado’s eviction filings are significantly lower this year, with 386 evictions filed in Jan. 2021, compared to 3,600 filed in Jan. 2020. Colorado’s eviction moratorium expired in December, but the national ban on evictions was extended until March 2021.

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To be eligible for protection under the Centers for Disease Control eviction moratorium, renters must earn $198,000 or less for couples filing jointly, or $99,000 for single filers; demonstrate that they’ve sought government help to pay the rent; declare that they can’t pay because of COVID-19 hardships; and affirm they are likely to become homeless if evicted.

The current eviction moratorium only applies to nonpayment of rent. Landlords can still evict tenants for lease violations like excessive noise or trash.

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In Colorado, CAA is offering rent payment plans and has partnered with the Resident Relief Foundation, which awards grants to residents who struggle to pay their rent. To donate to the relief fund, click here. Residents can apply for the grants here.

For more information about rent and mortgage resources in Colorado, visit the CAA website or the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.