Landlords upset about proposal at Capitol to give renters more rights

DENVER —It is something the Problem Solvers covers regularly — shady landlords that have allowed units to become tough to live in.

In July we introduced you to a moldy apartment in Loveland. 

We previously shared with you Silvia's story of not have a working stove in Greeley. 

While the Problem Solvers and our Shaul Turner have been on the case for years — now it is a topic at the State Capitol.

"We are looking at the bad actors here," Rep. Dominique Jackson (D-Arapahoe) said.

"If a tenant can withhold their rent then their landlord is more likely to perform," Jackson said.

Jackson has introduced the Residential Tenants Health and Safety Act which is aimed at giving renters more rights.

Among the new rights is that a renter can withhold rent completely if a tenant doesn't adequately fix a mold, mildew situation. The bill expands existing law as to what qualifies as a "mold problem."

The bill also puts in place measures for which rent can be withheld if appliances aren't functioning.

Landlords are furious.

"Landlords are very wary of this proposal," Teo Nicolais, a landlord in Denver, said.

Nicolais says this will force landlords to pay higher insurance and potentially retail legal services. All of this, Nicolais says, will mean higher rents.

"This is going to put upward pressure on rents," Nicolais added.

As for renters at the Capitol Friday they say this is a risk they are willing to take.

"I think we need to hold them accountable for the spaces that they are leasing to people," Roseanna Frechette, founder of Denver Artists for Rent Control, said.

The bill is expected to advance out of the House Health and Human Services Committee Friday night.


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