DENVER -- Gov. Polis signed a bill Monday that requires landlords provide safe, clean and healthy homes for their tenants according to state habitability standards and building codes. Under the "Safe and Healthy Homes Act," if landlords fail to follow the standards, tenants can wait to pay their rent until the issues are addressed without fear of retaliation.
Polis says most landlords provide good homes for renters, but “there are some cases where there needs to be intervention of the law where things are very unsafe for the tenant.”
Renter Royla Rice tells FOX31 she’s had her share of landlord nightmares.
"My landlord hid the red tag from the utilities company on a gas heating unit. He hid it rather than repair the unit. That almost killed me," Rice said.
Rice testified at legislative hearings in support of the new law.
Tiana Patterson said the bill will bring fairness to an arrangement that can sometimes benefit landlords when renters fear they will lose their home if they complain about needed repairs.
"You can compel your landlord to act and not feel beholden to what they say and what they do," said Patterson.
Landlord and real estate agent Luca Baud said the agreement will benefit both parties.
"It holds everyone accountable. It allows the tenant and the landlord to have that full transparency together," he said.