COVID-19 and Advice for Denver Landlords Whose Tenants Can’t Pay

As a result of COVID-19, many renters are worried they can’t pay rent.

“Mayor Michael Hancock has made it clear where he stands on evictions in Denver. During his March 16 press conference announcing the end of on-site restaurant and bar service, Hancock said that “now is not the time to be evicting people from their housing.” As a result, sheriff’s deputies assigned to this duty have been redeployed “to other areas of need.”

“And during a March 20 press conference where he announced that he’d approved alcohol delivery by licensed restaurants in Colorado, Governor Jared Polis also pointed out that the federal government has put in place a sixty-day suspension of foreclosures and evictions for those with loans overseen by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Polis encouraged all lenders at the state level and the private sector to follow suit, and called on landlords to refrain from evictions or associated penalties at present.”

“Balch Lyng encourages renters to “keep the lines of communication open. If you feel you’re at risk as a renter or a resident of not being able to pay your rent because of a layoff or, God forbid, an illness, the important thing to do is talk to your manager or your housing provider early. While we’re recommending things to housing providers, we’re also recommending that renters who are in that situation talk to their landlord or housing provider, because they may be able to put them in touch with resources” like the ones from the Colorado Housing Financial Assistance Programs and the Apartment Association of Metro Denver.”

Read more at Westword. 

What should landlords do about COVID-19? Here’s advice from the Colorado Apartment Association

Colorado Apartment Association released guidance for landlords across Colorado.

“Colorado has seen record applications for unemployment after social distancing measures have shuttered restaurants, bars, salons and other businesses that cater to crowds of more than 10 people at a time. The Colorado Apartment Association – a trade organization representing dozens of housing complexes and developers — said it created a COVID-19 task force to begin to address concerns that many people may soon have trouble paying rent.”

Read more at KUSA.

Denver landlords enter ‘triage mode’ to protect their investments and renters alike

Amid COVID-19, Denver landlords prioritize communication with tenants and lenders.

“Peggy Panzer, vice president of business development for real estate firm Laramar Group, said most apartment industry leaders she’s spoken with are looking at allowing deferred or partial rent payments for tenants showing documentation, such as termination of their employment. They’re also sharing governmental and nonprofit resources, which the Colorado Apartment Association compiled in a guide for tenants facing income shortages.”

“Owners of these properties still have to pay a mortgage,” Panzer said. “If rent is cancelled altogether or waived, owners doesn’t have the ability to pay their mortgage.”

“Panzer heads up the Coronavirus Task Force Force for the Apartment Association of Metro Denver. Since March 16, the group has been holding twice weekly phone calls for industry leaders to share ideas as they chart a course in the midst of a pandemic.”

Read more at Denver Business Journal

No Aurora area evictions for now as courts, sheriffs refuse to impose them

The Aurora City Council announced no eviction orders due to the unemployment rate from COVID-19.

“But measures like courts postponing eviction hearings come with a slew of unintended consequences, said Andrew Hamrick, Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Colorado Apartment Association, which advocates for property owners.”

“Hamrick said eviction processes usually take from 45 to 77 days in the courts and can already be a slow process without the court delays. He said Arapahoe County courts process evictions very slowly, up to two and a half months. That puts landlords in tough situations, he said, putting themselves at risk of foreclosing the property if tenants are able to continue living in apartments without paying rent.”

“Hamrick said landlords across the state are waiving April rent for cash-strapped tenants or otherwise being flexible.”

Read more at The Sentinel.

Broomfield approves affordable housing ordinance

The Broomfield City Council passed Broomfield Ordinance 2100 on March 10, 2020.

“City Council on Tuesday added a chapter to Broomfield municipal code requiring developers to take affordable/attainable housing into consideration when building housing units.”

“Council passed the ordinance 8-1, with Ward 4 Councilwoman Kimberly Groom voting against.”

“Drew Hamrick, senior vice president and general counsel at the Colorado Apartment Association, in a news release said Council’s decision “could prove disastrous” for Broomfield residents because while it claims to promote affordable housing units, it will only do so at the expense of other renters.”

“Shifting the cost of rent from one group of renters to another does not decrease in the overall cost of housing,” he said. “Instead, the burden of lower income residents is transferred to other residents who only have slightly higher income. Broomfield Ordinance 2100 unfairly asks people such as firefighters, nurses, and policemen to pay the rent of other tenants.”

“The real solution to affordable housing is to build more units,” Hamrick said. “Our state should be focused on reducing the costs and delays of constructing new multifamily developments, which is the least expensive and the most environmentally friendly option.”

Read more at The Broomfield Enterprise.