This article is copied from the “Capitol Connection Newsletter”, a brief weekly update of the Colorado Association of Realtors® Government Affairs Division.

Senate Bill 18-015: Protecting Homeowners and Deployed Military

SB18-015, sponsored by Senators Gardner (R-Colorado Springs) and Hill (R-Colorado Springs) and Representatives D. Williams (R-Colorado Springs) and Liston (R-Colorado Springs), allows for the removal of an unauthorized person (trespasser) from a residential property within 24 hours based on an affidavit from the true property owner. The rightful property owner is subject to the penalty of perjury if the information they report is inaccurate.  CAR’s Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) supports this legislation, and earlier this week, CAR testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.   After that committee hearing, the Senate made three amendments to the bill.  Amendment L001 clarifies that the newly established crime of altering or damaging a home does not preclude the prosecution of violations under any other law, primarily criminal mischief giving prosecutors more flexibility in prosecution based on the facts of the incident. Amendment L002 tightens the crime to focus only on “material” alterations to property of trespassers not minor changes made to a property by a trespasser.  Amendment L003 adds security personnel as another type of law enforcement officer who is allowed to remove an unauthorized person from a property.

The unauthorized occupation of property poses a real menace to real estate when an unauthorized occupant moves into a vacant apartment or house without the consent of the true owner. Frequently houses targeted by unauthorized occupants are foreclosures or properties under-going renovations, but they can also be homes offered for sale by owners. In some egregious cases, families have returned home from a vacation to find unauthorized occupants living in their homes.  The result is that under existing laws, true property owners must spend time and money to go through eviction proceedings to remove these trespassers from their properties. SB18-015 creates an alternative process to remove the unauthorized occupant.  We anticipate a final vote on this bill in the Senate early next week before it moves on to the House of Representatives.

Colorado Association of REALTORS®
309 Inverness Way South Englewood, CO 80112