Capitol Connection – January 26, 2018
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.
Senate Bill 18-039: Continue the Wildfire Matters Review Committee
SB18-039, sponsored by Senators Jones (D-Boulder) and Cooke (R-Greeley) and Representatives Thurlow (R-Grand Junction) and Exum (D-Colorado Springs) passed unanimously through the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy on January 18th. SB18-039 will now move, unamended, to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill continues the Wildfire Matters Review Committee until September 1, 2025. LPC continues to support this legislation. The Wildfire Matters Review Committee is an interim committee that studies wildfire prevention and mitigation. Through Colorado Project Wildfire, CAR supported wildfire mitigation initiatives and efforts across Colorado and continues to engage stakeholders on these important issues.
In 2014, CAR initiated Colorado Project Wildfire, which is designed to help reduce the destruction of land, property, and lives from the devastating effects of wildfires. Working in partnership with other like-minded fire prevention organizations across the state, local REALTOR® associations are bringing education and awareness, as well as access to resources, directly to residents in their local communities.
REALTOR® Day at the Capitol: Registration Closes January 31st!
Don’t miss your chance to see our state legislature in action! REALTOR® Day at the Capitol is February 8th. This year will feature a Gubernatorial Candidate Forum, Keynote Luncheon, and the afternoon program featuring Hickenlooper and key leaders in the House and Senate. Registration closes on January 31st! Click here to learn more and register!
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Colorado Project Wildfire
Developed by the Colorado Association of REALTORS®, Project Wildfire is designed to help reduce the destruction of land, property, and lives. Working in partnership with other like-minded fire prevention organizations across the state, local REALTOR® associations are bringing education and awareness, as well as access to resources, directly to residents in their local communities. To learn more about Colorado Project Wildfire, click here.