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State eviction moratorium set to expire for Colorado tenants Thursday night

Governor Polis signed an executive order Thursday prohibiting landlords from charging late fees to tenants behind on rent.

COLORADO, USA — Colorado's eviction moratorium expires Thursday, preventing landlords from evicting any tenants, leaving only the federal moratorium, recently extended until Jan. 31. 

Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order Thursday to prohibit late fee charges to tenants behind on rent, but no decision was made on an extension of the state's eviction moratorium.

“With Congressional action and the resources coming to Colorado from the federal bill, coupled with the state resources provided through the recent special session, we are reviewing whether any further administrative actions are necessary," said a spokesperson with Polis' office. "Ultimately, the most important thing is for people to be able to keep up with their bills to stay in their homes, and this infusion of resources will assist renters and homeowners.”

If the state lets the ban expire, tenants in Colorado will lose some protections.

“The Colorado order was essentially a ban on evictions if the tenant was facing a financial hardship,” said Whitney Traylor, 9NEWS legal expert. “With the federal moratorium, the way it’s written, it sounds like, landlords can still pursue evictions based on other things that may not be related specifically for the rent." 

Landlords still have the ability to evict tenants based on criminal conduct or by alleging a noise or other type of violation listed in the lease during a federal moratorium, Traylor said. 

Knowing that, landlord Alec Vishal Rouben said he would not put his tenant out on the street. Rouben asked a community Facebook page for help when his tenant was laid off and behind on rent.

“My parents are like 'we're not slumlords, you know we're 'love-lords',' and I love to be someone who wants to serve and support our community,” he said. "I speak for all the landlords who have tenants who literally cannot pay and the landlords who own the space, and they have to pay; it'd be wonderful if there were resources where there was grace over the next couple months.”

Colorado still offers assistance for those struggling with rent and mortgage payments through their website; since August, the state has paid out $23.7 million to landlords missing rent checks and $5.8 million to people in need.

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