The state’s association of owners, managers and developers of multifamily dwellings announced on Wednesday that it supports a proposal to keep the records of eviction proceedings private until there is a judgment in favor of the landlord.
“This bill is a reasonable approach to prevent public records from being misinterpreted and to ensure that rental housing providers have an accurate picture of a potential renter’s previous performance,” said Drew Hamrick, general counsel and senior vice president of government affairs for the Colorado Apartment Association. “It’s important that a resolved case not have the potential to create the appearance of something more serious than it was."
Only when there is a judgment for the landlord will the court proceedings be made public, unless both parties agree to maintain confidentiality.
House Bill 1009 — sponsored by Sen. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and Rep. Dominique Jackson, D-Aurora — passed the House Judiciary Committee on Jan. 23. It also applies to tenants of mobilehome parks.
The association said that the eviction process takes between six to eight weeks, and that many eviction cases result in either late monetary payment or tenants leaving voluntarily. It said that labeling such instances as evictions is “inaccurate.” Only when the landlord is successfully able to deny the tenant access to a dwelling is it an eviction.
Eviction Lab, a project of Princeton University, found that in 2016, Aurora had the highest rate of renter evictions in Colorado, with 3,131. Thornton had the second-highest rate, with a total of 645. That same year, there were 36,240 eviction filings in the state, only 50% of which resulted in evictions.
The project found that low-income women, particularly women of color, are at elevated risk of eviction. Most renters in eviction proceedings do not appear in court, in part due to lack of an attorney.