The rental market has been shifting quite a bit in recent years. The eviction moratorium had a huge impact on landlords who could not evict tenants for almost a year, even when rent wasn’t coming in. There’s talk about the potential for rent control in some Colorado cities, and rental property owners are feeling the squeeze of inflation and higher prices; paying more for maintenance and professional services. All this against the backdrop of higher property taxes, thanks to increasing home values.
It’s difficult and challenging to keep up.
If you’re working with a Golden property management company, you’re one step ahead of many other investors and landlords. As property managers, it’s our mission to stay up to date on pending legislation, proposed mandates, and the general shifts and trends in the rental market.
We’ve been working closely with the Colorado Landlord Legislative Coalition (https://coloradolandlordlegislativecoalition.org/), and we want to tell you a little bit about their work, and how real estate investors like you and property managers like us can stand up against unfair legislation.
Tenants in Colorado have a lot of protection. There’s a lot of support when they need help with evictions, security deposit disputes, and habitability issues. Property owners need similar resources, and we think that property management companies like ours can lead the way, especially with the help of organizations like the Colorado Landlord Legislative Coalition.
Let’s talk about how we can fight back against legislation that could potentially hurt you and your rental business.
Colorado Landlord Legislative Coalition
Consider becoming a member of the Colorado Landlord Legislative Coalition. Here’s the organization’s mission statement:
The mission of the Colorado Landlord Legislative Coalition (CLLC) is to empower Landlords and Property Managers from all over Colorado. The CLLC promotes involvement in the legislative process by offering a means to collaborate and negotiate with legislators while educating policymakers about the single-family and small multi-family rental housing industry. The Colorado Landlord Legislative Coalition aspires to create positive change for those that provide housing for others and in turn the renters of Colorado.
This organization was established in 2020.
The work of CLLC is to provide positive housing outcomes for both landlords and tenants and anyone who plays a role in providing housing for communities across the state.
Having a Seat at the Table
It’s frustrating when laws are made and legislation is passed that affect the work we do, and there doesn’t seem like anyone is listening to what we know about the rental market, the housing industry, and the needs of tenants, landlords, and properties.
Historically, state laws and even federal laws have been enacted without any input from major stakeholders such as landlords and property managers.
Think about the myriad of laws that impact how we lease, manage, and maintain rental properties:
- Fair housing laws.
- Security deposit requirements.
- Late fee legislation.
- Requirements around rental increases.
- Habitability standards.
- Service animals and emotional support animals.
There’s a lot that happens legally without your voice being heard as a landlord or a real estate investor. That doesn’t mean you’re without power. You can fight for your rights when there are new laws being proposed. Fighting all alone is overwhelming. Fighting as part of a coalition is activism. We can generate a louder voice against the legislation we don’t agree with, and we can promote laws and requirements that we know would help our industry and our mission to provide quality housing to Colorado tenants.
According to CLLC, property managers and landlords, specifically the single-family rental property industry, have not had any representation at the state capitol. When bills are being introduced, debated, and negotiated, there hasn’t been any input from our industry or our leadership. That has to change.
With the help of lobbyists and government relations experts, there’s finally a way for our collective voice to be heard.
Advocate for the Interests of Golden, CO Rental Property Owners
This is about advocacy.
We work with CLLC to help build awareness and create a sense of urgency around what’s been happening legislatively and what’s been proposed for recent sessions at the statehouse. There are bills that affect individual landlords, single-family rental properties, the entire rental property industry, and local property managers.
Real estate associations have long been able to influence what does and do not happen at the state level, local level, and federal level. However, our specific interests – those of landlords and property managers – were not always a priority.
That can change.
Check out the CLLC membership page. There are different ways to support the organization – and our industry.
How You Can Fight for Your Rights
It’s not enough to simply be aware of the potentially disruptive laws and regulations that could be implemented at any moment. You need to commit to acting against them. Otherwise, all of us will be left complaining about the ever-tightening rules and requirements that landlords and property managers in Golden and throughout Colorado must follow.
Here’s what you can do to fight for your rights as a rental property owner and to protect what you’re trying to do as a real estate investor:
- Educate Yourself on Potential Legislation and Legislative Issues
First, you have to know the fight we’re fighting. Don’t wait to hear about unpleasant things after they’ve already passed and become law. Learn about the things that are under proposal at the state level. Get to know the elected representatives who are casting these votes and making these decisions. You need to know what you’re up against if you’re going to make meaningful changes. Join some networking organizations. Read the news. Follow CLLC and other local leaders. Get to know the issues so you can make informed opinions about where you think the laws should land when it comes to tenants, landlords, and rental properties.
- Talk About the Challenges Our Industry Faces
It’s easy to hammer away at landlords. With rents at an all-time high, there’s a perception problem when it comes to people who rent out homes. We can change that perception by talking about the challenges that we face as landlords and property managers. We can be willing to discuss the challenges that the current market poses for investors, and why that’s not only bad news for investors, but also for tenants and communities. Be willing to talk about what’s needed and what’s missing. Share your stories with fellow investors, landlords, and rental property owners.
- Don’t Forget that Tenants are Customers
In a lot of cases, it’s very easy to simplify laws and legislation as a landlord v. tenant situation. But it isn’t that way at all. When you own a rental property, you want to serve your customers in the best way possible. Who are your customers? Your tenants. By advocating for your own interests, you don’t have to take away the rights or work against the interests of your tenants. There’s more common ground than anyone realizes, and pitting these fights as landlord rights against tenant rights is simply misinformed. We are working to make the entire rental market and property management industry better and more accessible for everyone.
- Be Willing to Act
There are opportunities to write letters, attend meetings, and participate in forums and town halls when legislation is considered. Make sure you’re willing to invest the time and resources that are required in representing yourself and your fellow landlords and investors. This might include lobbying legislators at the state capitol or writing letters to the editor of your local paper. Make presentations at community meetings and talk about legislation on social media.
- Join Groups Like CLLC
There is strength in numbers, and that’s why we’re so excited about the work of CLLC. When you come together with other individuals who have similar interests, you create a stronger voice. This will help us make a bigger difference, especially when it’s most needed.
Legislation to Know Now
The 2023 Legislative session has begun, and there’s already a lot to consider. Several bills have been proposed that will affect how Colorado landlords rent out their homes. If you’re not already aware of some of the pending legislation, make sure you get to know what’s being considered. There are currently proposed laws that impact:
- Written rental agreements
- Pet ownership
- Tenant screening
- Rent control
- Eviction protections
We’d love to tell you more about how we are working harder to become activists for landlords, real estate investors, and our fellow property managers. We’d also be happy to tell you more about our experience with CLLC, and why we think it’s a worthy organization for property owners like you to consider joining.
We love being a property management resource in Golden and the surrounding areas. Whether you have questions about your rental properties or you’re interested in learning more about legislative initiatives, we want to talk with you. Please contact us at Laurel Property Services, Inc. In addition to providing property management in Golden, we also serve Wheatridge, Morrison, Lakewood, Arvada, and Genesee, CO.