Capitol Connection – April 13, 2018
Senate Bill 18-015: Protecting Homeowners And Deployed Military
SB18-015, sponsored by Senator Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), Senator Hill (R-Colorado Springs), Representative D. Williams (R-Colorado Springs), and Representative Liston (R-Colorado Springs), allows a property owner to remove an unauthorized person from a residential property within two court days on a county court motion for temporary mandatory injunction. The rightful property owner is subject to the penalty of perjury if the information they report on the motion is inaccurate. The Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) supports this legislation as a good public policy solution to a serious problem that is occurring statewide.
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 lengthy eviction proceedings to remove these squatters from their properties. SB18-015 is a common sense public policy solution that would: 1) Give rightful property owners a remedy to remove unauthorized persons and lessen damages to private property; 2) Give law enforcement officials the tools and necessary procedures to deal with this problem, which is not adequately addressed in current statute; 3) Protect consumers from becoming a victim of these types of scams; and 4) Deter fraudulent transfers of real estate and trespasser events that threaten private property rights.
CAR is happy to report that on Thursday, this legislation passed unanimously out of the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee. During the committee hearing, the legisaltors adopted an amendment that placed the statute in the civil rather than criminal code and created an emergency court process that gives a true property owner the ability to remove an unauthorized person from their property within two court days of the emergency motion ruling. This bill passed, as amended, and will now be heard on the House floor.
Senate Bill 18-062: Snow Removal Service Liability Limitation
SB18-062, sponsored by Senator Moreno (D-Commerce City) and Representative Melton (D-Aurora), voids provisions of snow removal contracts that require one party to indemnify the other party for damages, hold the other party harmless for damages, and provide for the defense of the other party in a liability lawsuit.
Currently, snow removal contractors sign agreements that they will indemnify property owners for any issues when plowing or mitigating the property. The snow removal companies are then responsible for any injuries that occur on the property due to inclement conditions. This bill was heard on Thursday in the House Judiciary Committee. During the committee hearing, two amendments were passed. Amendment L005 exempts the ice removal services provided at airports. Amendment L006 limits the bill to only take effect when a snow removal provider cannot perform duties based on the terms of the contract. Based on these amendments that respect the ability of parties to contract for their business services the LPC moved to a neutral position on SB18-062 today. This bill passed out of committee, as amended, and will now be heard on the House floor.
Senate Bill 18-039: Continue the Wildfire Matters Review Committee
SB18-039, sponsored by Senator Jones (D-Boulder), Senator Cooke (R-Greeley), Representative Thurlow (R-Grand Junction), and Representative Exum (D-Colorado Springs), 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. CAR has long supported wildfire mitigation initiatives and efforts across Colorado.
On Wednesday, this legislation passed unanimously through the Senate Appropriations Committee and also passed on third reading in the Senate. SB18-039 will now move to the House of Representatives for their consideration.
In 2014, CAR developed Colorado Project Wildfire which 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.
CALLING ALL RPAC MAJOR INVESTORS! Enter to win a $500 Southwest Airlines Gift Card!
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Upcoming Events: NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings (May 14-19, 2018)
The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo is where NAR members take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. REALTORS® come to Washington, DC, for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show. Registration is now open. Click here for more information.
This year, NAR has held the REALTOR® Legislative Meetings schedule from 2:00PM to 4:30PM on Wednesday, May 16th to allow time for Capitol Hill Visits. For Colorado, we have 9 Members of Congress visits to complete on Capitol Hill. While we will try to schedule as many meetings as possible during this NAR designated time frame, we will not be able to fit all of these meetings into this window. As we approach May, CAR Staff will be in contact with attendees regarding our hill visits meeting schedule for your constituent meetings with your Members of Congress.
Sign up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts
More than 50,000 REALTORS® from across the country have already signed up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts – have you? Text CO REALTORS to 30644 to stay up to date on REALTOR® issues! You’ll be among the first to know about NAR Calls for Action and more! Click here for more information.
Invest in RPAC
The purpose of RPAC is to support candidates that support REALTORS®. Our goal is to elect pro-REALTOR® candidates at the local, state, and federal levels – candidates that share our support for homeownership, protect property rights, and who will listen to our concerns. Investing in RPAC is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your business. Our goal in 2018 is to raise $630,000 to continue to support Colorado’s REALTOR® champions and ensure we achieve the policy outcomes necessary to protect property rights. Click here to invest today!
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.