After reading our last blog, How to Prevent Problems with Squatters in Colorado, you’re probably wondering about something.
Is the state of Colorado doing anything about this?
The answer is yes.
The Protecting Homeowners and Deployed Military Act
Colorado lawmakers have been considering Senate Bill 18-015 since January of 2018. This bill would make it easier for law enforcement to remove squatters.
The bill passed the Colorado Senate and was introduced to the House on February 1, 2018.
Why is This Important in Colorado Springs?
This bill is particularly important in Colorado Springs. Not only do we have a lively rental market here, but five of the six military bases in Colorado are located in or just outside of the Colorado Springs city limits.
The service men and women who are stationed on our bases often buy homes for their families. Colorado Springs is a beautiful city and many veterans choose to make this their permanent home after retirement from the military.
Until retirement, however, they may still be deployed and their homes can remain empty for extended periods of time. Without an active property manager, these homes are prime targets for squatters.
State leadership recognizes the importance of the military presence here and nobody wants a homeowner who is serving our country to return to the problems and damage caused by squatters.
What Does SB 15-018 Do?
The bill would do two things:
- Indemnify police officers and their agencies for relying on the homeowner’s word that the people being removed are in fact squatters and not legal tenants
- Make homeowners or their agents liable for damages, fees and costs if the person being removed turns out to be a legal tenant.
The current problems are caused by the fact that law enforcement officers are not allowed to rely on the statement of the homeowner that the squatters are not legal tenants. This bill assigns the legal liability for damage caused by false statements to the person making the statement, rather than the officer who acts on it.
Nonetheless, it’s still better to avoid attracting squatters at all. Blue Mountain Real Estate makes sure that the only people who move into your property are qualified, legal tenants. Call us and we’ll manage your property for you.