Polis extends COVID-19 relief orders, granting Colorado residents some flexibility in paying rent

Gov. Jared Polis extended COVID-19 pandemic relief orders for another month Sunday in an effort to ease pressure on residents struggling to pay rent and utilities bills and receive unemployment insurance payments.

Polis also granted county commissioners greater authority to impose open fire burning restrictions.

The executive order on unemployment insurance claims for Colorado residents was aimed at speeding up claim processing for another month.

Public utility customers are to be allowed flexibility in making payments amid economic disruption due to the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

And Polis extended and amended his order that state agencies must help prevent evictions of tenants economically hurt during the pandemic.

This eviction order requires Colorado landlords to give tenants a notice 30 days ahead of eviction, instead of the usual 10 days — before they go to judges to ask for removal of tenants.

Landlords must provide this 30-day notice of  “any default for non-payment” before they initiate evictions. It is intended to delay new eviction filings for a month.

The order does not ban evictions. State local affairs officials are tasked with working landlords to reach rent repayment agreements, devised by state officials, when renters are unable to pay rent due to virus-related financial hardship.

Eviction defense advocates have estimated that up to 400,000 people in Colorado are at risk of eviction.

Polis in his latest flurry of orders Sunday added that he strongly encourages local governments that restrict the number of unrelated persons who can live in a single household or prohibit group or boarding houses to suspend or eliminate those restrictions. The idea is “to enable homeowners to rent or give a room or rooms to those in need of housing.” Similarly, Polis said limits on the number of days hotel rooms may be occupied should be suspended or eliminated.

 

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