Colorado House passes bill that aims to rein in rental application fees

DENVER - The Colorado House has given its approval to a bill that aims to standardize the rental application process and limit some of the financial burden placed on applicants.

House Bill 18-1127, co-sponsored by Reps. Dominique Jackson, D-Aurora, and Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood, focuses on application fees and the application screening process.

Prospective renters can end up spending significant amounts of money on application fees, which often run in the neighborhood of $40 or $50, when they're applying to multiple apartments.

The bill doesn't establish a monetary cap for application fees but instead lays out what a landlord can and can't charge a fee for.

If passed, HB 18-1127 would prohibit landlords from charging a fee for anything other than the cost of processing an application, such as running a background check. The landlord must then provide the applicant with an explanation of the expenses the fee will cover. 

The bill also states that landlords would be required to inform applicants of their selection criteria along with which criteria weren't met if an applicant is denied for a rental.

Any landlord who violates the requirements would have to pay the applicant two times the application fee plus any courts costs or attorney fees.

The bill heads next to the Senate.

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