Colorado landlords say rent payments are strong and evictions are low

The recession caused by the pandemic raised fears of an eviction wave that hasn’t materialized in the state.

Kevin Breidenbach and Luke Wierman post signs to tents as the Denver Democratic Socialists of America protest rent and evictions as the economy continues to struggle under the pandemic. July 1, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Kevin Breidenbach and Luke Wierman post signs to tents as the Denver Democratic Socialists of America protest rent and evictions as the economy continues to struggle under the pandemic. July 1, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Donna Bryson. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Landlords said nearly as many Colorado tenants paid rent in August as did this month last year.

By Aug. 20, 94.7 percent of renters had paid for the month, compared to 96.5 percent by Aug. 20, 2019, according to a Colorado Apartment Association survey of properties with a total of 327,000 units across the state.

The association has credited rental assistance programs, including one it helped launch for Coloradans, and efforts by landlords to work out payment plans with tenants throughout the pandemic-sparked recession.

In a statement Thursday, the association added that 1,139 eviction filings were made across the state in July, a third of the 3,453 filings for July last year. As of Aug. 25, 911 eviction filings had been made, 23 percent of the 2,549 filings between Aug. 1 and Aug. 25 last year.

The association said Colorado was doing better than the nation as a whole, citing data from the analytics firm RealPage which looked at 46 states and reported nationwide payment rates of 90 percent for this month through Aug. 20, and 92.1 percent for last August through the 20th.

Zach Neumann, a lawyer who co-founded Colorado’s COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project to provide legal support for renters and to conduct research on housing security, remains concerned for the future. He said tenants with whom his group is in contact are stressed. He cited U.S. Census data showing that 28 percent of Colorado renters have slight to little confidence they will be able to pay rent on time in September.

Like the Colorado Apartment Association, Neumann said rental assistance programs and landlords willing to work out payments plans are helping. Neumann added that people are borrowing — from family if they can, or from payday loan businesses or on their credit cards — or selling cars or other items to raise money for rent.

“What’s the expression?” Neumann said. “‘Rent eats first.'”

Thanks for reading another Denverite story

Looks like you’re the type of person who reads to the ends of articles! Well, true believer, you might really like our morning newsletter. It’s quick, free and gets you up to speed on the important and delightful things happening right here in Denver. Does Denverite help you feel more connected to what’s up in your area? Do you want to be a part of it?

Member donations are critical to our continued existence and growth.

Weird times

Denverite is powered by you. In these weird times, the local vigilance, the local context, the local flavor — it’s powered through your donations. If you’d miss Denverite if it disappeared tomorrow, donate today.

You’re our superpower

Denverite supporters have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.

You’re our superpower

Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.