Property Management Education

Can Landlords Refuse Section 8 Housing in Colorado?

Key Points:

  • Landlords must accept Section 8 / government subsidized housing.
  • Some landlords are exempt.
  • Hair styles are now a protected tenant class under the CROWN Act.

BILL HB20-1332

In 2020, a change was made for Colorado landlords regarding what was previously known as Section 8 Housing. Section 8 Housing, now more accurately referred to as Government Subsidized Housing, may no longer be used as a reason to deny a tenant application.

  • The bill introducing this change (HB20-1332) establishes a tenant’s source of income as a protected status. Other protected status include federally protected classes such as race and religion. For more information on protected status, follow this link. A landlord may not legally discriminate against an applicant or tenant based on any protected status. This new law has added 'source of income' to the list of protected status categories.  

IN THE PAST: If a tenant’s source of income was displeasing or in the landlord’s eyes inadequate, it could legally be used as a reason for denial of a tenant’s application.

NOW, UNDER HB20-1332: No source of income may be used as a reason to deny tenant applications, including Government Subsidized Housing (previously known as Section 8) as well as payment received on a tenant’s behalf.

Definition of source of income: any source of money directly, indirectly, or on behalf of a person; includes any income from any lawful profession or from any government or private assistance, grant, or loan program.

Exemptions for HB20-1332

Individual landlords managing their own property with 3 or fewer units.

Landlords with 5 or fewer units are exempt for single family units.

This bill became effective on January 1, 2021. 

BILL HB20-1048

  • The CROWN Act of 2020 (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) was passed last year. This bill can be found under the title HB20-1048.

  • This bill prevents racial discrimination and the denial of tenants based on hair type or style. The bill adds "type of hair" to the list of protected statuses.

As always, if you have any questions in regards to these changes or anything else related to the role of landlord, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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