DENVER, Colo. — The Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRD) is reminding Coloradans that, as of January 1, 2021, refusing to rent, lease, show for rent or lease, or transmit an offer to rent or lease housing based on a person’s source of income is prohibited by law under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA). “Source of income” is defined in the statute as “any lawful and verifiable source of money paid directly, indirectly, or on behalf of a person.” In addition, discriminating in the terms or conditions of a rental agreement against a person based on source of income, or based upon the person’s participation in a third-party contract required as a condition of receiving public housing assistance are violations of the Act.
The changes to CADA are a result of House Bill 20-1332, passed during the legislative session last spring and signed into law by Governor Jared Polis in July. “Colorado is home to a diverse array of industries, and a person cannot be denied housing regardless of their source of income, be it in the form of public or private assistance or any lawful employment,” stated Civil Rights Division Director Aubrey Elenis. “Further, during a particularly difficult time for many in our state, discrimination based on receiving government or private assistance should never occur. All Coloradans have a right to access housing, and this right is now solidified.”
The amended housing language also states that advertisements for the rent or lease of housing cannot include any limitation or preference based on source of income, or the use of representations related to a person’s source of income to induce another person to rent or lease property. However, these restrictions do not apply in the following circumstances:
- If a landlord has three or fewer rental units;
- If a landlord has five or fewer single family rental homes, they are not required to accept federal housing choice vouchers for the single family homes.
It is important to note that a landlord is not prohibited from checking the credit of a prospective tenant. Checking the credit of a prospective tenant is not an unfair housing practice if the landlord checks the credit of every prospective tenant. CCRD encourages any person who encounters discrimination because of their verifiable, legal source of income to initiate a formal complaint of discrimination at https://ccrd.colorado.gov/.