More Coloradans faced eviction after unemployment checks shrank and bans on eviction expired, but a long-feared tsunami of court cases hasn’t hit the state so far.
The state courts accepted filings for more than 1,200 removals throughout July, and nearly 300 more in the first week of August.
That was a sharp acceleration from the earlier months of the pandemic when the courts were all but frozen. Still, it’s far short of the state’s typical evictions activity, and it indicates that relatively few landlords moved toward immediate eviction as initial protections expired.
The Colorado Apartment Association argues that the low numbers are a sign of success.
“While evictions may creep closer to normal rates in August, the number of evictions is far, far below Colorado’s averages, and we attribute this to the way the community has stepped forward to help renters,” said Mark Williams, executive vice president for the organization, in a released statement.
Surveys of large apartment operators have shown relatively few renters have stopped paying their bills altogether, and the apartment association said that there was “not a crisis.” Emergency government housing funds and unemployment benefits may have blunted the edge of evictions up til now.
“We’ve been really fortunate over these last several months to see the stimulus that was put in place … really work I think the way they were intended and help people make their basic needs, including their rent payments,” said Tony Julianelle, president of Atlas Real Estate, which manages thousands of apartment units on the Front Range.
Still, he said, a sharp reduction in unemployment benefits could push more renters to the edge. The $600-a-week federal supplement expired in late July, and the $300-a-week replacement may not arrive for weeks more.
September “is definitely going to be the stress test, if you will, without the level of support we’ve had for the last few months.”