Bill Speeding Eviction for Squatters Clears First Hurdle
(DENVER) – A bill aimed at bolstering the ability of homeowners to evict illegal squatters passed its first test at the Statehouse today, when SB-15 cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line 3-to-2 vote.
Republicans voted to support property rights and defend property owners. Democrats used strained rationales to find fault with the measure, which allows property owners to speed evictions by providing law enforcers with a declaration stating, under penalty of perjury, that their premises has been illegally occupied.
Law enforcers would also then be able to investigate and document any property damage squatters have done. The peace officer must provide the occupants with a reasonable opportunity to secure any evidence showing that they are legal occupants.
“Squatting is a growing problem nationally, but of special concern in military communities like Colorado Springs, where soldiers or airmen can be sent off to lengthy deployments, sometimes on short notice, making their empty houses easy targets for squatters,” said SB-15 author Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs). “Because it can be unbelievably difficult for property owners to remove these intruders, given how adept some of them are at misusing the system to delay eviction, this is one way we can improve the homeowner’s leverage when dealing with these nightmare situations.”
SB-15 moves next to the Senate Floor for debate.
Please direct any media inquiries to Sean Paige at 719-337-0355