Colorado law protecting mobile-home owners will soon go into effect

A new law providing expanded protections for mobile-home owners — but not the key rent stabilization provision that supporters and some legislators had sought — goes into effect Oct. 1.

HB22-1287, officially dubbed “Protections for Mobile Home Park Residents,” passed the legislature in early May and was signed by Gov. Jared Polis two weeks later. Championed by Fort Collins Democrat Rep. Andrew Boesenecker, the bill came as mobile home residents warned of escalating rents, the increasing presence of private equity and poor state oversight. As out-of-state owners took control of more parks, rents increased and the parks became less affordable for their residents, who own the homes in which they lived but not the property beneath them.

The law builds on previous mobile home legislation and gives tenants 180 days — up from 90 — to buy the parks from landlords looking to sell the land, as well as a right of first refusal. If landlords don’t maintain their park, they will also be responsible for resulting damage caused to homes, and they’re required to meet with tenants twice per year at residents’ request. If the landlords change the use of the park — if they develop it into apartments, for instance — then they must compensate their residents.

The law will also give the attorney general the ability to enforce protections, and regulators can take immediate action if there’s an imminent threat to residents. A state report released in January found that 75% of mobile home residents’ complaints were unresolved and that most residents weren’t even aware of a oversight program that had been established a year earlier to protect them.

But what the law won’t have is a key provision that would’ve put Colorado at the forefront of mobile home protection: rent stabilization. Initially, the bill would’ve capped how much landlords could raise the rent in any 12-month period. But a frustrated Boesenecker removed the provision in April because, he said, Gov. Jared Polis had threatened to veto the bill if it contained the stabilization piece. Republicans and industry groups had opposed that provision, too.

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