Colorado Civil Rights Division Announces Discrimination Based on Source of Income Now Prohibited by Law

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission reminds Coloradans that 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 as of Friday, January 1.

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.” Discriminating in the terms or conditions of a rental agreement against a person on the 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.

“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,” said 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,” Aubrey said.

The changes to the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) result from House Bill 20-1332, which was passed during the legislative session in the spring of 2020 and signed into law by Governor Jared Polis in July of 2020. The amended housing language also states that advertisements for the rent or lease of housing are forbidden to include any limitation or preference based on the source of income or the use of representations related to a person’s income source to induce another person to rent or lease the property.

Circumstances these restrictions do not apply to are as follows:

  • 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.

Landlords are 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 all prospective tenants’ credit.

“All Coloradans have a right to access housing, and this right is now solidified,” said Aubrey.

For more information regarding discrimination based on the verifiable, legal source of income, including initiating a formal complaint of discrimination, visit:

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