COVID-19 Updates from DMAR
We will continue to update this page regularly with information from the Governor as well as market implications and advice for REALTORS®, homebuyers, home sellers and your clients.
- Coronavirus Advocacy FAQs: RE Transactions, Independent Contractors, NAR Grants (April 16, 2020)
- SBA Cares Act FAQs (April 16, 2020)
- Coronavirus Advocacy FAQs (April 10, 2020)
- Coronavirus: A Guide for REALTORS® (April 10, 2020)
- CARES Act (Coronavirus) Pandemic Unemployment Assistance FAQs (April 8, 2020)
- The CARES Act & Regulatory Actions: Mortgage and Personal Finance & COVID-19 FAQs (April 8, 2020)
- Coronavirus Resources and Guidance for Employers (April 1, 2020)
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: Provisions for REALTORS® and Their Consumers (March 27, 2020)
- Shelter-in-Place Guidance During COVID-19 (March 25, 2020)
- Transaction Guidance During COVID-19 (March 24, 2020)
- Coronavirus Emergency Legislation: What REALTORS® Need to Know (March 18, 2020)
- MLS COVID-19 Guidance
- COVID-19 Form
- Colorado REALTOR® Coronavirus Information Portal from CAR
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Information on the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- SBA Paycheck Protection Program
- Additional Guidance for Real Estate Brokers & Services (May 8, 2020)
- COVID-19 Buyer Advisory (May 7, 2020)
- COVID-19 Seller Advisory (May 7, 2020)
- Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Real Estate Guidance: Practicing Real Estate During a Pandemic (April 9, 2020)
- Third Updated Public Health Order 20-24 Implementing Stay at Home Requirements (April 1, 2020)
- Updated Public Health Order 20-24 Implementing Stat at Home Requirements (March 26, 2020)
- Announcement From The Appraisal Foundation (March 24, 2020)
UPDATE: May 14, 2020
DMAR's Chairman of the Board, Euan Graham, hosted a special virtual presentation with guests George Ratiu of realtor.com® and Patty Silverstein of Development Research Partners.
UPDATE: May 13, 2020
More than 11% of Colorado renters were unable to pay rent for May on time, according to a survey from the Colorado Apartment Association.
The association surveyed 84 apartment management companies with a total of 137,719 apartment homes. That’s just a slice of the 2.05 million Coloradans that rent, according to the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project. On-time payments went up more than 5% compared to April in Colorado, when about 16% of renters did not pay their landlords by April 6, according to the association. Nationally, May also saw more on-time payments — 20% of renters missed rent by May 6 compared to 22% by April 6, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. Rent collection for both months is about 1-2% lower than it was in 2019, according to CAA.
UPDATE: May 8, 2020
The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) released Additional Guidance for Real Estate Brokers & Services. According to DORA, "In an effort to provide not only additional clarity on industry and business-specific safety measures, but also to synthesize information from many State of Colorado sources, we have compiled the following guidance." View the document, here.
UPDATE: May 7, 2020
CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses the state’s new Safer at Home Order and Local County Updates as well as New Buyer & Seller COVID-19 Advisory Forms. View and download the COVID-19 Buyer Advisor Form, here and the COVID-19 Seller Advisory Form, here.
UPDATE: May 6, 2020
DMAR released a new memo to members with guidelines for real estate transactions once Denver transitions to a 'Safer-at-Home' order May 9th. Read full memo, here.
UPDATE: May 5, 2020
DMAR's Chairman of the Board, Euan Graham, hosted a special virtual presentation with guests Tim Craft, Brian Connolly and Peter Wall.
UPDATE: May 1, 2020
The City and County of Denver will be issuing an order requiring residents to wear face coverings on May 6, according to city officials.
Denver residents must wear a face covering when they are in or in-line at a retail or critical business, receiving any healthcare services or using public transportation. Workers in retail, commercial or other critical businesses must also wear a mask if their work requires them to come in contact with people or food. The order includes rideshare, taxi and other transportation drivers who must also wear masks when driving.
A face covering is not required if it would harm a person’s health or if a worker is in a private office. The coverings can be made of any type of porous material that covers the nose and mouth, as long as they don’t have one-way plastic valves. Violators could face a fine of up to $999 under the May 6 order, which will continue “until further notice.”
Governor Jared Polis joined most states across the U.S. in placing a moratorium on evictions for renters late Thursday night. The order says no person “shall remove or exclude a tenant from a premises or enter a premises to remove or exclude personal property of a tenant from the premises” or “execute or enforce a writ of restitution, possession judgment, or order.” This means sheriffs will not be allowed to serve a court-ordered evictions.
Landlords are also prohibited from charging late fees or penalties for any breach of the terms of a lease or rental agreement due to nonpayment, the order states. The order expires in 30 days.
UPDATE: April 30, 2020
DMAR released an important update for members regarding "Guidelines for Real Estate Showings in Denver and Boulder." Read the full memo, here.
DMAR also released an update regarding showings the city of Broomfield. The city recently released a three-phased approach as part of its “Blueprint for Reopening.” We are currently in phase one (April 27-May 8), which does not allow in-person showings to take place. Phase two will begin May 9, at which time “Low Contact Personal Services” including real estate showings will be allowed. Read the full memo, here.
UPDATE: April 29, 2020
Governor Jared Polis said he plans to issue a new order on evictions after his current one is set to expire tomorrow, the day before May’s rent is due.
“I don’t think there have been any evictions in the month of April. That executive order is due to expire in the next few days. I will be renewing it and strengthening it. So there will also not be any evictions during the month of May. The only caveat on that is there are emergency eviction processes for dangerous situations and health and safety. If there is somebody brewing meth in a house, they will get an eviction notice. But there will be no evictions for lack of payment for May, just as there have not been for April.”
UPDATE: April 27, 2020
Update from the Colorado Association of REALTORS®: A lot of you are asking, can I show property in my area? The answer to that question depends on the county in which you live and work. While the state Order has transitioned to a Safer at Home policy that provides guidance for real estate showings (see the full Public Health Order 20-28), some counties have opted to extend their stay-at-home orders that may impact your ability to provide showings. These local health orders supersede the state’s Safer at Home mandates and guidelines which went into effect today. We highly encourage every REALTOR® to become familiar with the restrictions within their individual local/county executive orders and what it means for their real estate business. We will continue to monitor and communicate with you about changes and/or additions to the executive orders in our state. In the meantime, if you have specific questions about your area, we encourage you to contact your local REALTOR® Association and your local government affairs teams for further definition of the restrictions in your area of the state. As you know, CAR does not work directly with individual counties across the state on local/county executive orders. CAR will continue to support its 32 local associations however, direct advocacy at the county/municipal level is best managed by local associations in your respective jurisdiction.
Colorado’s statewide stay-at-home order lifts today in gradual phases.
In other Colorado news, Governor Jared Polis joined the state in a pact with California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington today, to work together in modifying their stay-at-home orders. The Western States Pact, according to Polis’ office, is an agreement between the governors of the five states to protect their own residents’ health and use health outcomes and data to collaborate on the best practices to gradually open.
UPDATE: April 25, 2020
DMAR's Chairman of the Board, Euan Graham, provides an update in regards to the the new Stay-at-Home and Safer-at-Home orders. Read memo here.
So far, Denver, Boulder, Jefferson, Arapahoe and Adams counties have decided to lift stay-at-home orders on May 8.
UPDATE: April 24, 2020
CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses aspects of the Shelter in Place order in regards to COVID-19 and real estate in Colorado as of April 24, 2020.
In addition to Denver, the Tri-County Health Department, which has public health jurisdiction over Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, is considering an extension. Jefferson County also extended its stay-at-home order to May 8 on Friday.
UPDATE: April 23, 2020
The City and County of Denver is extending its stay-at-home order to May 8, Mayor Michael Hancock’s office confirmed Thursday evening. Currently, the order is set to expire on April 30.
UPDATE: April 21, 2020
CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses aspects of the Shelter in Place order in regards to COVID-19 and real estate in Colorado as of April 21, 2020.
UPDATE: April 20, 2020
Governor Jared Polis on Monday all but committed to lifting the stay-at-home order on April 27, earlier than many other states headed by Democratic and Republican governors alike.
After the stay-at-home order is lifted, social distancing requirements will still be enforced, health officials say, including limits of gathering of no more than 10 people. Some retail businesses will be able to reopen with the proper precautions once the order ends, Polis said. Polis personally hopes to begin reopening restaurants on May 15.
UPDATE: April 17, 2020
Colorado’s gig workers and independent contractors can start applying for unemployment benefits on April 20, the same day other unemployment portions of the federal coronavirus stimulus bill kick in.
On April 20, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) will also begin paying the extra $600 per week in federal funds to all claimants, which will be backdated to March 27. So, workers who lost their job or lost work hours on or before March 27 will receive an extra three weeks of $600 payments. The extra federal funds can be collected for up to four months and applicants don’t need to reapply or contact CDLE to receive the federal dollars.
Workers who have exhausted their payments will also be eligible for an extra 13 weeks of benefits guaranteed by the stimulus bill.
UPDATE: April 16, 2020
The National Association of REALTORS® released results from a flash survey of members on the impact of the coronavirus on their market. According to the news release, "A quarter of REALTORS® with clients putting contracts on homes this week had at least one do so without physically seeing the property, according to a new survey from the National Association of REALTORS®. For those clients, the median amount of homes toured – either virtually or in person – before putting a contract on a home was just three. NAR’s 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found buyers typically looked at nine homes before placing a contract on a home." Read the full News Release, here.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported more than 104,000 unemployment claims last week, the most claims filed in one week over at least the past 20 years. The previous record was 61,000 in the last week of March 2020.
More than 231,000 Coloradans filed for unemployment in the past four weeks, higher than any yearly total since 2012. The highest recorded month before the COVID-19 pandemic was January 2009, with more than 28,000 claims. In just the first two weeks of April, there were more than 150,000 claims. That means more than 7% of Colorado’s labor force filed for unemployment over the past month.
UPDATE: April 15, 2020
Colorado Association of REALTORS® General Counsel Scott Peterson gives a recent update on the COVID-19 virus and its implications on real estate transactions in Colorado.
An analysis by eviction defense lawyers projects a wave of more than 450,000 evictions could sweep over Colorado once the temporary protection of local blocks on evictions dissolves.
Local municipalities, including Denver, have instructed police to stop carrying out evictions and Gov. Jared Polis has asked localities to not evict tenants during this time. And, a spokesperson for Attorney General Phil Weiser told Denverite that Weiser has asked the courts to pause all eviction hearings. But, these requests are non-binding. Landlords can still initiate eviction proceedings and renters are still piling up debt and late fees. And once those moratoria on evictions expire, hundreds of thousands will face eviction without further action taken by the state, Neumann and Gilman’s report concluded.
Denver City Council members asked Governor Polis on Monday to put an immediate moratorium on rent payments for individuals and small businesses and prevent debt and late payment accumulation. Polis said he doesn’t have that authority.
Governor Jared Polis on Wednesday offered some insight into how the state plans to address the coronavirus leading up to, and after, the stay-at-home order is presumably lifted on April 26. “As we reopen our state, things are going to work differently than before,” Polis said. Colorado will need to change its business and social practices to incorporate social distancing, Polis said.
UPDATE: April 9, 2020
DMAR's Chairman of the Board, Euan Graham, hosted a special virtual presentation with guest Nicole Rueth, Producing Branch Manager of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp and Exclusive Annual Sponsorship Partner of the DMAR Market Trends Report.
The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) sent a bulletin 11:34 AM MDT on April 9, 2020 titled, Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Real Estate Guidance: Practicing Real Estate During a Pandemic. According to the bulletin, "Real estate appraisals and closings are considered critical services to complete real estate transactions. Further, home inspections and final walkthroughs after a buyer has signed a purchase contract, and is therefore a condition precedent to the actual transfer of property, is also considered to be an essential part of the real estate transaction. Elements that are fundamental to the real estate transaction are deemed essential to support market activity. However, showing a property or conducting an open house in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic shall be avoided as it violates the specific mandates of recently issued executive and public health orders." Read the full message, here.
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® General Counsel Scott Peterson recorded a video entitled, "Updated Guidance on Real Estate Critical Business – as of April 9, 2020 in Colorado."
Press Release from the National Association of REALTORS®: With a Spring Real Estate Slowdown Expected, NAR Survey Finds Many REALTORS® Hopeful for Post-Pandemic Market Rebound. According to the release, "With an expected slowdown in spring real estate business activity, many REALTORS® remain hopeful for a post-pandemic market rebound, according to a new survey from the National Association of REALTORS®. The majority of REALTORS® believe buyers and sellers will return to the market as delayed transactions following the end of the health crisis. Nearly six out of 10 members - 59% - said buyers are delaying home purchases for a couple of months, while a similar share of members - 57% - said sellers are delaying home sales for a couple of months." Read the full release, here.
UPDATE: April 8, 2020
Colorado Association of REALTORS® General Counsel Scott Peterson gives a recent update on the COVID-19 virus and its implications on real estate transactions in Colorado.
UPDATE: April 7, 2020
Governor Jared Polis, alongside state health and economic officials, answered Coloradans questions about the state’s response to the novel coronavirus during a town hall on Tuesday, which was moderated by Kyle Clark of 9News. Topics ranged from whether people should go out to get tested for the novel coronavirus to what gig workers should do. Watch the full town hall meeting below.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Tuesday announced the city’s plan to open a new shelter site and further steps to help people experiencing homelessness during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Hancock said the city secured the National Western Complex to use as an auxiliary shelter, which he hopes will open in the coming days. The complex can house 600 males, he said, and the city is working to secure another shelter site for women. Denver also finalized a contract for 151 more hotel rooms to house people experiencing homelessness, Hancock said, and he will more than likely be filing the contract with city council next week.
UPDATE: April 6, 2020
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® released an important message to members regarding the "Stay at Home Order and Essential Services Interpretation." According to the memo, "CAR has been in communication with the Attorney General’s office and has learned that the Third Updated Public Health Order 20-24 that was issued in conjunction with the Stay at Home order (Executive Order D 2020 017) does not consider in-person showings and open houses to be a critical business/service. According to the Attorney General’s office, only real estate transactions that actually transfer real property ownership (Closings) are permissible and even they must comply with the Social Distancing Requirements set forth in the Health Order. We are expecting further and more detailed interpretation and guidance as well as potential restrictions on business activities across a wide range of sectors, including real estate activities and other services previously mentioned under existing orders from the state Attorney General’s Office." Read full memo, here.
CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson gave a COVID-19 update on the "Stay at Home Order and Essential Services" interpretation as of April 6, 2020 in new episode of Legal Bites.
Governor Jared Polis on Monday extended his state-at-home order from April 11 to April 26. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday extended the city’s stay-at-home order until April 30, while also extending the ban on public gatherings through the end of April.
Addressing a growing concern for people experiencing homelessness and COVID-19, a group of Democratic state lawmakers, Denver city council members and owners of homeless shelters are calling on Governor Jared Polis to create a shelter site for people experiencing homelessness in Denver.
In a letter sent on Saturday, the lawmakers urged Polis to create a shelter site, staffed with National Guard members, and to secure hotel and motel rooms for people experiencing homelessness. Other requests included prioritizing shelter staff when distributing personal protective equipment and providing greater testing capacity for the population experiencing homelessness.
In other news, Democratic lawmakers and criminal justice groups are calling on Polis to suspend criminal and juvenile fees, fines and costs.
UPDATE: April 5, 2020
The coronavirus could peak in Colorado as late as November, state models show. And that might be a good thing. The longer it takes for the virus to peak in Colorado, the fewer people who will die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
UPDATE: April 4, 2020
State health officials say they’re staying the course on regulating planet-warming greenhouse gas and toxic emissions during the pandemic. Officials with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent a letter to companies on Friday stating their plans to continue enforcement of air quality laws after the Trump EPA on March 26 said it was largely halting its enforcement of those laws.
UPDATE: April 3, 2020
DMAR released a Special COVID-19 Edition April 2020 Denver Metro Real Estate Market Trends Report today. According to the report, Metro Denver’s real estate market started as one of the strongest on record in March but ended with a stark shift stemming from the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing stay-at-home order. Download the full report, here.
CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses aspects of the Shelter in Place order in regards to real estate in Colorado.
Governor Jared Polis on Friday urged all Coloradans to wear cloth face masks whenever they leave their homes. The countries that have done the best with the coronavirus — like South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore — wear masks, Polis said. You can make them at home out of an old t-shirt or piece of fabric, he said. If you are a member of an essential industry, he said you should bring and wear a mask if your employer doesn’t already provide them.
For additional help to businesses, Polis said the state is offering a one-time 30-day extension for sales tax, including local sales tax for businesses. Taxes owed April 20 don’t have to be paid until May 20, he said. For homeowners, Polis announced that the state will be directing counties to extend property tax deadlines. So, property tax payments can be split in half between April and June, he said.
RTD has temporarily suspended bus and train fares, the company announced Friday afternoon. The changes take effect Sunday. Find more information here.
UPDATE: April 2, 2020.
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) released a new REALTOR® Resiliency Report, which describes the many ways NAR is working to guide and support REALTORS® and the real estate industry during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Every week, you’ll find up-to-date, relevant information on how to ensure your health and safety, the virus’s impact on the economy and your business, its impact on NAR activities and what NAR is doing to help. View report, here.
NAR is funding two months of Members TeleHealth as a benefit for those who do not currently have access to telemedicine, with an ongoing significantly-reduced rate available for members thereafter. Enrollment is limited*. Sign-up by April 15th. Learn more, here.
UPDATE: April 1, 2020
It’s the first of the month and rent is due for many Coloradans, tens of thousands of whom are now out of work. Officials with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said they hope to mail unemployment checks to people within two weeks. This may be too late for the more than 60,000 Coloradans who filed for unemployment last week to use for rent.
As for the cash payments in the $2 trillion stimulus bill, they may take anywhere from weeks to months to reach taxpayers.
Some Coloradans are calling for a rent freeze and even a rent strike if they don’t get relief. A new Facebook group called the Colorado Rent Strike and Eviction Defense has thousands of members and posts letters and actions from landlords and renters.
The Colorado Apartment Association has urged members to avoid late fees and create payment plans for renters who can’t pay their bills. Governor Jared Polis has urged - but not ordered - landlords to halt evictions and has instructed law enforcement to refrain from evicting tenants.
The National Association of REALTORS® shared FAQs on SBA Loan Programs in the CARES Act. You can access it here.
CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses several updates surrounding real estate issues right now including remote notary, appraisals, showing waivers, unemployment filing and license renewals in Colorado.
UPDATE: March 31, 2020
Mayor Michael Hancock said that the city and county of Denver’s stay-at-home order will be extended through April 30. Denver’s stay-at-home order is currently aligned with the state of Colorado’s, which is set to last until April 11. Hancock said he expects the state to extend its order as well, but the city will extend its order if the state does not.
Colorado Secretary of State's office implements remote polarization. For the Notice of Temporary Adoption for the Colorado Notary Program Rules (8 CCR 1505-11), please click here.
The notice includes the adopted rules, a statement of basis and statement of justification. For an unofficial copy of the notary rules as adopted and effective March 30, 2020, please click here. If you have any questions concerning these rules please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. For more information, please visit www.sos.state.co.us.
UPDATE: March 29, 2020
President Donald Trump said he would extend nationwide social distancing guidelines for another 30 days to April 30. He said that modeling shows that the peak of the death rate will likely hit in two weeks, but stressed that he hopes the country will be on its way to recovery by June 1.
UPDATE: March 27, 2020
DMAR's Chairman of the Board, Euan Graham, provides recommendations for REALTOR® and Industry Partner members working during the COVID-19 situation. Read memo here.
President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill. Read NAR's Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act: Provisions for REALTORS® and their Consumers newsrelease, here.
UPDATE: March 26, 2020
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® released a letter to members announcing that Governor Polis and the Department of Public Health and Environment have released an updated public health order in accordance with yesterday’s executive order implementing a statewide “Stay-at-Home” Order, in effect from March 26 through April 11, 2020. The public health order was updated to include a number of critical services that includes Professional Services, such as legal, title companies, or accounting services, real estate appraisals and transactions.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment confirmed that it accepted nearly 20,000 unemployment claims last week, and between Monday and Wednesday of this week has accepted 45,000 applications into its system. These are preliminary numbers, according to the department, and may not accurately reflect the official numbers after verification.
More than 3.2 million people filed for unemployment nationwide last week, five times as many as the previous record of 695,000 for a single week in 1982, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife on Thursday closed the state’s campgrounds until further notice.
Late last night, state health officials announced they are suspending the state’s vehicle emission testing requirements in an effort to keep people home. Health officials said they also plan to extend vehicle registration deadlines.
UPDATE: March 25, 2020
Governor Jared Polis issues a statewide stay-at-home order that will take effect Thursday and last until April 11. The order instructs all of Colorado to stay home — unless their movement is absolutely essential — to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Only essential travel will be allowed, but you can still take walks, go to the grocery stores or work at an essential business. Violators of the order could face up to $1,000 fine and one year in jail, but Polis said he’s counting on Coloradans to “do the right thing.” Similar to the counties’ orders, the statewide order allows liquor stores, gun stores, marijuana stores and childcare centers to operate.
Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas and Jefferson counties announced shelter-in-place orders for residents, effective 8:00 AM on March 26 through April 17. The orders prohibit gatherings of any size, public or private, with people who do not live in the same household. It also prohibits traveling, except for essential services and medical care. Retail marijuana and liquor stores are still allowed to operate. As in the City and of County of Denver, real estate has been deemed an essential service in these counties, which means our REALTOR® and Industry Partner members who live and work in these counties can continue offering services to clients as long as they comply with social distancing requirements mandated by local and state government officials.
Here’s the order for Adams. Arapahoe and Douglas counties. Here’s the order for Boulder County. Here’s Jefferson County’s announcement, which says the order will be available on the county’s website soon.
In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, and its impact on the real estate industry, NAR is taking steps to support members through these uncertain times. The Right Tools, Right Now initiative, which was activated once before in 2009, makes new and existing NAR products and services available for FREE or at significant discounts – right now – and is available to REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations. Learn more, here.
UPDATE: March 24, 2020
DMAR's Chairman of the Board, Euan Graham, provides more information on what it means that ‘real estate’ is categorized as an essential professional service, as well as recommendations for our REALTOR® and Industry Partner members. Read memo here.
The Colorado Bar Association (“CBA”) has approved a COVID-19 Addendum to real estate contracts, that real estate brokers can use to “pause” pending real estate transactions where the parties want to close but cannot due to circumstances caused by COVID-19. Download the COVID-19 form, here.
The Colorado Apartment Association recommended to its members create payment plans for renters who can’t pay, waive late fees through the end of April, halt evictions and avoid rent increases. The association says it represents the owners of more than 282,000 apartment homes in the stat
On Monday afternoon, Boulder joined Denver and San Miguel County in issuing a stay-at-home order, which “requires that all people in the City of Boulder stay home and for businesses to implement work from home policies and delivery of goods to the greatest extent possible. All individuals are encouraged to conduct only essential activities necessary to promote health and safety, such as getting groceries, obtaining medical supplies, and getting outdoors only if strict social distancing is observed.”
UPDATE: March 23, 2020
The City of Denver has amended the stay-at-home order, through Twitter, to exempt liquor stores and recreational marijuana dispensaries with “extreme” distancing measures. It’s unclear what qualifies as “extreme physical distancing.” All construction projects will now be exempt from the order, as well.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock unveiled a stay-at-home order for the city and county. The order limits residents to leaving their homes for “essential activities” and will go into effect at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, March 24 and stay in place through April 10 or later. The order encourages everyone who is not a member of an essential industry to stay home, but does not prohibit walking, hiking or purchasing essential goods.
Parks will remain open, but playgrounds will close. Recreational marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores are considered non-essential businesses and will be closed when the order takes effect. Medical marijuana dispensaries will still be allowed to operate and restaurants will still be allowed to offer take out and delivery. Construction, unless it is maintaining “critical infrastructure” is not considered essential.
In a letter to members from DMAR's Chairman of the Board, Euan Graham, DMAR announced that it received clarification in an addendum to the Mayor's order issued this afternoon that 'real estate’ was added by the Mayor’s office under the qualified list of ‘essential professional services’ in a recent update to their original order. Therefore, real estate services are exempt from the stay-at-home directive so long as individuals involved in the real estate transaction comply with physical distancing requirements mandated by the City and County of Denver.
Colorado Association of REALTORS® released a letter to members from Janene Johnson, 2020 CAR Chair; Robert Walkowicz, 2020 CAR Chair-Elect and Tyrone Adams, CAR CEO/President. They also directed members to visit www.coloradorealtors.com/Covid19 for additional updates, resources and information.
Attorney General Phil Weiser this morning called on the state courts to reschedule criminal trials in an effort to protect judges, jurors, witnesses, attorneys, defendants and others from COVID-19. In an order on March 16, Chief Justice Nathan Coats gave each judicial district in Colorado discretion for how to handle the coronavirus outbreak.
Update: March 22, 2020
Governor Jared Polis on Sunday afternoon ordered all “non-critical workplaces” in Colorado to cut their in-person workforce by 50 percent by Tuesday morning in order to increase social distancing and slow the spread of COVID-19. The order will last through 11:59 PM Friday, April 10, 2020. He did not issue a shelter-in-place order, as seen in cities across the county.
He also asked people to shop less and exercise outside less frequently and during less busy hours.
UPDATE: March 21, 2020
Governor Jared Polis announced Friday evening he’s directing the Department of Regulatory Agencies to work with state-chartered financial institutions to address residential and commercial foreclosures.
In the meantime, he is requesting municipal and county governments to refrain from using law enforcement to carry out evictions or foreclosures unless there is a threat to public safety.
UPDATE: March 20, 2020
DMAR's Chairman of the Board, Euan Graham, gives an update regarding the coronavirus pandemic and DMAR's recommendations for open houses, showing properties and navigating this situation. Read memo here.
Governor Jared Polis said Friday he’s working on an executive order to halt evictions and displacement in Colorado – a move that follows a decision by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday to suspend evictions and foreclosures for mortgage holders through the end of April.
Soon after, federal loan agencies Freddie Mac and Fannie May also temporarily suspended evictions and foreclosures for Americans with federally backed mortgages.
Given the influx of unemployment claims — more than 20,000, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment — Polis said he’s also working on an executive order to speed up unemployment payments.
The governor encouraged financial institutions to halt all billing for loan payments.
Colorado is extending the income tax payment deadline until July 15, Governor Jared Polis said, an order which applies to all filers. The federal tax payment deadline was also extended to July 15 on Wednesday, but taxpayers still have to file by April 15.
In an effort to boost revenues, Polis said, restaurants can now sell alcohol by take-out and delivery for the length of the shutdown.
Polis also announced the formation of an emergency economic council made up of members of the private sector. Frederico Peña, former Denver mayor and U.S. Secretary of Transportation will be among those on the council and spoke at the press conference Friday. “This is a global economic challenge the likes of which I have not seen in my lifetime… we’re going to focus on both short term and long term strategies,” Peña said.
Unemployment claims in Colorado are up 1,454 percent between Monday and Thursday of this week, compared to last week, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
UPDATE: March 19, 2020
DMAR extends cancellation of classes, events and Marketing/Connect Meetings from March 31st to April 30th.
Colorado Association of REALTORS® expands Legal Hotline Hours in response to the overwhelming call demand. Beginning March 23 through April 3, the Legal Hotline will be available from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This additional two hours/day of Hotline availability will provide Colorado REALTORS® with expanded access to qualified real estate attorneys as they navigate the unique challenges currently impacting real estate transactions. Access the CAR Legal Hotline
Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) providing support to American workers, families and businesses, including the expansion of paid sick leave and family medical leave. It also includes refundable tax credits for small businesses and self-employed individuals to cover the cost of the leave. NAR’s advocacy team continues to urge Congressional leaders to include support for self-employed professionals and other small business owners. This was included in the final bill.
- Download a summary of the legislation
- Read the full summary: Impact of H.R. 6201 “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” on NAR Members
Governor Jared Polis suspended elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures. He also extended the public health order closing bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms and casinos to the end of April, and included nonessential personal service facilities, horse track and off-track betting facilities statewide. Nonessential personal services include hair or nail salons, spas, and tattoo or massage parlors, according to the order.
And the governor updated an executive order for in-person contact during the state’s elections. Here’s the order.
Polis also created a special health insurance enrollment period for uninsured Coloradans from March 20 through April 3, 2020.
“Many people are unaware that they are eligible for financial assistance to help lower their premiums,” said Michael Conway, Colorado Insurance Commissioner. “We encourage everyone who is uninsured to use this opportunity to visit Connect for Health Colorado, check what assistance they may be eligible for and enroll in coverage.”
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced measures to help businesses hurt by social distancing, which has left many businesses across the state all but shut amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The city will create a $4 million grant program and waive late penalties for business taxes this year, the mayor said during a press conference with reporters Thursday afternoon.
Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can now seek up to $2 million in low-interest federal loans from the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, according to Governor Polis’ office. Polis announced in a press release on Thursday that the state’s application for federal disaster area designation has been approved.
UPDATE: March 18, 2020
Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Leadership has canceled the 2020 CAR Spring Summit that was to take place from April 21- 23 in Vail, CO. All registration fees paid to CAR for the 2020 CAR Spring Summit will be refunded back to each registrant in the same mode of payment it was received. Read cancellation notice here.
CAR also warns REALTORS® to be on the lookout for coronavirus scams. Earlier this week an email was sent out by a Washington state congressional candidate, Joshua Collins, asking people to sign a fake petition urging Gov. Jared Polis to suspend mortgage, rent and utility payments during the coronavirus pandemic. This is not a real petition, but a phishing scam in order to obtain the personal information and send recipients campaign emails and text messages. Learn more, here.
Governor Jared Polis has issued an executive order closing all Colorado school buildings starting Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 17.
The order, issued Wednesday evening, applies to “all public and private elementary and secondary schools in Colorado, including public preschools on public school campuses.”
The order also directs the state’s Commissioner of the Department of Education (CDE) to help school systems “as they develop and implement plans to assist families and students in accessing alternative learning, including online learning opportunities, ensuring the provision of school meals in accordance with the National School Lunch Act, offering waivers of instructional time as appropriate, and offering additional flexibility important for maintaining stability and ensuring fairness for students and employees.”
The governor also amended a previous order temporarily closing the state’s downhills ski resorts. He added an extra two weeks of closure, ending now on April 6, “due to the continued spread of the virus in our mountain communities.”
Also Wednesday night, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Executive Director Jill Ryan, following the White House’s lead, issued a public order banning public gatherings of more than 10 people.
In other news, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser today urged student loan servicers, debt collection agencies, and creditors to “refrain from mandatory debt collection efforts from those who are unable to pay because of their financial circumstance.”
UPDATE: March 17, 2020
The Colorado Labor Department has seen a surge in unemployment claims, state health officials said Tuesday, from 400 on March 7 to more than 6,800 on March 17.
This follows an order from the state health department to close restaurants and bars to sit-in eating, among other efforts to increase social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, resulting in some workers feeling the effects.
UPDATE: March 16, 2020
Governor Jared Polis’s administration ordered the closure of in-house dining at all restaurants and bars in Colorado for at least 30 days. Delivery and takeout will still be available.
The order, issued by Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the executive director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is effective Tuesday at 8:00 AM. According to the order, it applies to food courts, cafes, coffeehouses and other similar places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption, bars, taverns, brewpubs, breweries, microbreweries, distillery pubs, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs and other places of public accommodation offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, cigar bars; gymnasiums; movie and performance theaters, opera houses, concert halls, music halls and casinos.
The speedy spread of COVID-19 has slowed Colorado’s economy, state economists say. In December, Colorado was projected to collect an extra $832.5 million in revenue for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1. But, according to a quarterly revenue forecast by the Legislative Council, that revenue projection was adjusted down to just $27.3 million for next year. The forecast for the following 2021-22 fiscal year was reduced by $378.9 million.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the city is temporarily calling off housing evictions through a directive to the county’s sheriff deputies. But, he added, he doesn’t believe the city and county have the authority to waive late rent fees.
In other news, Xcel announced that it will not shut off power due to late payments “until further notice. If you are having difficulty paying your bills, contact us and we will arrange a payment plan that works for you,” the investor-owned utility said in an email to customers.
UPDATE: March 15, 2020
Denver is preparing a public order following Sunday’s revision of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommending that in-person events of 50 or more people be postponed or canceled for the next eight weeks.
City officials will hold a press conference at 11:00 AM Monday “to expand on how this new guidance will impact residents, businesses, and events in our city.”
Also on Sunday, Denver announced it would be closing its motor vehicle branches to the public beginning Monday, March 16. Staff, too, is being told not to report to work until March 26. The city and county is offering a grace period “for expired vehicle registrations and for newly purchased vehicles not yet been registered through April 9, 2020.” Online motor vehicle services are available at www.denvergov.org/dmv.
UPDATE: March 14, 2020
Vail Resorts announced it will close its North American resorts – including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone – through March 22 out of “an abundance of caution” in protecting customers from infection. The operators of Winter Park and Steamboat Springs quickly followed Vail Resorts’ lead, and late Saturday evening, the governor issued an executive order closing all downhill ski resorts for one week “to slow the spread of COVID-19 and conserve medical resources in our mountain communities.”
Lawmakers today passed a resolution to recess for two weeks amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Some are wondering if they will actually return in two weeks. Others are wondering if they have much of a choice with so much work left to do, such as passing a state budget.
UPDATE: March 13, 2020
DMAR announces the closure of all office locations and the cancellation of of classes, events and Marketing/Connect Meetings through March 31st. All staff members required to work remotely. Read memo here.
Colorado Association of REALTORS® General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses what Colorado REALTORS® need to know about Covid 19 and Real Estate Transactions in new episode of Legal Bites.
At 3:00 PM on Friday, Colorado health officials reported the first death from COVID-19 in Colorado. The death occurred in a female in her 80s with underlying health conditions residing in El Paso County, according to health officials.
During a news conference at the Capitol on Friday, Governor Jared Polis said there’s a shortage of medical professionals in Colorado. The nurses and doctors are needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The governor is recommending the cancellation of gatherings of 250 people or more unless the venue can ensure some level of social distancing, which generally means people must have about six feet of space between them. Unlike other states, Polis has not ordered a statewide ban on large gatherings.
UPDATE: March 12, 2020
In Denver’s City Hall, Mayor Michael Hancock declared a state of emergency for the city and county. The declaration could make more emergency services available and makes it easier for the city to obtain resources to address the new coronavirus.
Efforts to have people work remotely to help limit the spread of the new coronavirus is going to require a heavy reliance on the internet. Universities, including CU Boulder and Colorado State University, are calling off in-person classes across the country. K-12 schools in Colorado are also closing.
Colorado state lawmakers are preparing to take a recess this session as the coronavirus continues its anticipated spread across the state. But before lawmakers break, they want to pass a bill to allow parties to reschedule their county assemblies, during which hundreds of Democrats and Republicans gather to elect candidates to represent them in the primaries. The other option would be to have remote assembly participation. Lawmakers introduced an assembly bill Thursday afternoon and it is expected to pass by Saturday.
UPDATE: March 11, 2020
Governor Jared Polis issued new guidance on the circumstances under which schools should close, and said he would be meeting with faith leaders to discuss protective measures among large congregations.
UPDATE: March 10, 2020
DMAR releases important message to members informing them of increased sanitization and cleaning products enforced at office locations. Additionally, DMAR announces they will waive all cancellation fees for classes and events. Read memo here.
The governor declared a state of emergency and the World Health Organization announced a pandemic.
Several advocacy groups canceled lobbying days at the state Capitol and lawmakers are considering whether to recess. CU Boulder canceled in-person classes for the rest of the semester.
When cases test positive, the person and their close contacts (e.g. family members and roommates) are asked to voluntarily “isolate,” which means they have tested positive for COVID-19, or “quarantine” themselves when there is a suspected exposure, state health officials said. Public health agencies can issue quarantine and isolation orders requiring individuals to remain at home for a certain period of time, officials said.
The state’s Division of Insurance issued a directive on Monday, waiving the co-payments and other charges for those seeing a coronavirus test, but only if the patient’s insurance plan is with companies regulated by the state. If your insurance card has “CO-DOI” in the bottom corner, your plan is regulated by the state, the bulletin states. Otherwise, you’ll need to contact your employer.
The bulletin also spelled out three criteria that patients will have to meet to be tested.
UPDATE: March 6, 2020
NAR issues Coronavirus: A Guide for REALTOR® Associations. View guide, here
UPDATE: March 5, 2020
NAR issues tips for REALTORS® to reduce risk of contracting and spreading of coronavirus. View guide, here.