Senate Gives Initial OK to Tenants Rights Bill

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Denver (AP) The Colorado Senate gave tentative approval today to bill that requires landlords to provide basic services like heat and running water.

Tenants would be able to withhold the rent if landlords didn't fix a problem after two written notices.

Backers of the measure say Colorado and Arkansas are the only two states that don't have a legal definition of what makes a rental property habitable.

Backers say slumlords ae the only ones who have anything to fear from the bill.

The Colorado apartment association participated in the negotiations to draft the bill. Its members want changes in the bill to protect against what they say are potential abuses of the system.

They worry, for example, that landlords could feel pressured to renew a lease with a tenant for fear of a lawsuit.

The measure still has to pass another vote in the senate.