Defenses to Eviction in Colorado
For tenants, being threatened with or undergoing an eviction can be an incredibly stressful experience. It often feels like the landlord has a disproportionate amount of power and may even be using it inappropriately in some circumstances.
The law recognizes several defenses that a tenant can raise when a landlord is attempting to evict them. Below are some common defenses that can be raised by the tenant in the event of an eviction:
The court may dismiss a suit for eviction if the landlord does not strictly follow applicable state and local laws for eviction. This often includes providing proper notice to the tenant, giving the tenant an opportunity to cure a default, or failing to properly serve the defendant with the eviction lawsuit.
A landlord may not retaliate against a tenant by increasing rent or decreasing services, or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession in response to the tenant:
o Having made a good faith complaint to the landlord or a governmental agency regarding any condition that interferes with the life, health, or safety of the tenant;
o Organizing or becoming a member of a tenants’ association or similar organization
A landlord may not include a provision in a rental agreement to terminate the agreement or impose a penalty on a resident for calling police for assistance in a domestic violence or a domestic abuse case. A resident may terminate a lease if they provide written notice to the landlord with evidence of domestic violence or abuse in the form of a police report written within the prior 60 days, or a valid protection order.
Rules Added to the Lease Without Consent
If a landlord adds a term to the lease which the tenant never agreed to, the court may deny the eviction. A common example of this is the landlord suddenly increasing rent in the middle of the lease term.
A judge may deny a landlord’s request for an eviction if the landlord used self-help measures like changing the locks or shutting off utilities.
Breach of the Warranty of Habitability
Upon no less than 10 and no more than 30 days written notice to the landlord specifying the condition alleged to breach the warranty of habitability and giving the landlord 5 business days from receipt of the written notice to remedy the breach, a tenant may terminate the rental agreement by surrendering possession of the dwelling unit.
If the breach is remediable by repairs, the payment of damages, or otherwise the landlord adequately remedies the breach within five business days of receipt of the notice, the rental agreement shall not terminate by reason of the breach.
Understand Colorado eviction steps with Denver’s expert landlord law firm, Baker Law Group
Don’t let eviction concerns catch you off guard; empower yourself with reliable knowledge and expert advice from Baker Law Group, your trusted Denver Landlord Law Firm. Whether it’s non-payment of rent, a lease violation, or any other cause for eviction, there are numerous defenses available to you in Colorado.
Let our skilled Denver Landlord Lawyers guide you through this complex process and identify the best strategies to protect your rights and property. Every situation is unique and deserves personalized attention. Don’t leave your property’s future to chance – reach out to Baker Law Group today to secure the high-quality legal assistance that you deserve.