Performing a Colorado Eviction
As a landlord, at times, it may be necessary to evict a tenant. There are various reasons that an eviction may be necessary, such as the tenant failing to pay rent, performing illegal actions on the premises, or breaching the terms of the lease in some other way.
When this happens, it is important that the landlord be well informed on the process for evictions, as the process is very strict and failure to adhere to it may cause the landlord to lose in court. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to perform an eviction in the state of Colorado:
Step 1. Examine Alternatives Prior to Pursuing Eviction
Just because a tenant has defaulted on their lease, it does not necessarily mean that the landlord should begin eviction proceedings immediately. The landlord should discuss the matter with the tenant to determine if there is some other action that can be taken.
For example, a landlord might agree to accept half of the rent at the start of the month and the other half in two weeks. Alternatively, the landlord might agree to accept payment later in the month. Pursuing an eviction can be expensive, so it is wise that the landlord considers their options prior to proceeding with an eviction.
Step 2. Notify the Tenant
The tenant must be notified of the impending eviction through a notice to quit. The timeline for when to serve a notice to quit varies depending on the length of the resident’s tenancy.
A landlord might alternatively send a notice to comply or vacate if the tenant has committed a minor breach of their contractual duties.
Alternatively, a landlord might send a notice to vacate in cases where eviction is based on illegal activity by the tenant.
Step 3. Mediation
Tenants who receive supplemental security income, social security disability income, or cash assistance through the Colorado Works Program may have a right to mandatory mediation prior to eviction. This requirement does not apply to landlords with five or fewer rental properties.
Step 4. File a Lawsuit
If the tenant has failed to comply with the notice, the landlord may file a lawsuit to enforce the eviction. The landlord must serve the tenant with the lawsuit at least 7 days prior to the eviction hearing.
Step 5. Response to Lawsuit
After being served with the lawsuit, the tenant must file an answer and defenses. If the tenant fails to respond, the court may issue a default ruling in favor of the landlord.
Step 6. Return Date
The court hearing for a return date will be listed in the summons. During this phase, parties will either reach an agreement, reschedule the return date, or schedule a trial.
Step 7. Trial and preparation
The tenant may file an answer preceding the eviction hearing. If the tenant fails to appear the judge may issue a default judgment on behalf of the landlord. If the tenant does file an answer with the court, a second hearing will be set to determine whether the tenant will be allowed to stay in the rental unit and determine how much money is owed to the landlord.
Step 8. Enforcement
If the landlord wins, they may file for a writ of restitution. The court must wait at least 48 hours before issuing a writ following the hearing.
If the writ has been issued and the tenant does not move out within 10 days, the landlord can contact the sheriff’s department to enforce the writ and remove the tenant and their belongings from the property.
It is imperative that these steps are rigorously followed when pursuing an eviction, otherwise, the eviction may be denied.
Baker Law Group Is Here To Help
Turn to the trusted team at Baker Law Group, your expert Denver Landlord Law Firm. Our seasoned Denver Landlord Lawyers understand the intricacies of eviction procedures and are ready to guide you through every step.
Whether it’s serving a notice, appearing in court, or ensuring you’re in full compliance with Colorado’s landlord-tenant laws, we’re here to protect your interests. Don’t navigate these choppy waters alone – reach out to Baker Law Group today, and let us put our extensive knowledge and experience to work for you.