As more and more people move to Colorado, the rental market has skyrocketed. This is great for landlords, but it can present unwanted challenges such as eviction. The eviction process can be complicated. As a landlord, you are required to follow a step by step process and file various forms before the eviction process can begin.
A tenant cannot be evicted unless there is a legal cause. Viable causes can range from unpaid rent to a criminal conviction. It’s crucial a landlord follows the rules and procedures set forth by the law when evicting a tenant. Failing to do so can result in the tenant claiming the eviction was invalid or unjustified.
Landlord Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
The attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC are experienced in assisting landlords in the eviction process. Whether your tenant refuses to pay rent, has damaged property or committed a crime, we are here to help. We will walk you through the eviction process and ensure it goes as smooth as possible.
Update 6/18/2021: Landlords can soon evict tenants as the federal moratorium is about to lapse. Learn more here.
- When Can I Evict a Tenant?
- Eviction Process in Colorado
- Eviction and Personal Property
- Additional Resources
When Can I Evict a Tenant?
As mentioned earlier, there must be legal cause for you to evict a tenant before their rental agreement has expired. This is called termination with cause, and the law allows for this to happen in three situations: the tenant fails to pay rent, a rental agreement violation or conviction of a serious crime.
Terminating a lease on the grounds of an agreement violation or failed rent payment will require you to provide the tenant with a demand for compliance or possession notice. This notice will give the tenant three days to pay any outstanding rent or fix the violation. You can have the tenant evicted if they fail to do so within the given time.
A different notice is required when you want the tenant to move and not fix the issue. This is called a notice to quit, and it’s typically given to tenants who have been convicted of a serious crime. With this notice, a tenant will have three days to move. The eviction process will follow if the tenant doesn’t move within three days.
Eviction Process in Colorado
Formal eviction procedures can be initiated when a tenant fails to fix the violation or move out within three days after they are given notice. Do not try to evict the tenant yourself. The only person who is legally authorized to remove a tenant from a rental property is a law enforcement officer. Under Colorado law, landlords cannot attempt to forcibly remove a tenant. If they do, the tenant could sue the landlord.
The eviction process begins by filing the following forms:
- Compliant in Forcible Entry and Detainer (JDF 99)
- Summons in Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer (CRCCP Form 1A)
- Answer Under Simplified Civil Procedure (CRCCP Form 3)
The summons can be issued to the tenants by a private process server, sheriff’s department or another adult who is not in the evicted party and understands the rule of service. If the tenants are not home or do not answer the door, the server can post the papers on the door of the dwelling or in a conspicuous location.
You may receive a summary judgment if a judge believes there are no issues that need to be disputed in court. If this is the case, you will not be required to go to court and the tenants will be evicted. In the event this doesn’t happen, the tenants will be required to appear in court at least seven days after they’ve been served.
Most landlord-tenant issues are disputed in mediation, but it’s not uncommon for the case to go to court. If you prevail or receive a summary judgment, you can then file for possession of the rental property through a Motion for Entry of Judgement (JDF 104). Once the court reviews this form, you will then receive an Order for Entry of Judgment (JDF 107), which permits you to evict the tenant.
A tenant has 48 hours from the date of an Order for Entry Judgement to vacate the premises. If they fail to leave within that time, they can be forcibly removed by police.
Eviction and Personal Property
You will have to file a Writ of Restitution (JDF 103) if the tenant does not leave within 48 hours. The police department will be given a date and time when the forcible removal will take place. You will be required to be present at the scheduled time of eviction. The removal may be canceled if you fail to attend.
After a tenant is evicted, the landlord is typically left with some of their personal property. As the landlord, you will be responsible for providing movers to accomplish the physical removal of the property. You will also be required to cover the cost and have the property removed within two hours.
Colorado is unique when it comes to what happens to a tenant’s belongings after they’ve been evicted. Unlike most states, Colorado law does not require a landlord to store a tenant’s belongings after they’ve been forcibly evicted. After the property has been removed, you must request the tenant to retrieve it. You can dispose of the items if they are not claimed within 15 days of the request.
If the rental property was damaged or if you suffered monetary damages such as unpaid rent, you can file to have the tenant’s wages garnished, have a lien on their unclaimed property or both.
Notice to Quit Form | § 13-40-107 – Visit the official website for the Colorado courts to download the Notice to Quit form, which is vital for landlords looking to evict a tenant. Access the form to see what requirements must be fulfilled to make the eviction legitimate, situations where the Notice to Quit form doesn’t apply, and other important information for landlords.
Unlawful Detention | Colorado Revised Statutes – Follow the link provided to read the statute that governs when a tenant can be evicted. You can read the legal definition of unlawful detention and situations where a tenant cannot be considered in unlawful detention.
Termination of Tenancy for Substantial Violation | Colorado Revised Statutes – Read the section of the revised code covering tenants who commit illegal acts. You can find out what is considered a substantial violation, what needs to be included in the notice to quit and admissible defenses for a tenant.
Landlord Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
Evicting a tenant is not an easy process. You will be required to submit various forms and possibly appear in court. It’s imperative you have legal representation on your side to ensure your best interests are protected. Clifton Black at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC has proven experience representing landlords during the eviction process. He will guide you through the steps and ensure the eviction is in line with the law.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with Mr. Black. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC represents clients in the greater Colorado Springs and El Paso County area.