Evictions in General
Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-40-101 et seq. governs the eviction
process in Colorado. In Colorado, an eviction lawsuit is an action in
"forcible entry and detainer." Forcible entry means exactly
what it sounds like, that someone has unlawfully forced their way onto
property. Forcible detention means that someone has entered or occupied
a property, but does not have a right to possess the property and is holding
or detaining the property from the rightful possessor. It is important
to notice that the Colorado legislature specifically wrote the law so
that a property owner does not always have a right to enter or possess
their own property.
The term "forcible entry and detainer" is a more accurate way
to describe the legal rights and obligations of both tenants and landlords
than the term "eviction." The word "eviction" connotes
that the tenant is being kicked out of a property, usually for failure
to pay rent or for breaching terms in the lease. However, for a landlord
to lawfully evict a tenant, he or she must follow a very strict set of
steps laid out by the legislature to ensure that the tenant's rights
are being protected. For example, if a tenant has not paid rent for several
months and refuses to move, the tenant has forcibly detained the property.
In this case, the landlord has a right to initiate a lawsuit in "forcible
entry and detainer" to gain possession of the property back from
the tenant. However, if the landlord simply removes the tenant's belongings
and changes the locks, that landlord has forcibly entered the property.
In this scenario, both the tenant and the landlord are in the wrong. Don't
be the landlord or the tenant in this situation! Our firm knows the ins
and outs of Colorado's "forcible entry and detainer" laws.
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, we can help.
At Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C., we can draft, modify, or review
your lease agreement to safeguard that the vision you have for your property
is protected. If a property management company is in the mix, we can review
that contract and make sure they are protecting your property as you intended.
We also represent property management companies in various capacities,
such as evictions.
For evictions, oftentimes our firm can facilitate agreements between the
parties, whether it is to pay and stay, or to set a move-out date, without
even filing a lawsuit. But when push comes to shove, our attorneys are
experienced and will aggressively prosecute your bad tenants. We understand
that every situation is different, so our firm will orchestrate a plan
for you based upon your individual needs as a landlord.
As a tenant in Colorado, you have been granted rights by the legislature
that your landlord will not tell you about. These are your legal rights
as a tenant. If you have a lease, you may have additional rights under
that contract. However, some leases attempt to take away your legal rights.
That is not just wrong, but it is illegal. Our attorneys will help you
understand your rights and obligations before you sign a lease, or as
you are defending against an eviction or property damages claim.
Fighting with your landlord is a very stressful thing to deal with, but
it does not have to be. We work hard to resolve landlord-tenant conflicts
quickly and efficiently. From evictions to deposit and damages disputes,
our Longmont real estate attorneys understand landlord-tenant law and
offer creative solutions that get you the results you deserve, while oftentimes
satisfying your landlord as well. Keep in mind that as a tenant you have
no control over your landlord's decision to sue you, even if you have
done nothing wrong. That is why it is important to have an aggressive
attorney defending you. That is why you want us!
HUD Landlords & Facilities
Any landlord that has participated in the Housing Choice Voucher Program
(formerly known as Section 8) knows that the amount of paperwork involved
is incredible. There is a lot of important information that you need to
know and it is not always easy to understand. Additionally, tenants have
a lot of rights under the program and landlords have a lot of obligations
in assuring the rights of the tenant are protected. Our firm understands
these rights and obligations and can assist you through the process, ensuring
that your practices are
About the Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development program that assists income eligible tenants by subsidizing
their rent and utilities. Once a tenant has been accepted into the program,
the tenant must remain in good standing for the assistance to continue.
Common reasons for termination of assistance include failure to provide
required information such as consent and verification forms, an increase
in the ability to pay the full contract rent, or allowing ineligible people
to live at the property. The termination of assistance does not mean that
the tenant must move, but does mean that the rent is going to rise to
the market rate. Participating landlords can also exercise their right
to evict their tenants.
Common reasons for termination of tenancy include:
- Substantial lease violations
- Repeated minor violations of the lease or house rules
- Nonpayment of rent
- Criminal activity
When a landlord evicts a participating tenant, there are extra steps beyond
Colorado's "forcible entry and detainer" requirements which
must be followed to avoid future problems with the tenant under the program
guidelines. At Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C., we understand these
guidelines and will be with you at every step of the way!
If you are a HUD landlord, or are considering becoming a HUD landlord,
contact our firm to discuss key compliance issues. There are many rules
that participating landlords must follow, so do not let a simple oversight
get in the way of dealing with a problem tenant.