Landlord-Tenant Contract & Dispute Lawyers in Colorado
At Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C., our Colorado real estate lawyers assist landlords with a wide range of residential and commercial real estate issues. If you need assistance with a contract or dispute, we will passionately protect your rights and interests.
We can assist you with the following:
- Drafting leases
- Prosecuting evictions
- Property management issues
- Repairs and maintenance issues
- Deposit disputes
- HUD Facilities- the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8)
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 Colorado 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 HUD compliant.
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.
Great attorney. Gerald Jorgensen explained the situation and my legal options and obligations in clear, easy-to-understand language. His process made it easy to get the right settlement. I was really satisfied with the results. With Mr. Jorgenson, the client always comes first!