UPDATED: February 13, 2020
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
In Colorado, evictions are called "Forcible Entry and Detainer" actions. Colorado landlords can evict any tenant as long as they go through the process of eviction and follow Colorado law. Landlords may want to force out tenants who are not paying rent or are otherwise breaching the lease, but it is illegal to resort to self-help methods.
Available Colorado Termination Notices
Colorado landlords must terminate tenancies before filing for eviction. Common reasons for terminating tenancies are failure to pay rent and breach of the lease (e.g. pets, noise). The notice requirement is very important and must be fulfilled before a landlord can file for eviction. In Colorado, the landlord should try to give the notice directly to the tenant. If the landlord cannot give the notice to the tenant, it should be posted conspicuously on the property, and a copy of the notice should be mailed as well.
To end a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord (or tenant) must give 30-days notice that the tenancy is ending. For fixed-term tenancies (one year, two year), Colorado allows for the following types of written termination notices:
Demand for Compliance or Right to Possession Notice: This is a 3-day notice. In Colorado, tenants have 3 days to pay their rent, remedy their breach of the lease, or move before a landlord may file for eviction (Colorado Rev. Stat. Sec. 13-40-101).
Notice to Quit: This is a 3-day notice. Colorado law allows landlords to terminate a tenancy without giving the tenant an option to cure the breach when the tenant has committed repeated or substantial violations of the lease (Colorado Rev. Stat. Sec. 13-40-107).
For more information on Colorado landlord tenant law, see this Boulder Landlord-Tenant Handbook.
Evictions in Colorado are handled by the County Civil Courts. Find your local county court at the Colorado Courts website. Eviction forms are available as well. While filling out an evictions form may seem like the easiest way to evict a problematic tenant, events do not always go as planned. If you are unsure of the termination and/or eviction process at any point, you might find it best to hire an experienced Colorado landlord tenant attorney. When speaking with an attorney, be sure to refer to Questions to Ask Your Colorado Evictions Lawyer below.
Self-Help Evictions in Colorado
It is illegal in Colorado for a landlord to remove a tenant without a court order. This means that a landlord cannot turn off utilities or lock a tenant out of the apartment without going through the eviction process. If a landlord resorts to self-help to evict a tenant, the tenant may be entitled under Colorado Rev. Stat. Sec. 13-40-123 to:
- Actual damages; and
- Attorney's fees (if provided for in lease).
Questions to Ask Your Colorado Evictions Lawyer
- How many evictions cases have you handled?
- How many were successful/unsuccessful?
- How long will the eviction process take?
- For tenants: How long do I have before I MUST move out?
- For landlords: Will I be able to get a judgment for back rent for the amount of time the tenant has been living in the rental property illegally?
- What do you charge?
- For landlords: If I hire you, will I be subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?