Colorado and Denver Eviction Procedure and Requirements
Generally speaking, there are two types of evictions that can occur in Colorado: one is when a tenant has stopped paying rent or has otherwise violated a substantial condition of the lease; and the other is when the tenant is holding over, or staying in the property beyond the time they are allowed to. These two different types of evictions have two different processes and will be discussed separately.
The first type, where the tenant has stopped paying rent or has otherwise violated a substantial condition of the lease requires that a 3-day Notice to Cure be given. This Notice to Cure must be in writing, specify the grounds as to why the tenant is no longer entitled access to the property, specify when compliance is required, and be signed by the landlord or the landlord’s agent. After three days has passed, not including the day the notice was given, if the tenant has not either paid back rent or complied with the violation of the lease, then the landlord can move forward with an eviction proceeding. Additionally, once the three days has passed and the tenant has not complied with the notice, the landlord is under no obligation to accept compliance. Accordingly, even if the tenant complies after the three days, the landlord can still move forward with an eviction. However, for rent, if the tenant attempts to comply by paying back rent, the landlord cannot accept it otherwise the landlord will lose the right to evict the tenant. For example, if the tenant attempts to pay the landlord the back rent owed after the three days has passed, if the landlord accepts the payment it is accepting that the tenant has complied with the notice and the landlord will be unable to move forward with an eviction.
The second type of eviction does not have to do with nonpayment of rent or a violation of the lease, but instead has to do with a tenant overstaying his or her right to be on the property. This can generally happen in one of two ways: if a tenant leases the property for a specific term and the tenant remains after the end of that term; and if a tenant is leasing a property with no indefinite end date, a Notice to Quit is given by the landlord, and the tenant remains on the property after the date indicated on the Notice to Quit. If a tenant leases the property for a specific term with a specific end date as generally occurs with leases, and the tenant stays after that date, the landlord may file for an eviction at any time. If the tenant’s lease does not have a particular end date, which frequently occurs in informal renting, then the landlord must first give a Notice to Quit to the tenant, which indicates when the tenancy is terminated, then wait for that date and, if the tenant has not left the premises, then the landlord may file for an eviction. The tenancy end date in the Notice to Quit is defined by statute and varies from 7 days for a month-to-month tenancy, to 91 days for a year-to-year tenancy. The Notice to Quit must be served on the tenant at least that number of days before the end of the applicable tenancy. In filing an eviction, the action may be filed in either district court or county court (link to other post). However, if damages are alleged in excess of $15,000, for example, if the landlord is alleging damages for breach of contract or asking for compensation for damage done to the property, then the eviction must be filed in district court.
Note that the eviction proceeding can take between 2 weeks and a month to complete and obtain a court order authorizing eviction; however, the court order still has to be taken to the sheriff to actually schedule and execute the eviction.