Rental agreements outline several rights and responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord. Timely payment of rent constitutes a major responsibility of a tenant, and failure to do so can result in eviction. Colorado landlords, however, cannot just throw a tenant out or resort to tactics like changing the locks or cutting off utilities. They must follow a certain legal protocol that results in a court order permitting eviction. The Judicial Branch of Colorado website has a variety of eviction forms available for landlords to use in the eviction process, including the notice for eviction due to non-payment of rent.
If a tenant fails to pay rent and the landlord wants to evict, he must provide the tenant with written notice. He can deliver the notice personally or post it in a conspicuous area that the tenant can easily see. Colorado law requires three days' notice for the tenant to correct the problem or leave. The day of delivery does not count toward the three days. Weekends and holidays do count. If the tenant does not pay the rent in three days, the landlord can proceed with the eviction process and does not have to accept payments once this time frame has passed.
If the tenant fails to correct the issue within the three-day time period, the landlord can file an eviction suit at the local justice center. The complaint must outline why the landlord seeks eviction—in this case non-payment of rent—and the amount of rent owed. Additionally, she must give the name of the tenant.
Once the suit has been filed, the county clerk will issue a summons. This typically takes place between five and 10 days after filing. If the tenant fails to answer, the court can enter a default judgment. Typically, the court will employ a process server or otherwise qualified person to deliver the summons, and if this cannot be accomplished, it will post it in a conspicuous area. The summons will list the court date and the deadline for filing an answer.
Writ of Restitution
If the court finds in the landlord’s favor, it will issue a writ of restitution, which confirms the right of the landlord to take back the property. The court will not issue this for at least 48 hours after a judgment. The court can also make a ruling that requires the tenant to pay any past due rent and additional fees such as the landlord’s court costs and attorney’s fees if applicable.
The writ of restitution will specify a date in which the sheriff will go to the property to oversee the eviction of the tenant and the removal of her belongings. The landlord has no obligation to store any property not removed during the eviction.