We all want to believe the best of people – especially tenants who occupy your rental property. And whether the term of the lease has expired, or the lease agreement has been violated in one way or another; if a tenant decides to stop paying but wishes to remain in occupancy of the building – it pays to have a professional property manager to get them out legally.

In the state of Colorado, the first thing you want to do is serve the tenant with a Demand for Compliance or Possession Notice (JDF 101) or a Notice to Quit (JDF 97). You must then wait a certain period of time to go by.

If the tenant had been paying rent, there are differences in the timeline, based upon how long they have been paying. If they’ve paid for more than a year, then you must give them 91 days to vacate. If they’ve paid six months or longer, but not yet a year, then you must offer them 28 days to leave. If they’ve paid for a month or more, but less than six months, you must give them 7 days. If they’ve paid one week or longer, but less than a month, they are afforded 3 days. And, if they’ve paid less than one week, you may give them 1 day to vacate the premises.

In certain circumstances where the tenant has become belligerent, you may need to execute a Complaint in Forcible Entry and Detainer (JDF 99) plus a CRCCP Form 1A (Summons in Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer) as well as a CRCCP Form 3 (Answer Under Simplified Civil Procedure).

There will be various fees associated with the filing of these documents as well as associated copies for the court and the tenants. Once you file and pay these fees, the county clerk will schedule a hearing (typically 7-14 days from the point of filing). Tenants must be given a minimum of 7 days between the sate they are served the summons, and the actual court date.

The tenants must show up in court, or you may receive a summary judgment in your favor. If they do show up, they may request a jury trial. Here in Colorado, the judge may require you to enter mediation as well.

Once you do receive a summary judgment, you can file for possession of the property with a Motion for Entry of Judgment (JDF 104). If, after 48 hours, the tenants have still not vacated the property, you may complete a Writ of Restitution (JDF 103) and that’s when the court will order the Sheriff to execute a forcible removal from the property.

All of this is typically frustrating for the landlord, and is best handled by a professional property manager. Here at Legacy Properties-PM, we are well versed with the laws, and are able to handle all of these procedures, should they ever become necessary.