I’m a Colorado landlord with a difficult tenant. I’ve given the tenant the proper Colorado termination notice, but he still won’t leave. What next? What is the Colorado eviction process?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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If you are a Colorado landlord who has given your tenant notice but the tenant still won’t leave your property, your next step is to file a Forcible Entry and Detainer (eviction) action in your local county court. You will have to serve your tenant with the summons and the complaint. If you do not serve the tenant personally (meaning the tenant must be handed the papers), and only post the papers somewhere on the property, you will not be entitled to recover any money damages from the tenant; you will only be able to regain possession of the property.

On the summons that you give to the tenant will be a return date. This is the date by which the tenant must answer your complaint. If the tenant does not answer the complaint, you can request a default judgment, which means simply that you win. If the tenant answers the complaint, a trial date will be set at which both of you can argue your sides in front of a judge. If you win, the tenant has 48 hours to appeal. If the tenant appeals, the case will go to a higher court. If the tenant does not appeal, after the 48 hours has expired a “writ of restitution” will be issued to you, allowing you to retake the premises. Remember that this does not mean you can immediately go and physically remove the tenant. You will need to take the writ to your county sheriff and schedule an appointment for a “civil assist.” This just means that a deputy will come and oversee the process as you remove your tenant’s belongings.

If you think you have taken on more in this eviction process than you can handle individually, you can always seek the advice an experienced Colorado evictions attorney.

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