How to evict a tenant without a lawyer?

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How to evict a tenant without a lawyer?

My tenant paid his first months payment and moved in; that was 2 months ago. The “lease” was for one month and needed to be renewed each month thereafter. It included a stipulation that the tenant would pay 1/3 of the utility bill. Since then he has not paid a utility portion ever. Additionally, the tenant has not paid rent and now has stated he will not pay next months either. We do not have money to pay a lawyer for formal eviction proceedings. The tenant has stated he will “pays us when he can, and until then we can ‘do what we have to do”. The situation will turn to violence soon.

Asked on August 28, 2011 Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can evict the tenant for nonpayment of rent--not paying the second (and subsequent?) months of rent, since according to you he paid only his first month. You could also evict him for nonpayment of the utility bills IF you had a written lease denominating the utility bills as part of rent; otherwise, you can evict him for breach of the lease (even an oral one) for not paying them, but that requires more notice. You could also simply give him a 30 days notice terminating his tenancy, then evict him. Probably the best thing would be a dual-track approach: immediately bring a summons and complaint for eviction for not paying the rent. If he should pay the rent, he'd be able to stay (until his next non-payment), which is why if he pays, you immediately serve him with a 30 day notice terminating his tenancy, then evict him at the end of that period.

Contact you local court, either in person or online--you should be able to get forms, information, instructions, etc. for eviction. Below will be a link that will also take you to information.

Note that if you want to evict him for nonpayment, while you have to accept full payment of rent, don't accept any partial payments--that muddies the water and could waive your right to evict this time. If you evict because you've terminated his tenancy, don't accept any payments, for any reasons.

Here's the link: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states/colorado/renting/tenantrights


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