Landlords often choose to perform their own evictions. While this is time consuming for busy individuals, it is certainly not impossible and Colorado makes it easier with several free forms available for use. It is especially important though, to follow all the rules and requirements when executing a self-help eviction. A key component of an eviction, surprisingly, is the actual notice of eviction that the landlord must send to the tenant.
After a tenant has defaulted on rent or other payment, you must send a demand for payment. Colorado requires a demand that gives the tenant three days to pay the amount owed or surrender the premises. This amount includes late fees accrued up to and including the day of payment. This notice period cannot be waived by any lease or agreement between the landlord and the tenant. The demand itself must be in writing and actually left with the tenant. This writing must state clearly the grounds for the demand of the premises, an accurate description of the premises, and be signed by the landlord himself, his agent, or his attorney.
The demand must be served using the requirements of the service statute. A demand for possession may be served on the individual named in the lease, a member of the tenant’s family above the age of 15, or in the case of no one being present at the premises may be posted in a conspicuous place. As a practical matter, it is preferable to have personal service on the tenant whenever possible and have that service performed by a professional process server. This helps ensure you receive a proper return of service showing that service was completed and in what manner as well as avoids any unnecessary confrontations between a defiant tenant and their landlord.
Once the three days in your demand for payment has expired with no or only partial payment from tenant, only then may you file suit in the county court to obtain a judgment for eviction. If you have questions about your eviction, consult with Colorado Lease Attorney Nathaniel Gilbert to get a better understanding of where you stand in the eviction process.