Preparing To Evict Your Tenant: What steps do you need to take to make sure you can legally evict a problem tenant

A problem tenant puts your investment property at risk and should be evicted as soon as is legally possible.  When you’re renting your property, you’re putting the property at risk and a tenant that jeopardizes the security of the property needs to be evicted.  Unfortunately, landlords often find themselves unprepared to evict a tenant when the time comes.  In order to prepare adequately, landlords should ensure that the necessary steps and requirements for a legal eviction are taken before the eviction even starts.

Notice Requirements

Evicting a tenant for a subsequent violation of the lease terms requires the violations be a matter of record.  Subsequent violations are defined as when a tenant holds over contrary to the terms of the lease agreement, such as when a tenant continues to remain in violation of a lease term after notice from the landlord.  However, landlords who do not have evidence of the notice given to the tenant for the initial violation may find themselves unable to evict the tenant.  Notice of the violation is something that many landlords do on their own prior to involving an attorney in the eviction process, thus making it ever more important to be sure the notice is done in compliance with Colorado law.

Calculated Rent and Damages

If the tenant has failed to pay rent, the landlord may demand the entire amount past due in addition to any late fees or charges and interest.  Additionally, the prevailing party will be entitled to recover attorney’s fees and costs that are incurred in an eviction matter.  However, a landlord prevailing in the action over the tenant for possession of the premises may not recover attorney’s fees and costs if there is no provision in the rental agreement specifying such.  For example, a rental agreement or lease should include some form of the phrase “…any prevailing party in an action based on the enforcement of this agreement shall be entitled to recovery of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred from such action.”

Evicting a tenant is a complicated and heavily regulated process that can often be overwhelming for landlords to take on by themselves.  Hiring an experienced attorney to help the eviction go smoothly and efficiently may mean paying for something you feel as though you may be able to do yourself, but the peace of mind that comes with having an experienced advocate may well be worth the cost.  Denver Eviction Attorney Nathaniel Gilbert has represented both landlords and tenants in residential, commercial, and agricultural lease evictions and knows the common obstacles and boundaries in Colorado eviction laws and processes.  Consult with Nathaniel early on in the eviction process, even if you think you may do it yourself, to help answer your questions regarding the process.