Tenant Help for Illegal Evictions in Colorado
Many renters in Colorado contact Flaxman Law Group because they are facing eviction. In some cases, these tenants contact an illegal eviction attorney at our Colorado firm because they have a suspicion that their landlords are acting illegally.
As a tenant in Colorado, you have rights, including rights that protect you from illegal eviction procedures. If a landlord tries to evict you illegally, you may have remedies that allow you to remain in your home.
The trouble is that not all renters and landlords in Boulder, Denver, Basalt, and other Colorado communities know their rights. As a result, illegal evictions unfortunately do still happen.
Read on to find out what an illegal eviction is and how you can protect yourself.What is an Illegal Eviction in Colorado?
Illegal eviction is any effort by a landlord to remove a tenant from their rental property without following the proper legal procedures. Common types of illegal eviction in Colorado include:
- Failure to correctly serve a written notice. There are many procedures landlords must follow to evict a tenant. One of the most important parts of the process is to correctly serve the tenant with a notice. Landlords must follow all relevant state and local laws. This may include giving the tenant the right amount of time to cure a problem and giving enough notice and providing enough detail about the reason for the eviction.
- Failure to file a lawsuit. If a tenant receives notice of eviction and fails to fix a lease violation or otherwise fix the problem, the landlord can't just evict the tenant. They must then file an eviction lawsuit. This lawsuit must be correctly filed with the county court where the rental property is located. The court will schedule a hearing where both the tenant and the landlord will have the opportunity to present their case.
- A landlord can't try to evict by changing the locks to the property or preventing the renter from accessing the property. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-510).
- Shutting off utilities. A landlord can't try force the tenant to move out by shutting off power, heat, water, or other essential services. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-510).
- Threats or intimidation. A landlord cannot use threats or intimidation to try to force a renter to move out.
- A landlord can't evict a renter as retaliation because the tenant reported the landlord for a health and safety violation or tried to join or organize a tenants' association. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-509.) Even if the landlord follows all proper eviction procedures, eviction for retaliation is not permitted in Colorado.
- Unlawful eviction of a victim of violence. Landlords can't evict tenants just because the renter is a victim of stalking, domestic abuse of violence, or a similar crime. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-402.) Landlords in Colorado also can't evict tenants solely for contacting emergency services because of these crimes.
If you are facing eviction and you think your landlord is acting unlawfully or if you think your landlord is trying to force you out of your home, you will want to:
- Document everything. Keep records of all emails, phone calls, letters, and other communication with your landlord. Take pictures of any damage to the property and keep any evidence of illegal eviction.
- Contact an attorney. It's often difficult to tell whether an eviction attempt is following all the rules or whether it's illegal. An experienced landlord-tenant attorney can help you understand your rights and can help you with the legal process, if needed.
- Decide on a course of action. Again, this is where an experienced Colorado eviction defense attorney is useful. He or she can help you understand your options, which could include defending against an eviction, filing a complaint with the Colorado Division of Housing, seeking temporary housing, or taking other legal action.
You have the right to safe and secure housing in Colorado, and your landlord must follow the proper legal procedures to evict you. If you suspect that your landlord is acting illegally, talking to an experienced Colorado attorney can help you review your situation.
Even if you're not sure whether your landlord is acting illegally, call us at 970-999-0530 or contact us onlinefor a free, no obligation consultation. You have nothing to lose by talking to a lawyer about your case.