Three Situations that Can Trigger Eviction in Colorado

Filed Under (Eviction, Leases and Landlord Tenant) on 05-08-2012


By Victor Grimm, Esq., and Rachel Brand

In Colorado, three situations can give rise to an eviction:


Default takes place when the tenant doesn’t pay the rent or violates one of the lease terms.

Landlords must first officially give tenants warning and a chance to fix the problem before moving them out. The warning comes in the form of a three-day notice, also called a Demand for Compliance or Possession.  Basically, the notice gives tenants three days to pay the rent, i.e. fix the problem, or move out.  If the tenants don’t respond to the three-day notice, the eviction process can begin.

Termination of Tenancy

In this case, the tenant has done nothing “wrong;” but the lease calls for the tenancy to end by a certain date, and the landlord also wants the tenant to move out.  The eviction process can begin when the tenant stays in the property after he or she is supposed to move out.

Special Default

Special default takes place when the tenant has repeatedly violated the lease for issues other than being late on the rent; or committed a “substantial” lease violation.

In simple terms, a substantial violation is violent and occurs on the property; is a violent or drug-related felony; or carries a sentence of 180 days or more, or is a public nuisance. There are some defenses against substantial violations, too, such as if your tenant is a domestic violence victim, or if your tenants did not commit the crime and promptly reported it to the police.

In this case, the landlord must issue a Notice to Quit (Substantial Violation), which gives tenants no alternatives and simply tells them that their tenancy is terminated.  It then requires that tenants move out of the rental property by a certain date.  If the tenant doesn’t move out, eviction can begin.

Another type of special default is known as a repeat violation. Generally, if you’ve given the tenant a three-day notice, they have corrected the problem, and the problem arises again, you may give them a Notice to Quit (Repeat Violation). Please note that this repeat violation provision does not relate to monetary defaults such as nonpayment of rent.  Again, if the tenant doesn’t then move out, eviction can begin.

The eviction

It’s important to remember eviction is a process, not a single event.  Landlords must follow the steps in the process exactly, or they will not be allowed to proceed in court.

For more information about how to serve these notices and begin the eviction process, see the Landlord & Tenant Guide to Colorado Leases and Evictions, 5th Edition, by Victor M. Grimm, Esq. and Denise E. Grimm.