How Long Does an Eviction Take in Colorado?
If you are the property owner it seems like forever. If you are the tenant it is not long enough. The short answer is that it can take up to a month before the landlord has actual possession of the property if the tenant refuses to leave. The procedures and deadlines that must be followed by the landlord to lawfully retake possession of the property must be strictly followed or it will delay the eviction process further and the court can require the landlord to start over.
The first step in the eviction process is the Notice. There are several types of notices but the most common is the Three Day Notice. The Three Day Notice must inform the tenant of the reason for the notice (example non-payment of rent or damage to property) and give the tenant 3 days to cure the defect or leave the property. The Notice must be personally given to the tenant or posted in an obvious location, like taped to the front door of the property. If the tenant cures within the 3 days the landlord-tenant relationship is restored and all is well. If however the tenant does not cure within 3 days the landlord on the 4th day will need to file an eviction action with the Court and have a Summons and Complaint personally served on the tenant. The tenant will have no less than 7 and no more than 14 days to appear at a Court hearing and/or file defenses to the eviction action.
If the tenant does not respond to the Complaint within the required time the Court will enter default judgment for the landlord and order possession of the property to the landlord. This does not mean the landlord can go and take back the property just yet. The landlord must wait an additional 48 hours from the Order of Possession for the Court to issue a Writ of Restitution. The Writ of Restitution is an Order of the Court to the County Sheriff to execute the eviction of the tenant. Once the landlord has the Writ the landlord takes the Writ to the Sheriff’s office to schedule the eviction and pay the required fee. Depending on the Sheriff’s eviction calendar it may be several more days or weeks until the Sheriff can actually perform the eviction. Please be aware that the Sheriff does not actually move the tenant’s possessions out during the eviction, the landlord needs to be prepared to move the evicted tenants belongings out to the curb. The Sheriff will essentially standby to make sure the eviction does not breach the peace and prevent the eviction from erupting into a violent confrontation.
If the tenant does appear at the hearing and or files an answer to the Complaint the issue of who is entitled to possession of the premises will be set for trial typically within 7 days. At the hearing the court will hear evidence from both sides and determine who is entitled to possession. If the landlord is entitled to possession an Order of Possession will be issued but the landlord must still wait an additional 48 hours before the Writ of Restitution is issued and then the landlord must follow the procedures of scheduling the eviction with the Sheriff’s office as outlined above.
As you can see , an eviction is a complicated legal matter and each case presents its own challenges. If you would like to know more about your rights as a landlord or tenant please call Black Suit Law 303.667.4168 to speak with one of our seasoned attorneys.
Robert J. Herrera, Esq.