As a landlord or property manager, having to deal with a difficult tenant can be an emotionally and financially draining experience. The eviction process may be a necessary step, but it can be a complicated and time-consuming legal process if not approached correctly. This guide will outline the necessary steps you must take to evict a tenant properly and provide helpful tips to avoid common legal pitfalls during the process. While some may choose to approach eviction without legal assistance, it is highly recommended to seek legal help before initiating eviction proceedings. Our experienced lawyers can provide knowledgeable legal counsel to Colorado and Arizona landlords and property managers throughout the eviction process.
Step 1: Understanding Tenant’s Rights
Before proceeding with an eviction, it is crucial to understand the rights of your tenant. Generally, tenants are protected by the lease agreement, which is a legally binding contract between the tenant and the landlord. To legally remove those rights to regain possession of your property, you must stay in compliance with Colorado or Arizona revised statutes, rules of Civil Procedure, and, of course, your lease agreement as well. Keep in mind, if your tenant is living in a mobile home or Section 8 housing, there may be different rules to follow. It is essential to assess the agreement and comply with these rules to the letter. Failure to adhere to the lease agreement can lead to a delay in the eviction process and legal complications.
Step 2: Notice of Violation
After determining that eviction is the best course of action, the next step is to provide the tenant with a Notice of Violation. The notice should let the tenant know that they have violated the lease agreement and state any corrective actions required to rectify the situation. Different types of violations will require a different type of notice, so be sure to use the appropriate form to avoid starting over. Additionally, it’s important to post the notice in a conspicuous place on the property and correctly describe the property, violation, and cure period. Getting this step right is crucial to avoid any legal issues and ensure that the eviction process proceeds smoothly.
Step 3: Summon and Complaint
If the tenant fails to cure the violation within the specified period, the next step is to file a Summon and Complaint in court. The Summon requires a disinterested third party to serve the documents to the dwelling, ensuring that all legal protocols are followed. Creating the correct Complaint document and verifying the filing requirements is crucial to ensuring that the court recognizes the eviction. The hearing can be avoided if either a tenant enters into an agreement voluntarily or files an answer to the Complaint. However, if a hearing is necessary, proving your case at trial is crucial. If a tenant doesn’t show up, the landlord can request a default judgment for possession. Overall, attention to detail in this step is essential to avoid costly delays and legal complications.
Step 4: The Hearing
If a hearing is held, there will be the opportunity to appear in front of a judge and present your case. Although it is possible to represent yourself, having the backing of an experienced attorney can increase your chances of success. At this stage, the tenant may choose to counter-sue or respond with affirmative defenses. If this happens, proving your case can become challenging. In the event this happens, it’s important to seek legal guidance on the matter. If the tenant does not show up to the hearing, a default judgment for possession can be requested. However, the hearing provides an opportunity to settle the matter through an agreement and avoid the complications of a trial.
Step 5: Execution of the Writ of Restitution
If you succeed in winning your case, you will receive a Writ of Restitution which orders the tenant to vacate the premises within a set period. If the tenant fails to leave, a sheriff will execute the writ by forcibly removing them from the property. At this point, any remaining items left by the tenant will go into a storage facility. The tenant must pay to retrieve their items, or they forfeit ownership, and they can be sold to recoup any outstanding dues. You can then proceed to secure the property and search for a new tenant. Following the legal process for eviction is critical to ensure you avoid actions that can lead to costly legal troubles.
Contact Our Experienced Law Firm
Following the eviction process correctly and complying with the law is critical to ensuring that you are legally protected. Colorado and Arizona landlords and property managers should always consult with an attorney before initiating an eviction to avoid legal problems. If you need help with the eviction process, our expert attorneys can provide valuable legal counsel and representation. Don’t go through this complicated experience alone – the attorneys at Ramos Law are here to help, and the earlier you consult us, the better we can assist with shaping your case.