Eviction is when the tenant is court-ordered to leave the property. Only a sheriff may enforce this court order, and landlords can never evict without a court order and a sheriff. Note: In Denver, deputy sheriffs conduct the evictions. This type of legal action is called a Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED).
Landlords cannot legally deny tenants access to the property, change the locks, or remove the tenant’s possessions without a court order.
If the tenant has not paid rent or violates the terms of the lease, the landlord must give the tenant a signed Ten-Day Demand for Compliance or Possession (Ten-Day Demand) stating the rent owed or identify the violation of the lease to start the FED process. The tenant can pay the rent if rent is owed, correct the violation, move out within ten days, or dispute the eviction before a judge in court. If the tenant disputes the amount owed in a demand, the tenant must pay the correct amount within the ten-day period. The landlord does not have to accept payment after the ten-day period.
The landlord can serve a Ten-Day Demand to the tenant by leaving a copy at the tenant’s usual place of abode, with any person whose age is eighteen years or older and who is a member of the person’s family, or at the person’s usual workplace, with the person’s supervisor, secretary, administrative assistant, bookkeeper, human resources representative or managing agent; or by posting it in a conspicuous place on the property, such as the front door, if the diligent effort has been made to attempt personal service. The ten days begin the day after receiving the notice or of the posting, even if the tenant never sees the notice.
If the tenant does not pay, correct the violation, or move out, then the landlord may file an eviction suit. The steps involved in this process are detailed in the Denver Eviction Process Chart attached.
Ten-Day Demand requirements always apply, even if the language in the lease states otherwise.
If a Ten-Day Demand was given and the tenant disputes the allegations, the tenant may contact the landlord or the Office of Financial Empowerment and Protection by calling 720-944-2498 or emailing FEC@denvergov.org to try to resolve the issue. See the resources section for more details.
When an eviction case is filed, the landlord must serve a copy of the Complaint and summons on the tenant. The summons will inform the tenant that he or she must appear in court at a certain date and time. Instructions for appearing remotely in Denver County Court must be included in the summons.
On the appearance date, the tenant must either file an answer or enter into a written agreement with the landlord filed with the court on that date. If the tenant does not do one of those two things, a default judgment for possession (eviction judgment) will automatically enter against the tenant.
If the tenant seeks to file an answer, but cannot afford the filing fee (approximately $100), the tenant can ask the court clerk for a form to ask the court to accept the answer without a filing fee.
If the tenant files an answer, a trial date will be set in approximately seven (7) days.
If an eviction order is obtained in court, the landlord should contact the deputy sheriff to monitor the eviction. Under State law, the winner of an eviction suit may receive reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of the lawsuit from the other party if allowed by the lease.
Landlords cannot remove the tenants or prevent the tenant from entering the property without a court order and the deputy sheriff. Violence or intimidation should be reported to the police. In the event of a lockout, it is best that the tenant not use force to reenter the premises and should immediately consult with Colorado Legal Services or an attorney.
If the tenant violates a lease multiple times and a Ten-Day Demand was previously given, or there are more serious violations such as violence or drugs, the landlord can post or deliver a “Notice to Quit”, which does not give the tenant an opportunity to correct the violation. Instead, the tenant must leave within a three-day period for a substantial violation, ten days for a repeat violation, or dispute the eviction before a judge in court.
Landlords can prohibit the use of illegal drugs by the tenant on the property including recreation or medical marijuana.
Generally, victims of domestic violence cannot be evicted because of domestic violence. Police documentation or order for civil protection may be required for domestic violence to be a defense to the eviction.
The only way a landlord can terminate a lease and evict a tenant from any type of rental property is by going through a Forced Entry and Detainer (FED) legal action to obtain a court order requiring the tenant to vacate the property. It is never legal for a landlord to evict a tenant without a court order. The period for a Notice to Quit is 3, 21, 28, or 91 days, depending on the length of tenancy and how much notice is included in the lease. (Colorado Revised Statute 13-40-107.)
Immigrant and undocumented families have the same tenant protections and rights as all other Denverites.
The landlord and tenant may enter into an agreement, or settle the case, instead of going to trial. Even if a tenant loses at trial, the landlord and tenant may still come to an agreement before the deputy sheriff comes to evict. Such an agreement should be in writing.
DRCOG has also developed a comprehensive, community-based website to provide current information on services, including legal assistance and housing support, available to older adults and their caregivers.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman: 303-480-6734
Brothers Redevelopment, Inc., (303) 202-6340
Brothers Redevelopment, Inc. is a local, non-profit housing redeveloper, founded in 1971 by a Mennonite minister, a Lutheran minister, and a Catholic layperson. Since then, the agency has concentrated on programs that allow low-income elderly and disabled persons to continue living independently in their homes and communities.
CALS counsels, represents, and advises landlord and tenant clients on legal issues and other landlord/tenant matters. CALS advises parties on how to file, initiate, and defend themselves in court proceedings, including mediation in addition to offering dispute resolution information and referrals for legal assistance.
The City and County of Denver is partnering with Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and the National Guard to support motel/hotel room options across Denver for people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis.
Colorado Housing Assistance Corp., (303) 572-9445
Colorado Housing Assistance Corporation (CHAC) offers down-payment assistance and homebuyer education classes for first-time homebuyers. Down payment assistance comes in the form of a low-cost loan, and borrowers are required to contribute at least $1,000 of their own funds toward their down-payment and closing costs. CHAC’s homebuyer education classes introduce first-time homebuyers to special assistance programs and below market rate loans.
Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, (303) 297-2432
Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) provides funds to finance the places where people live and work throughout Colorado. CHFA has been making dreams come true for over 30 years. CHFA offers low-interest loans, home buyer education classes and additional resources to help you with the purchase of your new home.
Colorado Legal Services (CLS) provides free legal services in all types of residential evictions to individuals and families who meet income guidelines. CLS also provides these same services to seniors, without regard to income. CLS may give legal advice, assistance in filing answers, and other legal documents or full representation in court. If you are a tenant and have been served with a notice, have received court papers, or have a problem with your housing, please contact CLS immediately.
The COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project is a collaborative, community legal project. Its mission is to provide Coloradoans who are unable to pay their rent during the COVID-19 crisis with information and support.
Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation, (303) 477-4774 ext. 18
Del Norte helps build quality, affordable housing; maintains and upgrades existing housing; and assists economic growth through employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to benefit low- and moderate-income families and individuals. Del Norte has several assistance services ranging from a $1,000 closing grant to a $10,000 deferred loan.
HOST provides resources to help Denver residents:
Additionally, HOST administers the TEMPORARY RENT AND UTILITY ASSISTANCE (TRUA) program. Rent and Utility Assistance from the Department of Housing Stability helps City and County of Denver residents facing financial hardship to prevent eviction or utility shut off. If you need help with paying rent or utilities you may be eligible to receive temporary help.
Denver Human Services offers a variety of services, including deposit, first month’s rent, mortgage, eviction, rental, and cash assistance, to qualifying Denver residents who are at risk of losing their housing. Denver Human Services can also support residents with:
Apply for food, cash, medical, and child care assistance at Colorado.gov/PEAK
Find more information about Denver Human Services’ emergency assistance programs at www.denvergov.org/HumanServices or call 720-944-2032.
Call 720-944-4DHS (4347) for more information about Denver Human Services programs and services.
The Denver Sheriff Department Civil Division is responsible for service of civil process, sale of real and personal property under court order, execution of court-ordered evictions processes and serves, and more
201 W. Colfax Ave., First Floor Atrium
Denver, CO 80202
LEAP is a federally funded program that helps qualifying households by paying a portion of their heating costs. Applications can take 30 days to process but can be quicker for emergencies like a shutoff notice. Applications are accepted November-April. If you are experiencing a heat emergency, Energy Outreach Colorado may be able to help.
Call Energy Outreach Colorado’s HEAT HELP line (available 24/7) at 866-431-8435. www.denvergov.org/LEAP
The mission of NEST is to support neighborhoods experiencing significant change in elevating their voice to determine the future of their community by empowering under-resourced and marginalized residents and businesses. Our Vision: Vibrant, innovative, and interconnected communities with the means and opportunities to make a home, get a job, and build a future.
NEWSED Community Development Corporation, (303) 534-8342
NEWSED CDC offers services for home buyers including down-payment assistance and homebuyer education. Low-interest loans and Individual Development Accounts (IDA) are provided to assist with down payment and closing costs. IDAs are savings accounts that are matched for the down payment and closing costs. Borrowers must contribute at least $1,000 of their own funds. NEWSED CDC offers monthly homebuyer education workshops and one-on-one counseling. It also provides foreclosure prevention.
Northeast Denver Housing Center, (303) 377-3334
Northeast Denver Housing Center (NDHC) purchases, rehabilitates and sells homes to low- and moderate-income families located in Denver. The NDHC lease-purchase "Homeownership incubation program" allows families to move into the homes they intend to buy and work on their "bankability" with the help of NDHC housing counselors.
Additional state-level eviction prevention resources are at
As soon as you receive a Ten-Day Notice from your landlord, contact the Office of Financial Empowerment and Protection by calling 720-944-2498 or emailing FEC@denvergov.org. You will be connected to a navigator who can direct you toward:
For a guide to housing counseling, as well as information about the foreclosure process, download :
The Office of Economic Development is committed to educating homeowners about foreclosure, how to prevent it, and key resources to utilize if your situation worsens.
The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline partners with nonprofit housing counseling agencies. Visit the them online or call toll-free (877) 601-HOPE (4673).
Both pre-purchase counseling and mortgage counseling (delinquency and default) are available from the Colorado Housing Assistance Corporation. Call 303-572-9445.
If you are concerned about predatory lending or high-pressure financial services, Denver’s Office of Financial Empowerment and Protection can refer you to free financial coaching through mpowered. Call 720-944-2498.